A Kenyan woman and her two-month-old daughter are currently stranded in Saudi Arabia due to lack of travel documents.
Gladys Bonareri Gekonge traveled to the Middle East nation in February this year and only discovered she was pregnant after arriving.
In September, she gave birth to a baby girl and named her Precious Kerubo Bonareri. She was hospitalized for some time after delivery.
When she was discharged, Gladys decided to travel back home but she could not afford to buy an air ticket.
Dr. Isaac Newton Kinity, the former Secretary-General of the Kenya Civil Servants Union volunteered to pay for her airfare after someone sent an online appeal on her behalf.
But there was another hurdle—she did not have a passport for her newborn daughter while hers was withheld by a Kenyan partner agency in Saudi Arabia called Rwasi. She was able to get back her passport from the agency.
Gladys reached out to the Kenyan Embassy in Riyadh seeking to obtain a passport for her baby but officials demanded she provides a marriage certificate; which she does not have as she has never been married.
Attempts by Dr. Kinity to reach the embassy through email and phone numbers provided on its website were unsuccessful.
“She is now stranded in Arabia. I have twice emailed the Kenyan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia using the email provided on the internet (email@example.com) but I have had no reply. I have tried to call the two Embassy telephone numbers (966114881238 and 966114882484) provided on the internet but the numbers do not get through. I do not know why the Embassy would not solve such a small issue,” Dr. Kinity said.
He added: “I have not asked the Embassy to pay for her air ticket, but all I have been pleading with the Embassy has been to assist the lady with the travel documents of her infant baby so that she can travel back home. I am appealing to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to intervene to help this lady who is stuck in Saudi Arabia. She only needs travel documents for her infant baby. I will help her with the rest.”