Gladys Chelimo has astounded many who may have written her off, today she straddles the education landscape that has eluded her for nearly sixteen years.
Chelimo who scored 342 marks in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), first sat her class eight examinations in the year 2000. She scored 446 marks out of 700 and was admitted to Kapkoiga girls in Uasin Gishu County.
But she could not honor the offer on account of her poor background and lack of school fees, biting poverty forced her out of her dream.
Fast forward, and in 2016 at a time when the Wings to Fly is its second phase, the 30 year old wife and mother of four has become a proud recipient of wings to fly scholarship.
Marriage and getting children gave a temporary refuge. Her husband a person living with disability is also landless and even as they lived in rented abodes Chelimo went back to school.
“Since we are both unemployed, and given the condition of my husband, I have to continuously assist him eking for the family,” said Chelimo a mother of four children and whose first born is in class 6.
“All along I knew that education opens doors to a better future,” she
The 30 year old decided to go back to school last year enrolling for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination at Kipchawat adult education centre in Keiyo North of Elgeyo Marakwet County and managed to get 342 points becoming the leading adult education learner in the county.
And with this has come the Wings to Fly scholarship that will see Chelimo pursue her education to highest level in her life.
“I received the passing of my examinations with mixed emotions of joy and sadness as my efforts to a better future had looked bleak,” she observed and added, “My dream is to provide a better future for my family and especially my children whom I would not want them to go through the challenges I have been through like dropping out of school due to lack of school fees.”
And from a total of 260 students who had applied for the scholarship from Elgeyo Marakwet County, Chelimo is among the 30 who qualified.
“I cannot express my feelings, I only thank God as He has answered my prayers. Promise to work hard and not to let my sponsors down,” she said.
Chelimo now joins Sing’ore Girls High School in Elgeyo Markwet County.
Iten Equity Branch manager Albert Kiprop said they decided to give her an exception especially after visiting her home saying with education she would be able to transform the state of her family.
“The board concurred that given a chance she would expand the opportunities for her family as education is key in unlocking the potential within her,” he said.