Nancy Aluoch with her mother Esther Awour washing clothes  PHOTO|Stanley Ngotho

Nancy, 14, was the best student in a little-known academy in Kitengela township, where she was sponsored and achieved 367 marks in the 2021 KCPE exams. After years of trekking more than 25 kilometers to and from a public elementary school in Athi River, Machakos County, she was granted the opportunity to join them at Golden Plains Academy.

Her outstanding achievement gained her a spot in form one at Moi Girls Nairobi, a dream that now seems unreachable due to her family’s severe poverty.

Nancy, the fourth child in a family of six, has been forced to look for other options since the results of the 2021 KCPE examinations were released. In order to keep her ambition of becoming an accountant alive, she and her mother have been exploring the neighborhood for small jobs to help pay for her form one school fees.

I woke up by 5am, read a little bit to make my mind alert before accompanying my mother in search of menial jobs. Sometimes we wash clients’ clothes until my whole body aches and becomes numb,” Nancy told the Nation.

Charles Okoth, the father, works as a casual laborer in a private flower firm and is preoccupied with paying tuition for their son at a local university and another daughter in secondary school, a responsibility he says has been difficult because he has to borrow money from friends to support his family.

Mr. Julius Mutembei, Nancy’s primary school head teacher, said the young girl was clever and had won the administration’s heart for sponsorship.