ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PROGRAM
We are most of all a FREE elementary school in the Kawangware Slum of Nairobi. Nearly 200 orphans or vulnerable children come to our school every day for an education and two healthy meals. You – our donors - pay for a daily breakfast of amaranth and fruit (usually bananas) and the Nairobi Hari Krishna Temple brings a healthy vegetarian lunch (usually lentils and rice) every single day of the week.
We pay rent for our ten classrooms and one kitchen, as well as the salaries for our eleven teachers. There is currently no other free public school option for these children. We provide our students with clothes and uniforms whenever possible, including shoes and sports shoes. With a ten percent discount from the Nairobi TextBook Centre, we are also able to provide enough text books for our students to share and keep up with the Kenyan National curriculum.
We try to give each child an exercise book and a pencil at the start of each term for homework and class notes. Even if new school supplies and uniforms are not as plentiful as we would like, we continue to offer a good quality, truly free education for some of Kenya’s most disadvantaged children. We must specifically thank Ken Matye, Gail Craddock and Teresa and Gerry Ferguson for their long standing monthly donations that keep us afloat.
SPONSORED STUDENTS IN SECONDARY SCHOOL
We have maintained a program of sponsoring “the most worthy” from our student graduates of the national 8th grade exams onto 4 years of secondary school at a boarding facility within Kenya. This is a complicated decision based on what our teachers and administrators know of the students who take the Kenyan Certificate of Elementary education exams every year. They look at who is most needy, who is most serious, and who can find something else positive to do with their life, etc. We may well have to cancel this scholarship program for this December’s graduating class. But still we have about 20 kids sponsored into boarding schools for high school around Kenya at this time.
We also have about 5 orphans who have come to our attention as being in need of elementary education, but not living near our Kawangware campus who we support to live with their aunts or uncles in elementary schools ‘up-country.’
We even have a rolling micro-finance loan fund thanks to Oscar Brookins. Our Kenyan Director Andrew Martin Omondi is supervising the first high school graduating class to develop a small entrepreneurial business and pay back their seed money in time for this December’s class. That way the next class can establish their own business together. In 2015 we graduated 6 young men with good high school grades, but they still cannot afford to go on to attend a University, so we lent them money to start a second hand clothing business. Now four of them are working hard to repay their micro loan by December. We have found a strength in friendly competition between these “brothers-in-arms” and our fingers are crossed for next year.
Thanks to Plan Kenya, our teachers have been able to develop a ‘table-top banking’ program to help supplement their meager salaries so they can continue their work teaching our precious students.
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