Empowering 37 Orphans Through Education in Kenya

Jun 4, 2014

Alex's Journey


We would like to take this opportunity thank you for your support and generous contributions toward our project “Empowering 37 orphans through education in Kenya.”  Your generosity has enabled the youth in our program to acquire the much needed training that will open many new opportunities for them.  In addition, once the students become self-reliant, they are also able to assist their families.  Yours is a GIFT that keeps on giving and in the end many lives will be touched.

Education continues to be our top priority in Kenya, and especially in Nyumbani Village.  The results for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education were released on 3rd March, 2014.  Our secondary school, Lawson High School (LHS) came 2nd in Lower Yatta district with only a 0.025 mean grade difference behind the school ranked 1st.  Four of the top five students in the district came from our school, and 21 received a University entrance grade.

Alex almost lost hope before he was admitted to Nyumbani Village.  Alex was the second to last born in his family.  He explains “before I was admitted in Nyumbani Village, I went through so many challenges; lack of food, fees and torture from some of my neighbors." His mother passed away when he was in class eight.  Following her death, life took a turn for the worse.  He elaborates “my mother had spent all the money she had and even sold off assets to pay for her treatment.  When she finally passed away we were left destitute.  Having no one to look up to, my siblings and I had to fend for ourselves.”  During his last school term in class eight he had to work as a house boy to earn money for food. Luckily, Alex managed to sit for his end of year examination but he could not join a secondary school due to lack of school fees.  Alex says that “I was admitted in Nyumbani Village after one and a quarter year of struggle. My admission changed my life.  I could not have been happier because for the first time in a long time I had plenty of food, decent shelter, parental care, medical care and education.  I felt as if I was in paradise.”

Alex completed High School and while awaiting the results of his Form Four examination, he was engaged in activities at the Village.  “I wanted to give back to the community, so before joining college I volunteered in the livestock unit”, Alex says. He was always ready to learn and when an opportunity was offered for him to learn to use a computer he was very happy.   When the exams results were released, Alex chose to go into the field of electrical engineering.  He explains, “I identified a problem of power outages in my country and decided to pursue electrical engineering as a way of helping my country achieve one of its vision 2030 goals of providing electricity to all Kenyans.”  Alex has completed the five month attachment which is a requirement for his course and he was recently trained on the maintenance of a solar power station in order to help maintain the solar system installed at Nyumbani Village. 

Alex concludes “I thank all the donors who supported me through the Global Giving umbrella because without your help I could not have been able to acquire the knowledge and skills that I have.  This has opened up many opportunities for me now and in the future." 

We couldn't agree more!  With a security net from our donors, students like Alex are a shining example of what hard work, determination, and resilience can achieve.  Thank you!!

solar power station
solar power station
Mar 5, 2014

Education - a Powerful Tool


As always, we wish to start our report by sincerely thanking our generous donors all over the world who have been supporting this project!  So many of you are monthly donors, which emphasizes your ongoing commitment to higher education for these at-risk young adults.  Through their hard work and your support, their dreams for a better future can be realized.

Education is a top priority in Kenya, and especially in Nyumbani Village.  There are 3 schools on the Village grounds, including Hotcourses Primary School, Lawson High School, and the Polytechnic.  The students who live in and around the Village know how lucky they are to have access to such good schools, and they are working hard.  Happily, Hotcourses Primary School was recently ranked 4th in its educational zone.  In addition, eight of the top ten performing students in the zone were from Nyumbani Village!  This is a wonderful testament to the students' dedication and eagerness to learn.  Of the students graduating from Hotcourses Primary, 82 joined Lawson High School and 23 joined the Polytechnic. 

Once these students graduate from secondary school, however, access to education becomes more limited, as well as increasingly challenging due to the costs. One student in particular, Nicholas, has benefited greatly from the Village.  Nicholas lost his last remaining parent while in nursery school, and he and his sister went to live with their elderly grandfather.  Nicholas' extended family together paid for his elementary school fees, up to class six.  After that, he was admitted to Nyumbani Village, where he felt as though he had received an amazing gift.  He now had a roof over his head, food at every meal, and was able to go to school.  Nicholas has now graduated from secondary school, and he and his classmates patiently await the results of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam.  Nicholas is so grateful for the nurturing the Village has afforded him up to this point and for the amazing opportunity he has ahead for tertiary level training!  On behalf of everyone at Nyumbani Village, thank you for your support!

Dec 2, 2013

There is no greater gift than education - Just ask Agatha!


During this season of thanks giving, we are pleased to provide this update on our project and express our deep appreciation to donors all over the world who have helped us raise 20% of our total monetary goal.  We could not have done this without your confidence and generous support!

It has been one year since we first launched our higher education project for the Nyumbani Village graduates, and the stories of lives changing for the better are slowly beginning to emerge.

