Thursday morning was normal to many except for the Kakamega principal, Mr Gerald Orina. Mr Orina woke up early in the morning in preparation for the day’s activities as the head of an institution just like another normal day. He was however alarmed when he approached the school on finding teachers gathered at the reception chanting. Like any other head, he went to the reception to inquire about what was happening.
On inquiry, one of the teachers came forward pointing at a barefooted boy in a green short and a faded brown t-shirt saying: “Sir, here is your Christmas and New Year gift.”
Concerned, the principal went ahead to inquire more about his unusual ‘present’. The 15-year old boy George Ingatwa Atonya was a pupil from Sasimon village, Nandi Central. The boy passed well soaring 390 marks in his KCPE was expected to join Kakamega high school.
Despite coming from a poor family, the boy went ahead to persuade a Boda Boda rider to take him to his dream school. George’s 72km journey to his dream school, however, started in the early chilly mornings. George had come to plead with the principal to allow him to join the school despite his financial state.
“This is how the whole drama unfolded, but we are happy that the boy got here safely and was courageous enough to take the risk that has brought to light his plight,” said Mr Orina.
George sat for his KCPE last year at Kipsugur Primary School. As he explains, his life has not been a bed of roses especially after the death of his father. He lives with his mother Jesicah Chekuku and his sister Irene.
George further explains that his sister has been in and out of school due to lack of school fees. Irene, a form three student at Friends School Ileho has to walk a distance of 15km daily. She studies as a day scholar and has to walk three hours a day but despite the fact she has continued to soldier on.
George also stated that the situation at his home is worse. They barely eat a meal a day. A teacher who was sent by the principal to the boys home also confirmed that their situation is dire. Joy Mocho, the teacher sent has said that the boy was being supported by teachers in his primary school. The teachers used to buy him food and always encouraged him to work hard.
The boy’s plight was posted on social media via the school’s social media handles. Shortly after it was posted, the Kakamega Old Boys Association were among the first to acknowledge that they would help the boy. The principal is, however, still looking for more sponsorships to help George achieve his goals.