She was forced to be househelp at 14, but now set for a master’s in England

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From a former househelp to a rising scholar, Janeth Jepleting’s story is one of hope, hard work and grit.

Ms Jepleting is the first-born in a family of seven children in Kilibwoni Ward, Nandi County, and the only one with a university degree.

She was recently admitted to the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom to pursue a master’s degree in international security, which she says will enable her to play a role in tackling terror threats to the country.One of her relatives decided to marry her off, and a young man was brought to her so that they could get to know each other better. “When I discovered that I was going to be married off, I ran away. But by then I was already pregnant,” she said.

The pregnancy pushed her to look for a job since her mother could not feed her and a baby. So, at 14, she began working as a househelp for a family.

From her Sh1,500 salary, she saved Sh500 every month for furthering her education. After two years on the job, she felt it was time to move on.When I told my bosses that I was going back to school, they thought that I had found someone to pay me better. I did not argue with them, but left for home soon after to convince my mother to look after my son,” she said. Her mother eventually took her son in, but his paternal grandparents took him from her, hoping that Jepleting would marry their son after she completed her secondary education.

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