A 14-year-old girl who did her 2017 KCSE exam at Simatwa Primary School in Kong’elai Division, West Pokot County and garnered 325 marks has offered to sell her kidney to raise fees to join form one.
Naomi Chepkemoi, who is from a single parent family, lives with her jobless father Mr. Michael Sande who has been suffering from diabetes for nine years now. We got up with her in Simatwa village, Riwo ward while collecting firewood.
Chepkemoi said she lost hope of joining her dream school, St. Cecilia Chepareria Girls, after trying to seek help since the exam results were released. Chepkemoi said that efforts to get help have hit a snag after approaching many people in the area, adding that she is ready to sell her kidney in exchange for school fees. “I feel confused and uncomfortable because all my friends have already joined Form One. My sick father is unable to raise the fees required,” she said.
She said her science teacher taught her that a person can survive with one kidney.
Her dream of becoming a lawyer so that she can help girls in her Pokot community looks bleak if she doesn’t join Form One. “I’m ready to sell any of my organs because I’ve tried to apply for bursaries but I’ve failed so far. I urge anyone who needs a kidney transplant to come for one in exchange for my school fees,” she said.
She said her uncles wanted to marry her off in order to get dowry.
Chepkemoi, who is the fourth child in a family of five, said in her community girls are inducted into forced marriages and aren’t allowed to go to school. “My other three sisters were forcefully married off when they were still young,” she said.
She is now appealing to well-wishers to help her raise forty thousand shillings according to the fees structure.
Pastor Musa Losiang’ole said the girl is a disciplined and good girl even in church, adding that if she gets sponsorship, her dreams will be fulfilled. “We fear she may be forced to undergo retrogressive practices like female genital mutilation and early forced marriage in the community,” said Losiang’ole.
Her school headteacher Mr. Samson Abura said that they allowed her to learn for free in the school because she was bright, even though she came from a poor background.