Double tragedy for raped teen mum who can’t afford Form One fees
Raped and now raising a child, Anne* is staring at another misfortune as she is not sure whether she will pursue her secondary education.
Having sat for her examination while eight-and-half-months pregnant and having missed most of third term, the 15-year-old scored an impressive 376 marks in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) at Ruaraka Academy.
She has been called to Chania Girls High School in Thika.
But even as other students started to report to new schools, the future looks bleak for Anne.
FATHER CAN’T RAISE FEES
A partial orphan, she lost her mother at a tender age and her father is not able to raise the required amount for school fees and other needs.
The student, who has been posting exemplary results including 441 marks just before the KCPE, is still at their single room house at Marurui in Ruaraka.
“She is our immediate neighbour here where they stay near Wings of Compassion. She is still at home. It is not possible for her to go to school as the father cannot afford the needed school fees. Now that the schools have opened, she locks herself in a room with her baby crying, wishing help would come her way,” says Ms Dorcas Kang’ethe from Wings of Compassion, an organisation that has been looking at the welfare of her child.
She says that the girl told them that she was raped in March last year as she was going for shopping one night by a man who was still unknown, as he had just relocated in the neighbourhood.
“The girl disclosed the rape detail when it was too late. It was in early August when she became sickly. The man had threatened her not to say anything about the incident before raping her. The girl said she had been seeing the man idling in the area and he was a stranger to her. The chief was informed but the father was told to wait until the daughter had given birth,” says Ms Kang’ethe.
But Ms Kang’ethe states that Anne is psychologically ready to go to school and has gone through medical checkup, and the organisation has found a relative, her maternal grandmother, to look after the baby.
“We have been able to talk to the Principal to ask for more time for her to report. We have asked for a week or so as we try to find help for her. The fee alone is Sh40,165 for first term minus shopping. So in total first term money can go to about Sh100, 000,” she says.
Ms Kang’ethe says that Anne has been living with her father, a casual labourer, since her mother passed away when she was only three years old and she only managed to start schooling after Ruaraka Academy took her in.
“When her time for going to school reached, she did not join any school and so the neighbourhood raised a concern. The school heard about her plight and sponsored her from Class One to Eight. The father lives with two other children – Anne’s elder brother who is sponsored by another person and goes to a day school in Nakuru and the girl’s step sister – who most of the time are neglected,” says Ms Kang’ethe.
She explains that Wings of Compassion took over at the time of pregnancy and looked after Anne including her delivery, medication for mother and child and counselling.
Ms Kang’ethe says Anne gave birth on November 23, two weeks after KCPE and she was sitting her exams while due and the complications, stress and pressure accompanying her situation affected her eventual performance as she has been leading the class all through.
“She became sick towards August last year and that is when the father became concerned and she was taken to hospital and it was revealed that she was pregnant. She then locked herself in the house not wanting to get out. I was informed by one of the teachers and that is when I started following up.
“She was too traumatised and this interfered with her performance. The pregnancy had a lot of problem and she sat while due and had problems while sitting her exams,” she added.
Editor’s note: *We have changed her name to protect her identity because she is a minor and rape victim. Well-wishers can reach her through firstname.lastname@example.org