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Getting Irene Registered for School

Irene is in grade 7 at a primary school in eastern Kenya. She loves going to school and wants to study hard to become a doctor. But her dream was in jeopardy because she was unable to sit the national exam needed to move on to grade 8. This was because her birth had not been registered, which meant she was ineligible to take the test.

Irene getting her birth certificate

Irene’s parents never registered her birth because they didn’t realise that doing so gives a child a legal identity that proves who they are and how old they are.

I could not go to school and prepare for my final exams. My teacher said I have to repeat because I was not registered.

So Irene’s grandmother made the gruelling 50 kilometre journey to the nearest registry office. She was met with long queues and only one government official. Frustrated, she returned home empty handed.

Unregistered Kenyan children are usually unable to enroll in school or take national exams. Through our Count Every Child programme and advocacy work, we worked with the government to provide local officials with the skills they need to better serve their communities. Plan International also organised mobile registration drives to bring services to communities like Irene’s.

Irene was one of the 1,161 beneficiaries of a mobile registration event held in Kikumini, which meant she was registered and then able to finally sit her exams without a problem.