It’s been a great journey for the students as well as the committee and staff. Over the years we have grown from sponsoring 3 or 4 children in 2005 to over 250 in 2011. By listening to what the children told us and responding to their needs we now not only provide financial support we also have a whole host of enrichment activities which we arrange during the holidays in response to their requests.
Here is our journey in pictures.
From 2005 until 2008 Kesho sponsored around 50 children and our small committee, led, as it still is, by Zena Salim, all worked from home, using the local restaurant (Members Club) overlooking the creek once a term to meet the students and offer some academic advice and encouragement.
April 2006 – meeting students from Kilifi Members Club
It wasn’t until June of 2008 that we opened an office and employed MacKinlay, who, thankfully, is still with us. The office was shared with Upendo Orphan Support Group and we spent a very happy year there.
A committee meeting in the gardens at Upendo
A year later, with over 100 children being sponsored, we were in need of our own offices. We moved to a lovely room (split into two and each 5m x 4m) at Jacob’s. It was perfect. Just above a uniform shop and in the centre of town. We missed Upendo’s lovely garden so we continued to hire it for hosting student enrichment days under their mango tree, such as our Careers Days; indeed, we still do.
We loved our rooms downstairs but it was just too crowded
Before long students were asking us for a quiet place to study, away from the hustle and bustle at home. We listened. And in December, 2009 we cleared a small area upstairs, negotiating car doors and rubble and provided them a desk and some chairs. It was hugely popular.
December 2009 – very early days – students negotiating car doors to study quietly!
In 2010 Beatrice joined the team and in 2011 Sandra joined too. With over 250 children being sponsored we needed an energetic and committed team to run our secondary and primary enrichment programmes. From experience and from listening to children, we appreciate that giving financial support isn’t always enough. By starting an enrichment programme for students we’re able to offer opportunities to enhance their academic, emotional and social development. This includes activities such things as story time and reading support for the little ones, and careers days, entrepreneurship training and
empowerment workshops for the older ones.
It was due to the success of these programmes that we then had to find a larger space. The upstairs was still the preferred spot – it just needed patience to wait for completion.
The preferred space – April 2010 – walls were plastered – nowhere to study though
April 2011 – nearly there….floors swept – certainly good enough to host events, seminars etc. during the holidays.
It was worth the wait! On Jan 3rd we moved upstairs. It’s bright, breezy and has space to provide students with all the enrichment activities we ever dreamed of.
Here we are on day 2 of our move upstairs. Light, breezy, spacious. Worth the wait most definitely. Ask the students…they already love it.
Mac on the Kesho office verandah enjoying a peaceful moment before we moved upstairs!
Another wonderful Christmas Craft Day on Saturday morning (3rd Dec) for Kesho and Upendo children. About 70 children came and we stuck with our usual, hugely popular, theme of making decorations with beads, stars and ribbons, pipe cleaners – you name it… The creations get more and more wacky as the day progresses and the imagination flows. The last ones hurriedly put together before everything gets packed away are my favourites!
We’ll be sending all our sponsors a decoration through the post later this week – you may even get it in time to hang on your own christmas tree….. but don’t hold your breath!
Have a wonderful Christmas from us all at Kesho
and thank you, asante, tunashukuru sana, for all your help
It was lovely – everyone was so busy.
One of many beautiful arrangements
Sandra, Kesho’s Primary Programme Officer helping peg up all the amazing christmas creations
Is anyone able to help?
Now, we don’t often do this, but we’re putting out a call for help as we’re desperately in need of extra sponsors to enable us to support the very brightest children on the coast of Kenya at top National secondary schools.
We need to raise a total of Ksh880,000 or £6,300
by January, 2012!
The way it works in Kenya is that those students who get the best grades at the end of Primary School (that’s only 1% of the total entrants on the coast) are offered places at the top secondary schools or “National Schools”. Once there, they have access to great facilities and teaching staff and hense 85% of them go on to join University; an amazing opportunity which not only helps build the future leaders of Kenya but also helps break the cycle of poverty within their own families and communities.
Kesho has pledged to sponsor all these high achieving students and hence, in January this year, after Equity Bank had sponsored about half, we took the remaining 11 students from Kilifi and Ganze Districts.
While we can continue sponsoring these 11 students in 2012, we don’t have enough funds to sponsor any new “National” places next year. Being offered a place at a National School is an opportunity such students really can’t miss and for Kesho to overlook their need due to a temporary shortage of funds would be criminal really don’t you think?
These kids are definitely worth the investment.
If you’re able to help please contact us on email@example.com
Thank you and a very Merry Christmas!
The Kesho Team
We’ve hosted more student events this year than any other; over 17 in fact!
The events are completely child centered and part of our growing commitment to our Enrichment Programme in which we are promoting the personal, social and academic development of our students.
Events have included craft and reading sessions for the nursery and primary children, and a careers day, first aid workshop, a university field trip and tuition classes for our secondary students and graduates.
The attendance and feedback has been tremendous. When we move upstairs to the larger resource centre space (hopefully next week), the opportunities for offering more enrichment services will be even greater…. the sky’s the limit!