by Dec 22, 2013 | Uncategorized |
May I introduce you to Mbigo – a very special Kesho sponsored student and alumni member.
In 2007, just before Mbigo sat his primary school end of year exams both his parents died. Somehow, in spite of such adversity, he managed to score really high marks and earned a place at one of the top secondary schools in the country. It was an opportunity not to be missed but the cost of such a school was prohibitively expensive let alone the fact that it was a day and a half journey away. Kesho clubbed together with two other local benefactors in order to help him accept the place and he was then accompanied to school by a well-wisher.
Things were not plain sailing though, being at school so far away and with no stable home to return to there were still many challenges ahead. While his sister was really doing her best to earn some money it was not enough for them both. After a time it was agreed that in the holidays Mbigo would stay at an orphanage which we knew to be good. Thanks to the owner and his sponsor (two very inspirational people) he was very well nurtured and encouraged and his confidence grew immeasurably.
When he sat is end of secondary school exams, 4 years later, he was one of the top performing students in the county and this earned him a nationally competitive scholarship with Commercial Bank to study for a degree in Informatics at a University in Nairobi.
While he waited to take up his place Mbigo worked for Kesho for a year in our offices and resource centre, giving administrative support as well as being a fantastic peer educator and role model. He always greeted everyone with a huge smile like the one in the photo which was instantly warm and welcoming!
During the holidays, Mbigo now works at Commercial Bank where he is paid a small stipend. The other day, he popped by the office bright eyed and full of inspiration. He pledged he wanted to be a great not only in academics but also as a person. On that day he made his first cash payment towards sponsoring another Kesho student through school.
Mbigo is our first student to sponsor another. We’re so humbled and impressed by his commitment and belief in giving back. Mbigo and other members of the Kesho Alumni have to be the future of Kesho – we believe there are very exciting opportunities ahead.
Kesho wins international award
On Saturday, Kilifi-based Kesho Kenya was awarded winners of the Rising Stars Award by an international foundation at a ceremony at Kensington Palace in London.
Kesho, which advances access to education and employment for vulnerable children in Kenya, received the 2013 Stars Rising Star Award in Africa-Middle East.
In 2013, more than 1300 local organisations from 60 countries applied to the Impact Awards, run by Stars Foundation and underpinned by a rigorous selection process developed with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
The following is a press release from STARS Foundation
The Awards recognise and reward effective, well-managed local organisations working to improve child health, education, protection and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) in the countries with the highest rates of under-five mortality.
Kenya has an under-five mortality rate of 85/1000 child deaths each year.
As part of the prize package, Kesho will receive $15,000 of unrestricted funding, $10,000 in tailored consultancy and a package of media support.
Muna Wehbe, Chief Executive of the Stars Foundation said:
“The Impact Awards recognise and reward outstanding local organisations working on the frontline in the fight against poverty and child mortality. We hope other donors will see that flexible funding for effective charities puts decision-making in the hands of the real development experts, unlocking their potential to become stronger, more sustainable and more able to improve the lives of the vulnerable children in their communities.
Stars Founding Chairman Amr A. Al-Dabbagh said:
“Stars Foundation is committed to reaching 20 million children and their communities by 2020. The only way we are going to do that is by supporting ever-larger numbers of local organisations doing incredible work on the ground. The 2013 Impact Award winners are beacons of effective practice, offering inspiration to other charities, and to us all.”
Stars Foundation was established by Al-Dabbagh Group in 2001, and counts President Bill Clinton and Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah as its Founding Patrons.
Kesho’s 2nd Family Fun Day – what a welcome break from all the demands and challenges at home – a chance to be a child – a chance to be a family – a chance to throw caution to the wind and have some FUN !
Sack races are just impossibly hilarious aren’t they?.
We started with a story book read in the shade of the trees followed by mask making and loads of sack and egg and spoon races. Dad’s got a chance to show off their football tricks and then played a short match against their sons. Mums raced too (with a difference) and then played bludgers against their daughters. What a lot of hilarity!
