Raped and now raising a child, Anne* is staring at another misfortune as she is not sure whether she will pursue her secondary education.
Having sat her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination last year while eight-and-half-months pregnant and having missed most of the third term, the 15-year-old scored an impressive 376 marks at Ruaraka Academy.
Her school says she had always been their top pupil, including scoring 441 marks just before the KCPE exams, but the rape and the ensuing pregnancy derailed her.
She has been called to Chania Girls High School in Thika.
But even as other students started to report to new schools on Monday, the future looks bleak for Anne.
A partial orphan, she lost her mother at a tender age and her father is not able to raise enough money for her school fees and other needs.
The student is still at their single-roomed house at Marurui in Ruaraka.
“She is our immediate neighbour here where they stay near Wings of Compassion. She is still at home. It is not possible for her to go to school as the father cannot afford the needed school fees. Now that the schools have opened, she locks herself in a room with her baby crying, wishing help would come her way,” says Ms Dorcas Kang’ethe from Wings of Compassion, the organisation that has been helping her take care of her child.
She says that the girl told them that she was raped in March last year as she was going for shopping one night by a man who was still unknown, as he had just relocated in the neighbourhood.
“The girl disclosed the rape detail when it was too late. It was in early August when she became sickly. The man had threatened her not to say anything about the incident before raping her. The girl said she had been seeing the man idling in the area and he was a stranger to her. The chief was informed but the father was told to wait until the daughter had given birth,” says Ms Kang’ethe.
But Ms Kang’ethe states that Anne is ready to go to school and has gone through medical check-up, and the organisation has found a relative, her maternal grandmother, to look after the baby.
“We have been able to talk to the principal to ask for more time for her to report. We have asked for a week or so as we try to find help for her. The fee alone is Sh40,165 for first term minus shopping. So in total, first term money can go to about Sh100, 000,” she says.
Ms Kang’ethe says that Anne has been living with her father, a casual labourer, since her mother died when she was only three years old and she only started schooling after Ruaraka Academy took her in.
“The school heard about her plight and sponsored her from Class One to Eight. The father lives with two other children: Anne’s elder brother, who is sponsored by another person and goes to a day school in Nakuru, and the girl’s step sister,” says Ms Kang’ethe.
She says that Wings of Compassion helped her during her pregnancy and has been helping ever since.
Ms Kang’ethe says Anne gave birth on November 23, two weeks after KCPE and she was sitting her exams while due and the complications, stress and pressure accompanying her situation affected her eventual performance. She had been the top student all through.
“She was too traumatised and this interfered with her performance. The pregnancy had a lot of problem and she sat while due and had problems while sitting her exams,” she added.
Editor’s note: *We have changed her name to protect her identity because she is a minor and rape victim. Well-wishers can reach her through [email protected]