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A day in the life of Pendo

A day in the life of Pendo

After my first week in the office, the team had renamed me Pendo. Originally from England, my birth name is Heidi. However, at Kesho, we are a family… in Kenyan style, I was given a new name. Over a month later, I love office and field life; it feels like I have known my collegues for a lifetime.

My day starts early, by 8am I am working on various tasks. Currently I dip between departments. Managing the Instagram account for communications, preparing teaching manuals for child protection, and creating budgets for our secondary and youth programs. Every day brings something different and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Our office environment is always buzzing; all our staff and volunteers are so passionate about their work, which makes the days fly by. I sit opposite Tony, whom I have claimed as my Kiswahili teacher. Whilst trying to learn, I laugh harder than I thought humanly possible. But we make it happen, and slowly I am improving. We do so by multitasking, I always have at least one project running alongside, and so does he.

Being at Kesho has taught me many things; how to converse in Swahili, how to create budgets on a deadline, how to use my imagination with new projects, and trust myself. But most importantly, to smile and always give 100%; knowing what we do improves the lives of children all over Kilifi.

Author: Heidi Eggleton 

Keeping up with Kesho: July Edition

Keeping up with Kesho: July Edition

This July, our youth and secondary programs have had a revamp. We have created exciting projects ready for the rest of 2018, such as expanding our horizon with peace this space..

Our team in the office are preparing for the influx of students for the summer holidays. Our child protection team are creating fresh teaching materials based around child rights. All our program officers are planning their events, aiming to maximize the opportunities available to our students and the community. Wasichana Wetu Wafaulu (WWW) has continued progressing and supporting marginalized girls to access education. At the basic education department, following the success of their literacy program this month, they’re working on advancing this growth into August.

To facilitate our growing organization, we welcomed a new face, Phiona, into the office. Kesho are excited for the boost she will bring to our communications team.

This month we sent our staff and volunteers on a fun filled team-building trip. We created space for our team to open up about the challenges and success of the past year, allowing tensions to decrease and progress to be made, thanks to fun activities which facilitated this. At Kesho we appreciate our team and their wellbeing. Now refreshed, they’re ready for busy August Holidays full of work.

Thank you for your continued support.  For now, its work!


Author: Heidi Eggleton.


Head over Heels – Celestine weds Emmanuel

Head over Heels – Celestine weds Emmanuel

Today is a wonderful day, because we get to share beautiful moments.

Weddings do celebrate life possibilities. This is not a fairy tale. It is a tale to tell and we are humbled to share. Some say weddings are epic, others may prefer blissful, gorgeous, amazing  and all sweet loving words to describe auspicious moments but this wedding is way “ Head over Heels.”

Two couples with different life journeys are Alumni’s of Kesho Kenya.

Walk with us and lets get a peak on this amazing union.

The journey:

     After her Secondary education, Celestine volunteered at Kesho in 2010 and later proceeded to attain an ICT certificate. She later did a few jobs before securing a diploma certificate from Kenya institute of Management- Mombasa. Celestine’s hurdles enabled her hustle her way through to employment, starting with managing a cereal shop in Mombasa and got employed as a cashier in at Smart Home supermarket in Kiambu. Her dream is to be a successful entrepreneur.

     On the other hand after Secondary education, Emmanuel’s journey was more of passion and determination. Emmanuel completed his secondary school education and got to work for Amazon trye & service Centre in Nairobi. Later on he was able to secure a scholarship to Join Kanthari Institute for social Visionaries in India. Upon his return to Kenya through his vision to make a difference, Takkazi was born FB_IMG_1494774510950.jpg

Child Pregnancy! End the menace-“Tell a friend to tell a friend”

Child Pregnancy! End the menace-“Tell a friend to tell a friend”

We Caught up with Khadijah and wanted to know what she has been up to. Check out her story and what she intends to do.

