Learning backwards is a rare occurrence in the world but to 17 year old Jessica Kadzo, moving from form three to form one is a journey she has to undertake if she is to post better grades.

The girl from a poor background has had a shaky study moment ever since she joined FB Tuva Secondary school in 2021 where she ended up spending most of her school days at home due to lack of school fees.

A visit to her makeshift home at Timboni area in Kilifi North Sub County, Kilifi County, the homestead painted a picture of a destitute family struggling with every inch of life.

Jessica Kadzo(left) and her sister Lilian Sidi(right) at their home in Timboni area, Kilifi County. Jessica is seeking help to join form one at Ngala Girls high school in Watamu after dropping out in form three at FB Tuva Secondary school due to lack of school fees. Photo by KTMN Coast correspondent, KTMN.

Jessica told journalists that they sometimes go for days without food and that a well-wisher helped her get admission at Ngala Girls Secondary School to restart her studies in form one but lack of funds has threatened her chances.

She was initially attending FB Tuva Secondary school which is 17 kilometers from her home and together with her sister Lilian Sidi who is in form one in the same school, they used to wake up at 3:00 am and walk to school.

They most of the time were sent away from school for lack of school fees despite risking their lives walking to school at dawn but the suffering did not dampen their resolve to become a medical doctor and a teacher respectively.

Jessica and her family wash clothes for people to get some money which too is not promising and she has been attending school only twice in a week.

“I walk around looking for menial jobs to try and get something to take to school but it has never yielded anything and I almost gave up in life only to be saved by a lady who took me in,” she said.

Jessica is now appealing to help to enable her to have an uninterrupted study at Ngala Girls Secondary school so that she can fulfill her dream of becoming a medical doctor.

The teenager and her family vacated Garashi area in Magarini Sub County after the 2018 floods swept away their land, leaving them homeless. The grave of her late father was also swept away by the raging waters.

Her mother, Kasichana Karisa has been burning charcoal to raise fees but the venture is not paying up as she says she ends up being conned by middle men.

“We were displaced by floods in 2018 and I have been doing charcoal burning to get money but it is not easy since I make very little money not enough for food,” she said.

At Timboni, the two sisters stay with their auntie Janet Kazungu who is the sister to their mother but the burden is too heavy for since she is also a squatter after having fled the floods in Garashi.

“We moved here after getting displaced by floods in Garashi and my husband does menial jobs to raise Sh. 1,000 to pay for this little place we’re staying since it is not our land. Sometimes he gets some money, but most of the time he comes back empty handed,” said Janet.

Mrs Rose Mwikali, the well- wisher said that she met the girls walking to school and was saddened to learn that they were covering long distances only to be sent back for lack of school fees.

She took Jessica in and has been helping her but her hands are currently tied since she has to attend to her ailing mother.

“I was touched by the girls’ plight after meeting them walking to school one very dark morning and I had to stop and talk to them and that is when I realized that they walk tens of kilometers to school and most of the time they are sent back home,” she said.

She is appealing for help for the girls to enable them attain their goals in life.

By Treeza Auma

Treeza Auma is a Digital Content Producer and founder of https://www.ktmn.co.ke KTMN She is also Television journalist at Kenya News Agency and Leadership Accelerator at Women in News.

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