by Jan 4, 2012 | Uncategorized |
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!