A top performing boy in the 2014 KCPE exams has finally joined Form One after well-wishers came to his rescue.
This follows an appeal for people of goodwill to help Carlos Sabwami Karanja, who scored 411 out of a possible 500 marks, raise money to join high school after he got a partial scholarship from a top performing school in Mombasa.
Karanja’s story was exclusively highlighted in the online edition of Daily Nation with an appeal for financial help to complement a partial scholarship that had been offered to him by Light Academy, Mombasa.
The school had offered a partial scholarship to Carlos after being touched by the plight of his family’s poor background and impressed by the boy’s excellent performance.
Even though the family tried looking for the amount through government bursaries, relatives companies and the church, they were unsuccessful.
WELL-WISHER CALLED MOTHER
Last week, the well-wisher from USA, contacted the mother after being moved by the boys’ plight and thirst for education despite the financial difficulties that faced his family.
The benefactor, identified only as Mr Ben by Karanja’s mother Lydia Wanjiru, then speedily went out of his way to send Sh22,000 fees through her sister Rose Wanjiru, who is based in Nairobi.
Another supporter she identified as Milka Mbugua, also sent Sh8,900 for the boy’s school uniform.
The good luck for Karanja did not stop there as Waititu Wachira from Atlanta, Georgia, USA has also pledged to pay his entire high school fees.
Others who have emailed the Nation seeking to assist Carlos are Njeru from Djibouti, Mr Hassan Khan and Arvind Mehta.
Tuesday, Carlos was all smiles as he settled in Form 1B at Light Academy thanks to Mr Ben and other sponsors.
His mother, too emotional to speak, broke down in tears only muttering endless words gratitude to the sponsor for coming through for her first born son.
HAD ALSMOST GIVEN UP
“This is like salvation to me. Have you ever reached a point that you see God?
“We had reached a point of giving up after trying in vain all avenues to seek assistance.
“I even contemplated having him repeat Class Eight because we did not have another alternative,” said the overjoyed mother.
She added that Karanja’s wish was to proceed to Form One but had decided to go back to Standard Eight after realising that his mother could not raise the fees required.
“He told me: ‘Mum I do not want to repeat because I did my best but because you are requesting me and I respect you, I will do it’,” his mother recalled as she wiped tears which freely rolled down her cheeks.
She added that Karanja has always given her hope for a brighter future after she herself dropped out of school in Form Three due to lack of school fees and decided to get married.
But she was forced to quit the marriage due to what she says was endless physical and emotional abuse from her husband.
MOTHER DOING ODD JOBS
Since then, she has been single-handedly struggling to raise Carlos and the other children through the odd jobs she does after moving into her brother’s one-roomed house in Likoni.
“He (Karanja) has always given me hope because of his love for school. Even before joining Form One he would visit the library to read introduction to Biology, Chemistry and the other subjects. When I ask him why he does that he would tell me, ‘I do not want to be green in high school,” his mother added with a smile.
Light Academy director Mustafa Abi said that they had at least 500 applicants for this year’s scholarships offered by the school and that Carlos was among the 50 who were lucky to get them.
“We try to help bright and needy students and it is part of our sponsorship programme which also applies in Form Two, three and four, “said Mr Abi.
He added that they visited 250 schools in Mombasa County alone, besides other counties, to identify needy and bright students.
IDENTIFY BRIGHT, NEEDY STUDENTS
The school’s deputy principal Maika Mwanzori who is part of the team that visits schools to identify needy students, also said Carlos performed well in the cut-off exams needed for scholarships.
“Besides KCPE results, we give our own internal exams. In his group, though, he was not among the very top two who got 100 per cent scholarship; he secured 50 per cent scholarship,” said Mr Maika.
The school normally charges Sh79,000 per term which includes Sh35, 000 tuition fee of and a boarding fee of Sh44, 000.
Carlos is however required to pay Sh39,500 per term after getting the partial scholarship from the school.
As he joined Form One, Carlos thanked his sponsors for coming to his aid and promised to work hard to achieve his dream of becoming a pilot.
“To my sponsors, may God bless you so much and I promise to do my best in high school,” said Carlos with a smile.
Boy’s quest for education hangs in the balance as he lacks fees to join Form One
A top performing boy in last year’s KCPE exams in Mombasa is appealing for financial help in order to join Form One.
For the fourth time, Carlos Sabwami Karanja has visited Nation offices in Mombasa seeking to have his case highlighted.
Carlos scored 411 marks out of the possible 500 marks at Lake-Star Primary School and needs some Sh20, 000 to secure admission to Light Academy Mombasa Boys Secondary School.
The school offered him a partial scholarship after being touched by his family’s poor background.
It pledged to make it a full scholarship for the rest of his high school years if he performs exemplarily while in the school.
Besides the offer from Light Academy, Carlos had secured admissions to Kenyatta High School in Mwatate and Embu High School during the Form One selection.
But raising the Sh20,000 is proving to be a tall order for the first born among three siblings as every door he knocks for assistance seems to be locked.
His mother, Lydia Wanjiru, says that she was forced to quit her marriage due to endless physical and emotional abuse from her husband.
She says she got married after dropping out of high school.
MOTHER DOES ODD JOBS
After quitting the abusive marriage, she has single-handedly struggled to raise Carlos and the other children through the odd jobs she engages in after moving into her brother’s one-roomed house in Likoni.
Efforts to get bursary from the Likoni Constituency CDF where they reside, have been fruitless as they were turned away because bursary forms were not available.
Other sponsors including banks and insurance companies who offer scholarships have also turned them away saying that they are ‘not so needy’ while others say that their policies do not allow them to offer assistance to non-natives.
Her local church also turned her away saying that they would have assisted her son if only she had been a member of the church for a longer duration.
Ms Wanjiru says efforts to get assistance from relatives have also borne no fruit despite promises that they would organise a fundraiser for the boy’s school fees.
“Light Academy says that the Sh20,000 they are asking for will cater for caution and admission fees.
“It will form a portion of the Sh39, 000 total fees that I will be required to pay after the part scholarship that they have offered,” said Carlos at Nation offices in Mombasa.
It was their fourth visit to the office after visiting several organisations in search of assistance without success.
“I know I have a future at Light Academy as it is the only school that I have an assurance that I can complete school without dropping out along the way given the current situation at home,” added Carlos whose dream is to become pilot.
Carlos was required to report to school last Monday and has been unable to do so as a result of lack of funds.
He has appealed to well-wishers to come to his rescue.
The school has a bank account number 0102028755800 at the Standard Bank.