The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Orphan Gets Wings, Flies to Kabarnet High

A Trans Mara orphan will now join secondary school after he received a scholarship from Equity Bank. Wycliffe Sankale Ketere, 15, a former pupil of Olongoloto primary school is one of 25 Trans Mara beneficiaries of Equity's 'Wings to Fly' programme.

Kilgoris Equity Bank branch manager Julius Sasai said Sankale repeated Standard Eight last year after he got 290 marks in the KCPE exam of 2011. Sankale got 324 marks last year.

"Equity Bank had set a pass mark of 350 marks for all pupils who intended to benefit from the programme countrywide. We requested that the pass mark be lowered to 330 marks so that pupils from Trans Mara where academic levels are low per could also get a chance," said Sasai.

He was speaking in Kilgoris town on Friday. Sasai said despite the mark being lowered Sankale still fell short of the requirement. "That is when he got disillusioned and decided to run away from home after expressing disappointment to family members," Sasai said.

Sankale fled to the Masai Mara where he intended to commit suicide. Sasai said that members of the community traced the boy to the park. Sankale told villagers he "did not see the need of being alive any more" because his poor uncle could not take him to school.

"When his case was brought to the Equity Bank District Scholarship Selection Board we were really touched by his story and decided that the boy, who had been admitted to Kabarnet High School, should be considered despite falling short of the pass mark by six marks," said Sasai.

He said that 14 out of the 25 pupils who received the scholarships in Trans Mara are orphans while the rest are from poor backgrounds. Sasai appealed to well wishers to assist the many children who were left out. "It was not easy to come up with the list of 25 because there were many other deserving cases."

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