While hundreds of students were escorted by their parents and guardians to report back to school last week 17-year-old Winnie Odhiambo had just been evicted from her home a week earlier.
The Nyamira Girls School student, has been forced to seek shelter at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) where her mother has been admitted since June.
He mother was diagnosed with congestive cardiac failure or heart failure, a chronic condition in which the heart does not pump blood as well as it should.
Ms Odhiambo’s mother is currently in intensive care unit (ICU) and can neither speak nor open her eyes, she said.
The girl while interviewed by Nation Centre narrated how she was forced to sell her mother’s little belongings to raise fare for her younger sister to travel to their rural home in Ugenya to live with a neighbour.
“During the day I walk around seeking help and at night I go back to the hospital where the security people who know about my situation have given me a bench to sleep,” she narrated.
Winnie scored 401 marks in her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam and received a scholarship from Equity Bank’s Wings to Fly programme but had been given until Friday to report back to school or lose the scholarship.
‘I have been told to report back to school by the end of the week or I will lose my scholarship, all I’m asking is for someone to help me raise fare back to school and the medical balance,” she appealed.
She said all she wanted was cash to cater for her mother’s hospital bill and her fare to go back to school and finish her education.
Well-wishers have since raised Sh730,000 out of the Sh800,000 that KNH said she needed to raise after it reduced the amount from the initial Sh2.4 million.
The reduction followed the intervention of Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris.
“The Women Rep wrote a letter to Afya House requesting for them to waive the hospital fees and operate my mother and they instead reduced it to Sh800,000,” Winnie said.
Others who came through for her include Nairobi Senator Sakaja Johnson, who donated Sh80,000, Kesses MP Swarup Mishra Sh150,000 and Lamu Senator Anwar Loitiptip Sh120,000.
A local Church and Equity’s Wings to Fly also made unspecified donations.
All the money being donated has been paid directly to the hospital as she is underage and could not be allowed to open a paybill account without a guardian.
Her mother was at the time of her diagnosis running a kiosk at Racecourse estate in Nairobi while her father died when she was only 12.
Winnie currently depends on well-wishers to survive after being kicked out by their landlord earlier this month.