My name is Khadija and I live in Kilifi. I am 19 years old and thanks to Kesho Kenya I completed my High School Education in 2016. In the four years that I was sponsored I attended various trainings and workshops on leadership, entrepreneurship, mentorship and sexual reproductive health training ; all very educative and entertaining. Here is where I came to learn about teenage pregnancy. At first I thought it was just a mere topic that had to be included when one is talking about Reproductive Health but come to think of it, this was a problem worth noting, especially in Kilifi County

22% of girls aged 15-19 years in kilifi County have begun childbearing; higher than the national level. Specifically, 3% are pregnant with their first child and 19% have ever given birth compared to 14.7% and 3.4%, respectively, at the  national level. Ministry of health, adolescent sexual and reproductive health in kilifi County.

After completing my secondary education, I was shocked to learn that many of the girls (my age) some of whom are my friends and peers got pregnant; they are either with their first or second child. This was a reality check to me and devastating. I could not imagine the trauma and challenges they faced and wondered how they would manage to survive.


To my realisation, men in the community  lure young girls  into sleeping with them, sometimes even for little money taking advantage of their naivety .With most of the culprits being boda boda riders (motorcycle riders) and drunk men from drinking dens who pry on young girls sent to the shops at night or are walking at night. I find it sad that most of the girls do not receive any teachings on how one is to deal with Reproductive Health matters because either there parents are too shy to talk about it or they engage in such kind of acts in front of their children. These sadly are what the girls emulate.

Having noticed that many of the girls don’t get access to knowledge about reproductive health, I decided to join  Kesho edutainment Programme where, the group stages play and skits to pass messages on reproductive health with an aim to not only entertain the community and audience but also to educate them.

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In my view, I strongly believe that having active guidance and counseling in the many, remote schools in this county will help us reduce if not eradicate this nightmare. I strongly believe that we all need to play a part in reducing our girls getting pregnant and coming up with measures to detect the risks within our community. Join me in my journey.

“Tell a friend to tell a friend.”

Transforming waste to wealth

Transforming waste to wealth


It is our aim to keep in touch with all our graduates to see where life takes them. Emmanuel is one of them. In 2016 he supported us during Careers Day by advising Secondary students in their career choices and sharing his experience in the field of environment and social enterprise.

This year together with 10 Kesho Gap Year students we visited him at Takkazi, a Social Enterprise he funded in 2015.


It was an amazing and inspiring experience. Having the courage and drive to start a social enterprise is proof that Emmanuel has a strong personality. Without the past experiences he would probably not been where he is at this point of time. He did not only give us insights into plastic recycling and its business opportunities but also shared his story with us to encourage the graduates to follow their passion.

He started getting interested in waste management during High School. Not having the means to use public transport to go to school he had to walk. Every morning and evening he walked along a huge dumping site and that’s what drew his attention to waste management and its challenges. He realized that there is something wrong but did not know what to do about it. He started researching about it and after college he worked at a waste management organization.


He saw the potential in waste and that he could make a change in peoples life by providing job opportunities and at the same time positively influence the environment within his community. And he did it! The infrastructure is set up; plastic is collected, sorted and sold. Very soon he expects to get connected to power so that he can further process the collected plastic to increase its value. Once that is in place it there are other goals to achieve and to make Takkazi grow to an organization that can make a change.


But that is not all; Emmanuel wants to go beyond plastic recycling by creating awareness in communities. He has introduced environmental clubs in Primary and Secondary Schools. He believes changing children’s attitude towards waste management is key to realizing Vision 2030 goals.

Emmanuel said: “I can’t tell my story without mentioning Kesho”. That makes us proud and affirms us in what we do and the impact we can have.

In my own words- Lister Mwamuye

In my own words- Lister Mwamuye

I am Lister Mwamuye a Kesho graduate and currently pursuing a Bachelor of commerce degree at the University of Nairobi; this is my third year.

When I reflect back where I started my academic journey, the name Kesho Organization cannot go unnoticed. I was enrolled as a beneficiary of the secondary sponsorship in my second year at Lenana school- a prestigious school that I was about to miss the chance to enroll. I became self-conscious and my mantra changed to ‘revolutionizing the youth in Kilifi’. Throughout my high school I kept promising myself that once I am done with my KCSE I would devote some ample time to make that dream true. That is how Elites Hope for Change Organization came about. I wanted to influence positively a mass of youth into changing the status quo of the society. I knew that wouldn’t happen if I fought like a lone soldier.

