Sarah Chepkoech: Surmounting challenges despite disability to become a role model
Written by Shillah Mwadosho
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Sarah Chepkoech from Sarur village in Nandi who got disabled through polio, the only one educated in a family of five, she defies all odds to provide for her three year old daughter. Photos/ Shillah mwadosho.
Sarah Chepkoech is a 31 year old lady who is disabled and mentally retarded in a small village called Sarur in Nandi South district.
Amongst her five elder siblings she is the only child who attended school till class eight at St. Peters Kobujoi School for the disabled.
She was however, impregnated and because of that and fee problem, she was forced to stay at home where she delivered a child Emmaculate Chepchumba who is now 3 years and in nursery school.
Sarah with her mum, Rachel Koech who is seated with her daughter Emmaculate Chepchumba.
I met her at their home where she stays with her mother Rachael Koech and Sister Jennifer Sang who is a blessing to her as she helps her in so many ways she says, “She helps me wash my clothes, makes sure I am clean every morning, and ensures that I take my meals on time daily.”
The family has been raised by their single mother through difficulties but Chepkoech says through the grace of God her mother gathered a few coins by working in the garden for other people and also by selling sweet potatoes and cassava which she plants.
Since Chepkoech left school she has been knitting ‘vitambaa’ using her feet at her leisure time as she can’t do much at home which she sells to raise money to help her child in school.
As I continue with the conversation to her mother through a translation by Sarah, she says that at a tender age of Sarah she gave her herbal medicine but when the condition of Chepkoech worsened and taken to the hospital, polio had affected her already.
She adds that she is proud of Chepkoech as she is a jovial child, obedient and very willing to learn.
“With her education as the only child who attended school in the family and has the ability to knit I see great potential in her and I believe one day she will be a well known tailor not only for ‘vitambaa’ but also sweaters and other things she will eventually learn.”
Chepkoech herself hopes that she will get somebody to assist her continue with her education.