Fikiri – Kesho Primary Student and Acrobat! Kesho Kids with Talent!
Fikiri treated us to an acrobatic extravaganza while we awaited our very delicious lunch and Lemic, Kesho Alumni and University student, kicked the football on one foot 107 times – beating the day’s record. Well he does also run a youth football club in the holidays – so I guess he’s obviously got what it takes.
We ended with prize giving and one of the mums telling a story – simply wonderful.
Thanks once again for all who helped, Upendo Methodist Church for providing the grounds, the VSO Youth Volunteers and the Kesho Volunteers, namely Purity, Lemic and George – you’re always there for us!
The Mum’s race – with a difference
The Mum’s giving their full support as always.
Pilau for lunch – well earned nourishment
Dad’s playing football with their sons with a lot of supporters on the sidelines
Eggs and Spoons abandoned – time to just run for it!
There were well over 100 children and about 40 parents
Mum’s cheering and just loving it.
Zena (Kesho’s Co-Founder) came 2nd I think..
A sense of achievement during the bludgers match
A mum helping tie on her child’s butterfly mask
Nyevu – a deaf student receiving 1st prize
A family fun day for all – Zena’s (Kesho’s Co-Founder) invited her lovely family too.
This was a hard act to follow after last year’s huge success, but we did it again. Nearly 100 students participated and 7 Kesho School Leavers / Alumni Members volunteered to help. There were discussions, games, role plays and demonstrations on:
- Contraception methods
- Myths and Truths about sexual health matters
- Reproductive Health rights and reporting procedures
The day ended with an open question and answer session which raised a whole host of issues. Lots for us to respond to and follow-up on during next year’s event.
The students were so engaged and engaging – laughing, questioning, empowered – it just gets better and better.
Here are some photos from the day to enjoy….
Opening warm-up with Beatrice (Secondary Programme Officer)
Our Alumni School leavers who volunteered to help on the day enjoyed it too!
Analysing a story and discussing the reproductive health rights
The assertiveness session was funny – especially the role plays
“Trust Me” game – you trust your friend to catch you as you fall…
How our students described themselves
Some of the questions and scenarios were quite challenging
I think this was taken during the contraception methods session!
A web of friends and friendships linked and supportive.
Kesho student expressing her views to her group on myths and facts
Presenting the group analysis of their rights.
This was our first 4 day Leadership Training Course for 20 Secondary students. Many Kesho students are in positions of responsibility at school – prefects, sports captains etc. yet when Beatrice (our Secondary Programme Officer) enquired further she found out they were experiencing many challenges – it’s not easy. She listened to them and responded by running this course especially for them. It was a huge success.
Thank you to Zeddy and to Ngala Lemic (Kesho University Student) who volunteered their time to facilitate the course. It was brilliant – the students confidence grew immeasurably and great friendships were formed.
What more can I say…? Fun, Friendship, Confidence, Leadership, Empowerment. We’ll be doing that again…
Giggles on the 2nd day session in our resource centre on “the hazards of making assumptions about others!”
Group 1 Competing in The battle of the Bands. Each group had to write and compose a song or rap about leadership. It was hilarious. They got to watch the video’s afterwards back at the resource centre…. if only you could have been there to laugh along with us
Group 2 – Competing in the Battle of the Bands
Group 3 in the Battle of the Bands
Zeddy – our wonderful and hugely popular Faciltator who volunteered 4 days of her time and expertise. Thank you on behalf of Kesho and the Student Leaders…
The Banana Game – more hilarity while learning that nothing is impossible.
Hula Hooping Happiness finds it’s way to the Secondary students too…
Last words of wisdom from Zeddy and Kesho Student Mzee Lemic before “play time”
Lots to consider and contemplate while gazing out to sea
A game of Rugby – The Kenya 7s are very good these days – here’s where it all starts….
Freedom – I love all the modes of transport – how many can you find..?