The Mike Simning Ndwara Scholarship Fund

$12,358 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 94 people in 66 months

To honor the memory of our good friend and pillar of the Gwangju, South Korea community, Mike's family and friends have set up a Scholarship fund for the Ndwara Community to support a girl through vocational or trade training.

For more information about the Ndwara Community, visit the website: Friends of the Ndwara Community Resource Centre.

Through his mother, Margaret Law, Mike became very involved with the Ndwara Community Resource Centre. To recognize his work with the Sungbin Girls' Orphanage in Gwangju and to honor his love for his daughter, Eunsol, all proceeds from the scholarship will allow a girl from the Ndwara community to attend vocational school after graduating from secondary school.

For every $2,000 raised, one local Ndwara girl can attend the two years of vocational school necessary to graduate and pursue successful careers such asbeautician, tailor, secretary, bookkeeper, soap makers, cookery or social work assistant. The criteria for awarding the scholarship will focus on the applicant's previous Ndwara community volunteer work and potential future Ndwara community involvement. The goal is to use the fund to help local girls succeed while continuing to build and strengthen the Ndwara community into the future.

The goal is to raise $10,000 that will be placed in an interest-bearing account that will allow the fund to be self-sustaining and to continue for many years to come.

If you are currently in South Korea and do not wish to use a credit card for your donation, click the "contact" button on this page, and Nancy can respond to you with Korean bank details.

Cash donations can be gifted in person in downtown Gwangju, South Korea, at The First Alleyway restaurant and at the Gwangju International Center (GIC).


광주 외국인커뮤니티를 창립하고 이끌어오며, 대들보 역할을 해 온 마이클 심닝 씨가 지난 2월 28일 별세하였습니다. 고인을 추모하기 위해 그의 가족과 친구들은 케냐 Ndwara 지역 여학생들을 위해 장학기금을 마련하고자 합니다.

생전에 고인은 어머니 마가렛 여사를 통해 알게 된 케냐의 Ndwara 지역센터를 오랫동안 도왔습니다. 뿐만 아니라, 광주에서도 자원봉사단을 꾸려 십여 년 동안 성빈애육원의 아이들을 위해 영어교육 활동 및 장학금 마련을 해왔습니다. 이렇듯 고인의 청소년을 위한 교육 자원봉사활동과 그의 딸 은솔 양을 사랑하는 마음을 기리며 장학기금 모금운동을 시작합니다.

Ndwara 지역에서 2년 과정의 직업학교를 다니는데 필요한 돈은 약 2천 달러(약 2,142,400.00원)입니다. 이 학교를 졸업한 후에는 미용사, 재단사, 비서, 회계원, 비누제조사, 요리사, 사회복지사와 같은 전문적인 일자리를 구할 수 있습니다. 장학금은 Ndwara 지역센터에서 자원활동을 한 경험이 있고, 장학금을 받은 이후에도 지속적으로 센터에서 활동을 할 수 있는 사람인지 판단하여 선정합니다. 총 1만 달러의 장학금을 모으는 것을 목표로 하여 Ndwara 지역의 청소년 여학생들이 자립할 수 있는 환경을 마련해주고, 이 지역의 미래를 이끌어갈 우수인재를 육성하고자 합니다.

고펀드(GoFund) 모금사이트는 신용카드로 결제가 됩니다. 기부를 원하시면, 이 페이지를 클릭하세요.

현금 기부는 광주 동구 충파 근처에 있는 The First Alleyway 음식점이나 금남로 3가 삼호센타 2층에 위치한 광주국제교류센터에 마련된 기부함에 정성을 모아주시면 됩니다.

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Hello folks!

It’s been a little while since my last update on the fund (, and I wanted to bring you up to speed on what Brenda (our first recipient) has been up to.

Brenda has been studying library and information science at Sigalala Polytechnic since September of 2015. She has been studying topics such as dissemination of information, information technology, publishing and book trade, management of library and other information centers, and many other topics related to becoming a librarian and managing a successful library. In the time since she started her studies, Brenda has been working hard, and has passed all her various exams with flying colors, receiving credit in each of her classes.

After doing well for these three terms, the next step for Brenda this past fall was time for her to start the practical internship portion of her education. She applied to and was accepted at a university library called KCA University Campus Library, located in Kisumu Town. She officially began the program on the 1st of September 2016, and it ran through November, and was supervised by a qualified and experienced librarian there. At the end of this three-month period her next step is to work at the Ndwara Community Library and apply the skills she has learned and gain experience. The eventual goal is for Brenda to work fulltime at the Ndwara Community Library as its main librarian, giving back to her community and helping her village to continue the growth of the library and community center.

Brenda had so much to say about her time in university and what the scholarship has meant to her:

“As the recipient of Michael Simming scholarship I wish to express my utmost gratitude and I am grateful for the opportunity I was given to learn and be empowered and be able to make a difference in the society and country where I was born and bred. As a result of this opportunity I have had the privilege and chance to attend college to study a course of my liking: Library and Information Science. At the end of my studies I am confident that I will be able to give back to the community and be an independent young woman capable of bringing positive change and making a positive impact. I am forever grateful to all who made this possible.”