Elites Hope for Change Organization has been a revelation and story of 2014/2015. We successfully held seminars that addressed issues in regards to entrepreneurship. We inspired the youth to take charge of the devolved government and make use of the available opportunities. Moreover, we have linked some of them to institutions where they have pursued professional courses in business. I can confidently attest that in 2015 we made the most impact. We traversed to various places especially the marginalized areas of Ganze, Chonyi and Bamba. Our main objective was to engage the youth such that they could shift from their comfort chambers. They had to see what they could do as individuals at their various capacities. We taught them on some basic wealth creation fundamentals such as; how to save the little money they had. We shared crucial insights on the importance of education. We triggered their desires to start working and stop planning.

Fortunately, we have so far posted positive results in our campaigns and interacted with many youths in Kilifi. Engaging with youths and helping them better their lives and the community has been my major area of interest and focus.

Currently Elites Hope for Change Organization is advocating and drumming up support for cancer survivors. We have mobilized community members who are directly or indirectly affected by cancer. We are tirelessly supporting efforts to reduce victimization and stigmatization while trying to seek for financial support on their behalf. A recent case we handled entailed a form one girl who unfortunately passed on the 19/1/2017. Throughout her struggle the group had been working closely with the family to ensure that she got the best care. At some point we involved the county governor to sort out her bill as we seek other avenues to assist and to ensure that doctors amputated her leg. As we engage different stakeholders and opinion makers in the county, my belief is that Cancer survivors have a platform to share their story and come out strongly to educate the community on early screening and more so engage the county hospital to increase the awareness campaign.

I cannot deny the several challenges I have encountered along the way from various institutions in different fields. The expectation from my peers has not only been encouraging but at the same time overwhelming and as such this has given me the zeal to keep going with the initiatives that I truly hold to heart.  As I ponder and envision what the future holds, I cannot resist the thought of various stories I haven’t written about or shared in depth. Someone said there is always a second chance, right? Perhaps I should keep my fingers crossed and wait for that chance to finish this story. I believe this story will help other youths wherever they are to stop procrastinating and live the future today. We all can do it in our own special capacities. 




Children are a source of joy and fun

Children are a source of joy and fun

Joseph and James are part of a one-year Government volunteer programme called ‘Greatness United’. They were posted to Petanguo Primary School in Ganze. The Focus of the project is to support children in class 2 and 3 with dire reading difficulties. Though a challenging task, (Ganze is a drought affected area and many of the children come to school hungry) they are passionate about their work.

It is at Petanguo Primary School where they got to know about Kesho Kenya and offered to volunteer during School Holidays to gain more experience. It may be surprising that they chose to volunteer in the Education sector considering that their professional backgrounds are Political Science and Entrepreneurship.


Joseph aspires a career in the Child Protection sector. He sees it as key to understand children, their different backgrounds and other aspects protecting children. “I love working with children; they are a source of joy and fun”, says the father of a three year old girl.



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Joseph assisting during crafts day

Part of ‘Greatness United’ is also community work where James gets the chance to mentor parents in small business management. “It is my first interaction with young children; I realized that a child can never disappoint you. You can change the level of a child just by mentoring them.”




James administering reading test

Joseph and James are supporting the Basic Education Programme and have been fitting in very well to the Kesho daily life. They enjoy the work with the children and are very hands on when it comes to executing various tasks.

Kesho Kenya depends a lot on volunteers especially during school holiday.


Unleashing and nurturing Youth talents

Unleashing and nurturing Youth talents

Kesho Edutainment started in April this year. Though the group is still very young they can already look back to an amazing journey: Performances at various events, successful attendance of Extravaganza in Malindi ( ‘Hard work pays off’)  and kicking off a sensitization & mentorship Programme in two schools (Sunbeam & Sunrise High School) in Kilifi. 