This past week, the most recent class of high school graduates sat for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam.  Results of this test are released in February 2014, when students will learn to which tertiary level schools they become eligible to apply.  This group in particular has witnessed the opportunities of the first group of graduates from Nyumbani Village, and seen the results of students working hard to better their lives.  Having access to funds for higher education is critical for the motivated student with determination to keep him or herself out of poverty.

Agatha’s life was very challenging before she came to Nyumbani Village.  “After my parents passed away, we had financial problems.  I had been sent home for [lack of] school fees several times within a term, while the other students were in school taking their studies as usual.”  Agatha did not have reliable access to the provision of her basic needs once she lost her parents, and as a result, Nyumbani Village took her in.  “My life changed completely,” says Agatha. “Not only were my basic needs met and my high school fees paid, but I also got to meet other children who were orphaned from different tribes and backgrounds like me.”  At Nyumbani, Agatha had found a peer group sharing similar life circumstances and her hope for the future began to grow.  “I learned how to express myself confidently and feel proud” of who I am now, says Agatha. She goes on to say that “after completing my KSCE examination in 2012, I was able to join one of the public universities where I am pursuing a bachelor of science in Human Resource Management.  Nyumbani Village changed my life.”

We wish the very best to Agatha and her classmates as they travel this journey into adulthood, armed with an education that will enhance their lives and future opportunities.  Without our very generous friends around the globe, Nyumbani could not provide this opportunity for Agatha and her classmates.  There is no greater gift than education!  Thank you for your confidence in our mission.

Wishing you and yours every blessing for the holiday season!

Agatha with classmate
Agatha with classmate
Aug 29, 2013

Meet Lucy!

Lucy Nguli
Lucy Nguli

Many thanks to our increasing number of donors all over the world who have been supporting this very important project!  Education is a crucial component for these young adults who are now planning for life beyond Nyumbani.  We can't thank you enough for your generosity and prayers!

Recent high school graduate, Lucy Nguli, dreams of studying law.  Lucy says that she chose the field of law because she hopes to advocate for the rights of children. 

Before Lucy and her siblings were orphaned, her family's main economic activity was farming, which did not pay well.  As a result, paying for school fees was almost impossible.  After losing their parents, Lucy and her siblings turned to relatives.  But they had their own families to support, and life was very difficult.

Since coming to Nyumbani Village several years ago, however, Lucy feels blessed.  "Life is so good here," she says with a smile.  "We don't have to pay for school fees, and the staff is very supportive.  You ask them for guidance, and they give it to you."  Just like a real family.

When asked about becoming a lawyer, Lucy says, without skipping a beat, that "I want to serve my fellow citizens, and we have very few lawyers in our country."  Its clear within a short amount of time spent with Lucy that she has some natural skills in addition to intelligence.  Lucy describes herself as "talkative," explaining that, as a lawyer, "you cannot lack words to say."  In addition, Lucy sees herself as "non-judgmental" and seeks ways to make the world more fair.  "When I was in school," she explains, "my friends would come to me to settle an issue."  While her manner is gentle, there is a resoluteness in her demeanor that quickly becomes apparent.  She is a natural leader, who won't quit when the going gets tough; qualities that will serve Kenya well.

Please help Lucy and her fellow secondary school graduates reach as high as they can by giving a gift today! 

May 28, 2013

Test Scores Received


Once again, we want to begin by thanking our generous donors all over the world who have been supporting this project.  Your ongoing commitment to higher education is a critical factor in helping these young adults get on the path to self-sufficiency.

After months of anxiously waiting, the high school graduates have now received their results from the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KSCE).  These scores determine which professions they can choose and whether they are able to study at a 2-year college, or a 4-year university.  The students are now engaged in following or refocusing their dreams based on these test scores.  Many of the students will start their tertiary training in May, others in September, and those who have attained university level have to wait until 2014.

One high school graduate, Fredrick - a smiley and good-humored young man - wants to pursue medicine.  His dream is to become a nurse in the hope of serving "local society and even marginalized areas," he says. Fredrick has seen the distress of many Kenyans suffering from disease, but without anyone to care for them or access to adequate health care.  Fredrick says he plans to use his medical training to improve access to health care.  "I will put effort into helping people who are sick, even those who have no money."  He already has plans for a way to accomplish this goal. He says he will form a non-profit through which people can be served. Fredrick believes that building the number of medical practitioners in Kenya will "solve real problems in the world, including HIV/AIDS."

Fredrick is grateful to Nyumbani for encouraging him and helping him to pursue his education. And we at Nyumbani, are grateful to GlobalGiving for providing a venue through which Fredrick, and his fellow high school graduates, can receive support and good wishes from the broader community.

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Nairobi, Karen, Kenya

Project Leader

Mary Owens

Nairobi, Kenya

Where is this project located?

Map of Empowering 37 Orphans Through Education in Kenya