As the administrator of the fund and a friend of Mike's, I wanted to express my gratitude to the friends of Mike all over the world who have made this possible, by giving to the Michael Simning Ndwara Scholarship Fund. Because of you, we are able to continue his mission of good works and building the community, not just in Gwangju, but around the world.

Thank you,

Nancy Harcar

P.S.: If you would like to learn more about Michael Simning, his affect on the Gwangju Community, and the history of the scholarship fund, here are some links to follow with posts or media mentions of the Michael or the program:

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The committee has chosen the first recipient of the Michael Simning Ndwara Scholarship Award. Here is a nice write-up on the winner from the the selection committee.

She wants to be a librarian! What a wonderful way to help the Ndwara Community sustain their community and continue the growth and good works of the Ndwara Library and Community Resource Center!

"Attached is the picture and a small personal bio of the first recipient of the Michael Simning Ndwara Scholarship Award.

Brenda Sharon Atieno
Nationality: Kenyan
Age: 20 years

Brenda is a second born in a family of 6 siblings. Brenda is a total orphan having lost both parents at an early age. With no parents she is currently staying with the uncle and volunteers as a Library intern at the Ndwara Community Resource centre. Her other siblings are at different stages of life with some having dropped out of school and others being assisted by well-wishers to attain some level of schooling.

She has had the formal education up to O-level with the help of well-wishers and friends. Brenda’s final year school fees in secondary school were paid by her friend’s father after her friend shared her story with her father. Having worked in the Library for the last 5 months she says that she has developed a passion for Librarianship and would like to pursue a career in library and information science.

Brenda is working very closely with the local primary school teachers and students in trying to help children improve their literacy knowledge. This collaborative effort includes a number of planned activities such as story book reading times, storytelling and playing interesting games with the children. Apart from that she also works with the Community Secondary school students and teachers and the whole community in providing library services.

Winner of the Michael Simning Ndwara Scholarship award:
Brenda won the hearts of the panel that was interviewing the applicants for the above scholarship award for many reasons and she had the highest marks possible.

1. She comes 3 Kilometers away from the Library where she volunteers her services and walks on foot to and from the Library every day.

2. She had the highest academic results that automatically gives her a chance to pursue A Diploma course in her chosen career

3. She was the only total orphan applicant in the group.

4. Has been working closely with the community in supporting the library services and literacy activities with the primary school children

5. She was passionate about life and enthusiastic about her work as a Librarian.

1. Reading novels
2. travelling
3. socializing
4. swimming

Please join me in congratulating Brenda for this prestigious achievement....

For more information about the Ndwara Community Resource Center and Library, please check out their website.

They are on Facebook too!
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A great big thank you goes out to Tim Whitman, owner of the First Alleyway Restaurant, for his recent donation of $1,500 towards the Mike Simning Ndwara Scholarship fund! Tim followed the 52-week money challenge (…/0/Documents/…/52Week.pdf) to save the last year to make his donation to the scholarship fund to honor his close friend and former business partner. He presented his donation to Margaret Law, Mike Simning's Mother, this past Sunday at the restaurant during brunch.

I would also like to thank GFN 98.7 Radio in Gwangju for their donation of $200 this past week. The Gwangju and Jeonam Branch of the 2014 Korea Producers’ & Directors’ Association gave a special posthumous award to Mike Simning for his efforts and contributions in expanding the roles of English media for expat communities in the region, as well as his tireless passion for the radio program City of Light. Arlo Matisz and Miyoung Kim, from GFN, and Margaret Law were there to accept the award on Michael's behalf. GFN generously donated the 200,000 won award money to the Mike Simning Scholarship Fund.
Mike and Tim at the First Alleyway.
Accepting the award on Michael's behalf.
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Hey folks! Here's an article in the Korea Herald about Alleycon 2014 that also mentions the Mike Simning Ndwara Scholarship Fund. Mike's fund was named as one of the official charities of the event and will receive a portion of the charitable monies raised at Alleycon.
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$12,358 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 94 people in 66 months
Created March 5, 2014
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Gwangju Performance Project
19 days ago
Andrew Eisenhart
32 months ago

Firstly, Great cause here. Secondly, I wish I saw this earlier. I'm in for a yearly commitment of $20 - $50. I know it's a small amount each year but I think something like this could yield some yearly support for this community so each year some students are able to obtain vocational education. Let me know if you need any help promoting it.

john mcmartin
32 months ago

"In time you'll recognize that love is larger than life. And praise will come to those whose kindness leaves you without debt and bends the shape of things to come that haven't happened yet." That's the kind of person Mike Simning was and I'm humbled and proud that I can call him my friend.

Basil Keilani
39 months ago

I hope this continues to grow.

Tyler Treat
45 months ago

Donated to a good cause. I didn't know Mike, but from what I've been told about him, he was an amazing person.

Basil Keilani
45 months ago

A friend of mine mentioned Michael recently, and I thought I'd make a small contribution close to Christmas.

Nancy Harcar
47 months ago

A big thank you goes out to the Jen Lee Alleycon Art Booth and all the Alleycon attendees who generously donated to this charity at the event.

Lianne Bronzo
54 months ago

Money raised from 'CAUSE Banana Bread (

Nancy Harcar
54 months ago

Cash donation from Chris Bleeker.

Nancy Harcar
54 months ago

Cash donation from GFN 98.7 Radio in Gwangju South Korea.

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