More bright students from disadvantaged backgrounds are set to continue benefiting from the scholarship as others graduated from school last year. Emily Gatakaa, a recent beneficiary, sat for her Kenya Cer- tificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in 2018, something she says would not have been possible had she not received the scholar- ship.

“I come from a family of six children. My parents have been unemployed, and they are in their late 50s. I am certain without the scholarship I would not have gone to secondary school,” she says.

Emily is from Tharaka, in Tharaka Nithi Coun ty. She went to Kamariro Primary School in her village.

“I had a drive to learn. I always wanted a good education. I did not want to be among girls who got married after failing in school,” Emily says.

After sitting for her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in 2014, Emily found herself wondering what would happen next. “My parents did not have money. They have never had an income. They are peasant farmers. I was worried that I would not progress with my education,” she adds.

Emily decided to visit “a certain old man who I had seen implement some projects at our school,” she shares. Rev. Julius Mungania, a clergyman, told Emily that he could help her get a scholarship for bright students from unfortunate backgrounds.

“The scholarship required that I perform well and maintain a good performance throughout the course of the scholarship.”

When the KCPE results came out, Emily had scored 342 marks out of 500. Through Rev. Mungania, Emily successfully applied for the scholarship. Owing to steady good performance, Emily maintained the scholarship throughout high school. The scholarship is managed by the Kenya Community Develop- ment Foundation (KCDF) through which stu- dents can apply.

“This is a partial scholarship that supports bright needy students as well as deserving learners,” says Caesar Ngule, the Programmes Director at KCDF.

In Emily’s case the scholarship catered for Kes. 110, 000, half of Emily’s school fees, from Form one to Form four. Emily still has arrears today amounting to Kes. 71, 000, owed to her former school, Njuri High School. “I plan to pay the school as soon as I start earning after graduating,” she says.

After scoring a B+ in last year’s KCSE, Emily received an admission letter to study Nursing at Egerton University through the Joints Admissions Board (JAB). Her fees in the univer- sity will be heavily subsidized and paid with loans from Higher Education Loans Board (HELB).

“I am very happy. I see a bright future ahead: not the doom and gloom of the yester-years,” she shares. The scholarship targets students in Form one for a maximum period of four years. “Those who qualify can go to our website for more information on the scholarship fund,” advises Caesar.

Approximately 24 students, in various parts of the country, sat for their KCSE in 2018 as recipients of the scholarship.