Outcry helps to secure visa for African orphan

Newspapers in Shropshire have been credited with helping secure a visa for an Aids orphan from Kenya.

Opiyo, 15, was turned down by the British High Commission in Nairobi
last month. Her story was picked up by the Shropshire Star, followed by
the Whitchurch Herald, BBC Midlands and The Daily Telegraph.

had been due to take up a scholarship at the Thomas Adams School in
Wem, Shropshire, run in partnership with a Kenyan secondary school.
North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson supported the campaign, lobbying
education secretary Ruth Kelly.

Officials backed down and Opiyo is expected back at school this week.

Stephens, headteacher at the Thomas Adams School, said: “It’s put an
end to six hellish hard weeks and I’d like to thank Owen Paterson and
the media for doing a fantastic job.”

Andrew Bowan, editor of the
Whitchurch Herald, said: “It wasn’t going to cost anyone to have this
girl stay and give the child a chance in life. This seemed to be
everyone’s view bar the Narobi embassy, who were then beaten into
submission by public opinion.”

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