Yvonne and Samuel are very active members since inception of Kesho Edutainment Group. Both have discovered their talents very early and have a great passion for acting. 


Vyonne,”i feel so good when i act, its just in me”




When I perform I feel very proud because I enjoy showing my talents.

They feel supported by their families for being part of Kesho Edutainment group. However there are also critical voices; questioning why to invest time and energy when you don’t get something out of it.

The group is ambitious and in the process of registering the group. ‘We want to grow and be known in Kilifi.’ ‘It needs a lot of commitment but we see the potential that we can become sustainable at some point.’P1180601

The performance itself seems to be the main activity but there is a lot of work before the actual performance happens. The plays are written by the group members. ‘I and another member composed the play that we presented at Extravaganza in Malindi where we got awards in different categories.’ That is amazing and obviously the members have not only acting talents. However the group wishes to get support from a director to improve on their performance and to be become competitive.


Samwel writing a script on Edutainment

‘Last year I volunteered at Kesho and that is how I got to know about the Edutainment group.’ Yvonne currently pursues a diploma in ECD. Samuel is an active Red Cross volunteer and got to know about Kesho Edutainment through a friend.

Kesho supports Edutainment group in various aspects. ‘Through Kesho we got the chance to attend a TOT training on Sexual Reproductive Health and we facilitated leadership training for Kesho primary school pupils. Kesho’s support is not only ‘practical’ but they also encourage us to have a vision for our group. 

It is encouraging and rewarding to walk with Kesho Edutainment group and to listen how passionate the members are about what they do.

Get in touch with us (0728 413 227 or if you are interested in Kesho Edutainment Group – “Unleashing and nurturing Youth talents.”

Saturdays at our Resource Center

Saturdays at our Resource Center

DID YOU KNOW…… that reading aloud 15 minutes every day enhances a child’s reading confidence and fluency?


For 4 years now Kesho has been running a reading programme in 4 public schools in Kilifi. We encourage children to read for meaning and we walk the journey with them right from pre-reading stage to transitioning to competent readers. To increase our contact time with children we decided to open our Resource Center on Saturdays. This is not only for our sponsored children but also for their peers and other children who can easily access our Resource Center.

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We have been able to host 150 children so far. These children get a chance to read their favorite stories, hold group discussions on various topics, write essays, socialize and play with peers from different schools. We also hold a closing assemblies were all the children get a chance to introduce themselves and give us feedback on the activities of the day. Discussions on life skills take place and children engage in talent exploration activities too.

If interested in volunteering your time on Saturdays to come help us in monitoring children, or contributing towards purchasing of snacks or donating of educational materials, toys, games or even clothing you are highly welcome.

For more details contact us on: 0728 413 227 or


Education is the way out of poverty

Education is the way out of poverty

“I would like to study medicine, I dream about it every day; I have a great passion for that.” It is Fatuma’s biggest dream to become a doctor and she is confident, that she can achieve the required marks. “Also my teacher says I can make it.” Attending a Provincial School brings a lot of challenges. “We have a lot of infrastructural challenges; the school is under-equipped with learning materials and we lack water most of the times. But that does not affect me, I stay focused on my target: finishing school successfully.” By finishing Secondary School Fatuma will be the first one in the family who has achieved that.


Fatuma is a young lady who likes making friends like many other girls at her age. However she has come a long way to get where she is now. At first Fatuma was not supported by her family to join school, being a girl she was meant to marry early. Today she says: “My family supports me on my way.” It takes a lot of strength to go that way and Fatuma made it.

She also likes reading novels and motivational books. “These motivational books motivate me a lot. And as a peer counselor I can inspire others with those messages.”

“Education is important because it is the only way out of illiteracy and therefore the way out of poverty.” When asking Fatuma why she thinks that some students do not proceed to Secondary school she says: “Some may have different priorities or are under peer pressure. Others may feel that they can’t manage it because they know people who failed.”

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Fatuma is an inspiring young woman who advocates for girl child education and who is a role model herself. We wish her all the best for in the exams.