Well wishers come to the rescue of bright, needy students

Hundreds of parents gather to receive bursary cheques at Nakuru Town West NGCDF offices on January 1, 2024. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Hundreds of bright but needy students have a reason to smile after being offered scholarships and bursaries to pursue secondary education.

In Nyanza, 200 learners in Migori county benefited from an initiative by the community and individuals who came out to support them after the National Treasury delayed to release of the National Government- Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) monies for bursaries.

Most beneficiaries were on the verge of dropping out of school due to lack of school fees.

Ebenezer Christian Center, Job Tambo Empowerment Program and Kangeso Community, awarded the students bursaries, scholarships and assorted school items during separate events.

The beneficiaries were students joining Form One and others in secondary schools and universities.

Vincent Odera, who scored 384 marks in KCPE and was admitted to Agoro Sare Secondary School received school fees cheque, mattress, bible, blankets, toiletries and pocket money from Ebenezer Christian Academy.

John Owino, a parent in Rongo town, expressed joy after getting a bursary for his daughter who got admission to Kisumu Girls High School.

“I am happy that I have been supported to take my daughter, who excelled in her exams, to the school of her dreams. She will be going to Kisumu Girls High School,” Owino said.

He had planned to apply for Rongo NG-CDF bursary but his hopes were dashed following a delay by the Treasury to release funds.

Daniel Otieno, who is a pastor and founder of Ebenezer Christian Center in Rongo sub-county said they have issued Sh700,000 in school fees to bright and needy students.

“We have given Sh300,000 to continuing students, those joining have received Sh200,000 and students in colleges have received Sh200,000. As God provides, we are helping members of the community,” said Mr Otieno.

Job Tambo Empowerment Program in Suna East sub-county issued bursaries to 114 learners joining Form One and other students.

Lillian Aluoch, a single mother, who has two children in secondary school, said she sells farm produce to raise school fees, which is hardly enough.

“We have not been getting bursaries. This year, I had planned to apply again for a bursary, but we were told that funds had been delayed,” Ms Aluoch said.

Dancun Odero, the Assistant Secretary General at the Job Tambo Empowerment Program, said they awarded bursaries to 110 students while four received scholarships.

The program started in February last year and has so far benefited 180 secondary school learners and 150 university students.

“We want these children to go to school and study with ease. No student is going to be sent home for school fees,” Odero said.

Kangeso community in Rongo sub-county, resorted to communal fundraiser groups in an initiative dubbed “education for all” to raise school fees for their children.

Morice Orwa, who is the chairperson of the community-led initiative, said most of the parents were having challenges raising school fees, which made them join hands to ease the burden.

The community managed to put 61 learners in different clusters, where they benefit from books, pens, shopping and a cheque of Sh5,000 for fees.

In Marsabit County, the Kenya Drylands Education Fund, a nongovernmental organisation, issued scholarships worth Sh6 million to 58 students joining Form One.

The Fund Executive Director, Ahmed Kura said most beneficiaries are from families that lost livestock during the recent drought in the region.

He noted that livestock is the main source of livelihood for the families, hence the need to step in and help educate the children.

“Many of the parents suffered the loss of livestock. We want to ensure that children from pastoral communities access education like others and are ready to embrace education,” Kura said.

He said the initiative to transform the community through access to education is intentional.

“We plan to spend a total of Sh24 million on education in the next four years. The children are future leaders, and we must take care of them now through education,” he said.

Ambrose Harugurah, the chairman of the Marsabit Public Service Board, said the scholarship targets bright but needy students.

“We thank the organization for coming up with the program because up to now, 78 per cent of children have benefited in Marsabit county alone,” he said.

In the South Rift region, the Finlays Community Trust awarded full scholarships to 20 students from Bomet and Kericho counties for secondary education.

Each student received an annual sponsorship of Sh50,000, totaling Sh4 million for secondary education.

The scholarship award ceremony was attended by the Chairperson of the Trust, Bishop Alfred Rotich who underscored the role education plays in shaping the future of the community.

"Providing scholarships is a reliable way to ensure long-term growth and sustainability in the region. Education is an invaluable resource, and we are committed to ensuring that every child in our community has access to it," he said.

The secondary school scholarship programme, that has been running for over 30 years, has so far benefited 586 students with an investment of Sh53.5 million.

In addition to the secondary school scholarship, the Trust has extended support to undergraduate students in local universities.

Furthermore, the Trust offers the Swire Masters scholarship to students to study in the United Kingdom.

Bureti MP Kibet Komimgoi also extended financial support to more than 20 students from vulnerable families in the constituency.

Speaking at the homestead of one of the beneficiaries, Komimgoi assured of his commitment to support bright but needy students.

"We ask the Treasury to promptly release the NG-CDF money. It plays a critical role in addressing education-related challenges and supporting students in need," he said.

Judith Rotich, a guardian of one of the students, expressed gratitude for the support.

“The intervention ensures that promising students can access quality education, breaking the barriers that would have otherwise hindered their academic progress,” she said.

[Anne Atieno, Michael Saitoti, Nikko Tanui and Kiprono Kurgat]