The Form 1’s (9th graders), Form 2’s, and 3’s will return to school in early May to finish up their long-delayed school year, with the new school year beginning in early July.
And so we begin for the eighth time, our search for funding to allow 35 young Kenyan students to attend high school for another year. Of the 35 students, 23 are girls, with 12 boys. Most of the 35 will be entering their Form 2 or Form 3 come July. We hope to fund these 35 until they have completed their secondary schooling, and then, perhaps, we will begin phasing out the program. We shall see how our health and abilities are 4 years from now!
All of these students are known to Ruth and me, and we can assure you of two things: (1) they are very bright and full of potential, and (2) they have little to no family support to pay their upcoming school fees. For it is still true in Kenya that all secondary schools are fee-based, which of course, hits the poor extremely hard. Sadly, millions of youth again this year will not be attending school for lack of money.
Each student needs approximately $500 (US)to fund their entire school year. This includes tuition plus room and board as most all schools in Kenya are boarding schools. In some cases, we will pay 90% of the year’s fee, leaving 10% for the family to fund. But in many other cases, there is no family to fund anything, so we pay 100% of the fees.
Since we have 35 students to fund at approximately $500 each, we need to raise $17,500.
Can we do it? I do not know as the world is not the same due to the pandemic and all of the hardships and problems that have arisen from something so small… a virus. Yet, all we can do is see the challenges and take a step each day in the direction we wish to travel.
One thing is for certain, however. If we do not succeed, some of those within the 35 will not attend school… and since education is the best way to rise out of poverty, those students will face a tough future. So… we move forward with all intentions of funding all 35!!
When you donate, GoFundMe will send your donation to my personal bank account in the United States. Ruth and I then travel to Eldoret, Kenya (near where we currently live) to use the ATM system, withdraw the funds. We then personally stand in line at the various banks where each student’s school has their accounts and deposit their fees in the student's name into the appropriate school account. We then get a receipt of payment where a copy is made with Ruth and me retaining one and the other given to the student to take to their first day of the new school year to show proof of payment.
All students must do two things if they wish to be funded in their future High School years: (1) bring us a copy of their marks each term of their schooling. Anyone failing or underperforming will not be funded again unless circumstances call for a second chance. (2) That they come to our home during breaks, where I mentor them on life skills and the tools for leading a happy and meaningful life.
So let it begin with Ruth, I, and the students, all taking a collective deep breath as we embark upon this first funding step into an unknown future. There are millions of Kenya young women and men not able to attend school, which we cannot help. But we CAN help these 35 while KNOW that we are giving them the best chance of rising out of poverty and creating lives having both joy and meaning.
If you have the urge to help us, your donation will be received with deep gratitude. We will notify you when we receive word of your donation.
All the best to you and your loved ones as, together, we all work to make this world a little bit better…
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