Meru leaders raise Sh2m fees for needy students joining Form One

Athwana Ward MCA Jim Muchui (right) at a fundraiser in Karumo Technical Training Institute on January 5, 2024. [Courtesy]

Meru leaders raised more than Sh2 million in school fees for bright and needy students joining Form One.

Families in the semi-arid area of Athwana in Tigania West Sub County were in despair after floods washed away crops, leaving them with no source of income to educate the children.

The leaders raised the funds and also bought bedding and other items for 250 children who performed well in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE).

Speaking during the Athwana Education Day at Karumo Technical Training Institute on Friday, Athwana MCA Jim Muchui said the initiative was meant to ensure 100 per cent transition in the area.

Interior and National Government Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki sent a donation to buy school uniforms and shoes for the 250 students.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi and MPs John Mutunga (Tigania West), Mugambi Rindikiri, local MCAs, and other leaders also raised funds to support the needy students.

“This is a hardship area and the parents are facing great difficulties in raising fees for children joining Form One. So as the MCA, I decided to mobilize funds from my friends who love education, and CS Kindiki, CS Linturi, and others have made good contributions,” said Muchui.

Mutunga said residents have faced tough times due to prolonged drought and were devastated after floods washed away crops.

“People here depend on farming for revenue there has not been any revenue generated over the last few months. Then El Nino came and that made it almost impossible to earn a living. We had more than 1,700 families that were displaced and that has been a major issue,” said the lawmaker.

He said the families were struggling to raise fees to enable their children to join secondary school.

“That is why well-wishers and members of the community came together to support those who did well so that they can join Form One,” he said. 

Cosmas Akotha, a parent said the leaders' initiative is a major relief for parents.

"This area is very dry. I have three children but no money to educate them. One is in Form Four and we do not know where we will get school fees. The headteachers are also raising the fees and making it more difficult for us," Akotha said.