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Fee distress pushed my father to attempting suicide – Kenyan student

Joyce Melio at Oldonyonyokie Girls School in Kajiado County during the interview on August,17,2021. She is asking well-wishers to support her education.
Photo credit: Moraa Obiria | Nation Media Group

Joyce Melio, 15, dreams of becoming a lawyer. Her aspiration, however, hangs on the edges of a cliff.

The eldest of five siblings is uncertain of completion of her education as her father cannot afford to see her through secondary school.

She sat her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education at Oldonyonyokie Primary School, in Kajiado County scoring 264 marks. She was later admitted to Olooseos Girls Secondary School, an extra-County boarding school in the same county.

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Melio, however, says her father could not raise either fees or money for the basic necessities to enrol in the school.

She didn’t know her persistent inquiries on the money to take her to high school could drive him into taking a tickicide, in an attempt to kill himself and escape from the distress of his inability to educate his daughter.

Luckily, he was rushed to a nearby hospital before the poison ravaged him.

“My father was so stressed that he took dip (a tickicide) but he survived. He is still recuperating,” Melio says after a two-minute silence following query on his whereabouts.

Her former primary school head teacher Patrick Sayianka has now volunteered to be her guardian and seek for sponsors to see her through school.

Boarding school

Mr Sayianka got her a place at Oldonyonyokie Girls Secondary School, where she is a day scholar. Melio, however, wishes to be a boarder in the school. She says they often sleep hungry at home.

The lack in their home, she says, pushed her younger brother to drop out of school to look for herding jobs away from home. She says her father sold the only donkey he had to buy her the uniform and shoes.

“There is nothing else remaining,” she says, blankly staring into the air.

Her desire is to lift her family out of poverty. “I want my family to live a good life,” she says.

“I humbly request for support to finish school so I can become a lawyer and help my family.”

Mr Sayianka describes her as a well-disciplined girl, focused on finishing school.

“I don’t want to see Joyce fall into the trap of early marriage because she cannot afford to complete school. She has a great potential of changing the lives of other girls in this community. Let’s support her and one day, she will be the one to help others access education,” says Mr Sayianka.

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