Challenges Facing the Community
Education is not free in Kenya. In village primary school ‘s they take maize for lunchtime porridge, in secondary schools there are fees. A village secondary day school would typically be 15,000KSh(£110)a year, and a local boarding school 45,000Ksh (£350) a year. Families often prefer a child to board as there is often no electricity at home, and homework is by paraffin light, often the family cannot afford oil. Many families also have extremely cramped living conditions. In addition there is the cost of uniform. No child can attend without uniform.
Without support the children from these poor families either do not start school or they have to drop out part way through. When this happens they face a future of continued hardship with little hope of improved quality of life.
A father and family from Kianjai where the mother had just died from an illness aggravated by the famine.
None of the children were at school.
Our Education Program
Since 2012 we have worked closely with the local community to enable Kianjai children to complete secondary or polytechnic education. Our fund gives disadvantaged families hope that their child can gain an education, and have greater hope for the future. Sponsorship is not primarily based on academic levels, but on the level of family hardship. We support children that are both moving up from primary school, plus children that are in secondary education but in danger of dropping out. An education committee in Kianjai oversees the distribution of these funds. The committee comprises of the Head teachers from 11 secondary schools, and 2 polytechnics, and representatives from the local churches, . The role of the church representatives is to advise the Board of poor families that might require support, all children are considered regardless of denomination.
We are currently supporting over 300 children based in 11 secondary schools and 2 polytechnics within the Kianjai and Thau circuits. In addition we sponsor 100% of boarding school fees to 42 children from families living with HIV/Aids.
To minimise the risk of families becoming aid dependent and abdicating their own responsibility, we give a % of fees wherever possible rather than the full amount. The family situation is assessed and a child is given between 25% - 100% of the fees. Priority is given to children who are part way through school or polytechnic, but who are having to drop out due to their families inability to continue paying.
We are delighted that since 2016 this program has been supported by Oliver and Learn.
UK Trustees Caroline Newton and Sally Livsey meet our sponsored students.