A visually impaired single mother of seven living in abject poverty in Cheptuyet village in Bureti sub-county, Kericho is appealing to well-wishers to rescue her from her interminable plight by fostering her children, four of whom are blind.
Speaking to Opera News at her mud-walled house overlooking River Kapranya, Beatrice Chepngetich said she has lost all hope of seeing all her children access education as she was also not in a position to provide for their basic needs.
The 45-year-old mother makes a startling revelation that two of her neighbours have taken in two of her children into their homes.
“I was born blind in a family of seven. Four of my siblings are visually impaired. Both of my parents are still alive. My mother is blind.
I have no words to express my gratitude to my neighbours who on their own volition decided to take two of my boys to live with them. I visit them occasionally and I am happy that they rescued my children from the jaws of abject poverty. I have never gone to school and I want my children to have a bright future,” said Chepngetich.
With tears welling in her eyes, as she prepared a midday meal of boiled dry maize for her family, the undeterred mother despite her condition wants all her children to acquire good education for them to lead productive live states that she is not in a position to provide for despite being a cash transfer beneficiary in the orphans and vulnerable children program (CT-OVC).
“I do casual jobs but the money that I earn is too little to raise fees for my children to leave alone to feed them well. I have been a cash transfer beneficiary from 2013 but the money I receive is not enough to cater for all my children’s basic needs.
I supplement this by working as a tea picker but this is a job that comes by just once a month. Here I get paid Sh8 per kg and I can only manage to pick 4 kilograms of tea. I also do laundry twice a week and I get paid Sh100. I also can manage to till my neighbours’ shambas where I get paid Sh100 when I work for five hours,” said Chepngetich.
After her husband threw her out of their matrimonial home in 2012 in Molo sub-county, Nakuru, Chepngetich left with all her children to start a new life. Her house located 25km from Ngoina road stands on a 0.05acres, a gift from a well-wisher.
“I used to live in a one-room rental mabati house for Sh650 but I found myself sleeping out in the cold with my children after I could not raise the rent. This was after my husband threw me out of our home after he brought home a new wife.
A well-wisher gave me Sh50, 000 and with it, I was able to purchase my piece of land measuring 0.05 acres which cannot be cultivated as it is too small to produce crops to sell in the market,” said Chepngetich.
She said her eldest son Victor Kiprono is 18year while those following him aged 12, 7 and 5 were born blind and it was her prayer that they enrol into a special school where they could learn using Braille.
In an interview with Mama Chepngetich’s neighbour Josephine Soi who has adopted her 16-year-old son, she said despite being a mother of eight children, she took the boy into her family and does not regret having him adding that he is well disciplined and bright in school.
“My house is about 2km from Mama Chepngetich. I recall the boy coming to my house at around 1pm and found me doing some household chores outside my house. He said he was looking for a job as his family and himself had not eaten anything the previous day. I first gave him food to eat and afterwards I packed for him some foodstuffs to take to his family,” said Soi.
“The following day, he came back to my house and I asked him to stay with my other children. I enrolled him to school at Mindililwet primary school and he is currently in class five. I always monitor his academics and I also attend parents’ meetings at his school and he is always among the top10 in his class. His mother often comes to visit her son,” said Soi.
Mama Soi reveals that her oldest child is 28 years and her youngest 12 and appeals to people of goodwill to come and assist her neighbour so that her children could lead meaningful and productive lives.