Girl, 17, who wrote distress letter to Uhuru returns to school, additional contributions to be credited to her account

By Brian Okoth On Wed, 18 Nov, 2020 12:31 | 2 mins read
A screenshot of Philomena Mutheu’s letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta. [PHOTO | COURTESY]
A screenshot of Philomena Mutheu’s letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta. [PHOTO | COURTESY]
Editor's Review
    Mutheu’s plight caught the attention of many Kenyans on social media after a copy of her letter addressed to President Uhuru Kenyatta went viral.

Financially-distressed 17-year-old Form Four student at St. Mary’s School, Kithangaini in Machakos County, Philomena Mutheu, has returned to school after her tuition fee balance was footed, the institution’s Deputy Principal, Alex Mwaka Matheka, has told K24 Digital.

Mutheu’s plight caught the attention of many Kenyans on social media after a copy of her letter addressed to President Uhuru Kenyatta went viral.

In the letter, the teenager highlighted the challenges she was going through, including fee problems and mental restlessness.

“My name is Philomena Mutheu, 17 years old, a Form Four candidate at St. Mary’s School, Kithangaini. I am a total orphan going through a lot of unbearable challenges. I am [currently] not in school, I was sent home one week ago due to unpaid school fees and other basic needs,” Mutheu wrote in her letter dated November 6, 2020 and addressed to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“I am always [among] Top Ten [performers] in my class. I have nobody to assist me, this has led to a lot of stress and depression. I aspire to be a teacher, but I have lost hope in life. I need a lot of guidance and counselling to gain strength [to overcome my plight],” said Mutheu.

After her letter circulated on social media platforms, including WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter, Machakos Governor Dr Alfred Mutua offered to foot her school fees.

The county boss on Wednesday, November 18 said he had cleared Mutheu’s fee balance, which stood at 26,958 as of Tuesday, November 17.

And now, the Deputy Principal of St. Mary’s School, Kithangaini, Alex Mwaka Matheka, confirms that the teenager is back in school.

“Actually, she returned to the school late last week. She had written the letter nearly two weeks ago, only that it took time to go viral online,” said Matheka.

“Immediately after we learnt that she had penned down her financial plight, I personally reached out to her sister and brother, whom she lives with here in Machakos, and agreed that they let her return to school as they work on ways of raising the balance, which stood at Ksh39,000 at the time,” said Matheka.

On who has been paying Philomena’s school fees, the deputy principal said: “a certain non-governmental organisation [has been taking care of her financial needs]. Actually, we have always known the organisation to be the girl’s guardian.”

Matheka said “more than enough money” has been sent to the school to foot the girl’s school fee balance, and that “the surplus will go towards improving her welfare, both at school and after she sits her KCSE exam”.

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