We are very excited at Meet Kate this spring! 7 of our students will be taking their final year exams in a few months and we couldn’t be prouder of them. They are an amazing, inspirational group of young people and we are so humbled that we get the opportunity to be a part of their journey. They have worked hard over the past three years and will be the first set to graduate with “Meet Kate Goes To School” scholarship program.
I want to share with you a day in one of their shoes. We offer them boarding as part of their scholarship because their schools are often too far from home to commute everyday, and often, they would still be expected to contribute financially to their homes. For Ebenezer, a day starts at 4 am when he gets up to study. The morning bell goes at 5 am, but he likes to wake up early to study before the beginning of the day. When the bell goes, he joins the rest of the students in sweeping their rooms and doing their laundry before breakfast is served. Then its time for school: maths, english, science and business buzzes around his head until 2pm, when the bell rings signaling the end of the day. Then its free time to relax and socialize before evening chores as the sun goes down. Dinner is served, then everyone goes back to class for homework and extra study time. Just time to squeeze in some extra socializing if he can before lights out at 10pm. Sometimes, Ebenezer stays up late to read up on a new subject he came across that day, and may buy a snack to keep him going with the pocket money that Meet Kate provides as part of his scholarship.
Chatting with them, its evident that they love what they do and to see the way the scholarship has changed their lives reminds me of how important it is that we keep going. We are constantly looking for ways to improve what we do for them and the students are always eager to help us make things better for new students. They feel privileged to be there and their selfless attitude is one we can all learn from.
We wish them the best of luck with their upcoming exams and with your continued support, look forward to supporting more people like them.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------A LITTLE PIECE OF GHANA
Any occasion is an excuse for a party, so it was no surprise when everyone came out in their best Halloween outfit for Meet Kate night! If you look closely, you will see that they are wearing Meet Kate bracelets on their wrists. These were handmade by a craftsman in Ghana and were used as tickets to enter the club. Everyone loved having a little piece of Ghana to keep with them forever and all proceeds from the night, went to Meet Kate! Thank you to Medsoc for organizing it.
The cold weather seems to have returned with a vengeance and my time in Ghana visting our prjects this summer seems like it was a long time ago. The people I met are never very far from my mind though, and as I sit to write this I feel very humbled to be a part of Meet Kate Foundation. Did you know, we are in the habit of making dreams come true?
What is your dream? What really gets your heart racing and butterflies stomping in your stomach? It takes courage to chase your dream. Not the kind of courage that roars like a lion, but the quiet confidence at the end of a hard day that whispers “I’ll try again tomorrow.” This is what we love to invest in at Meet Kate! I want to introduce you to two people, who demonstrate just that.
Mavis is an intelligent young woman, with a dream of becoming a nurse. When she was young, she saw a neighbour’s child die and vowed to be part of the change to stop needless deaths in her community.
Mavis finished junior high school in 2009. She is now 19 years old. For 4 years, she sold oranges on the streets of her town. Her father has been a single parent since his wife died and with four children to take care of, money simply wasn’t available for Mavis to go to school. Day after day, she would get up in the morning and carry a tray of oranges on her head: walking endlessly in the hot sun, trailing countless streets, making a profit of just 6 pence per sale. To keep her dream alive, believing that one day it would come true is testament to Mavis’s incredible spirit.
At Meet Kate Foundation, we do not see hopelessness when we look at Africa. But in each unique, seemingly desolate situation, we see hope, and that is because of people like Mavis! We are privileged to be part of her journey. This scholarship means that she will finish high school in three years and will be on her way to becoming a nurse. She will touch people’s lives in her own small way.
Romeo is now in his second year and when I met him, something about him struck me as different. He loves to learn! He has a genuine love for education that goes beyond his visions for employment. He is one of the smartest young men in his community. His test scores at the end of Junior High School was one of the highest in his catchment area, yet he is an endearing young man with a quiet, sweet nature. He wants to be a mathematical physicist, because he likes the idea of combining science and mathematics: his two biggest loves. Romeo is an example of our vision to enable these young people to follow their dreams. Recently, he made us extra proud when we received his end of year report: out of the 62 people in his class, he came 1st! Who knows, maybe one day Romeo will be the one who invents a way to convert the growing pile of waste in Africa’s landfill to something that will generate an income for the continent. However, at Meet Kate Foundation, we will be just as happy if he grows up to be a warm, caring man contributing in his own way to his community.
We can only help young people like these because of your help. Mavis is one of four young people who recieved a scholarship from us this summer. They have just started Senior High School and are on their way to a brighter future. We will be by their side supporting them all the way.
Preperations have already started though, for the next group of students who will pour in with their applications next summer. Your continued support is the only way we can change their lives. So on their behalf: Thank You.
NEWS AUGUSTDear follower,
A new season is upon us and with that a whole new website. Our regular (web)designers Nico Veenman and Pim Veger have once again managed to wonderfully project our vision to the web, and we can't wait to share it with the world and with you. Keep a close eye on Facebook and Twitter the coming days! Our Scholarship-students await a new schoolyear. The first batch of students will be taking their exams this year: very exciting! You can read all about them in this newsletter. On behalf of the entire Meet Kate staff, I wish you a wonderful beginning of an exciting new season!
Myrthe OostenbachChairman of Meet Kate Foundation
MEET KATE IS GOING TO SCHOOL NEW STUDENTS IN THE SCHOLARSHIPPROGRAMOne of our projects of which we are very proud, is the scholarshipprogram. High school students, who do not possess the financial means to pay for their school fees, get a chance to graduate, thanks to this program. Meet Kate and program-coordinator/mentor Emmanuel, select the youngsters that have the most potential. If you are selected for our program, you receive a 3-year payment of school fees, study books, boarding fees, some pocket money and examination fees from Meet Kate. This year our first group of students are taking their final exams, and we are so very proud of them! We would love to introduce them to you:
Third year students: Theo, Gifty, Ebenezer, Benjamin, Fatima, Richard and PhilipSecond year students: Veronica and Romeo First year students: Edward and three more open spots!
Would you like to invest in their future? Send us an e-mail or read more about this project!
Richard is taking his final exams this year! Very exciting!
AMBASSADOR PETER R. DE VRIES IN GHANA: "PROGRESS IS MAINTENANCE"In the beginning of August, our ambassador Peter R. de Vries visited Ghana and the projects of Meet Kate. We were very pleased with his visit. As always, he has given us useful advice. Here's what he said about his stay with Meet Kate:
''My visit to Meet Kate in Ghana last week was fun and at the same time very useful. It had been over six months since my last visit; I attended the opening of the school. And boy o boy, how much has changed in six months time. The 'decoration' of the complex is pretty much finished and it looks very impressive and beautiful, with the fields of grass, the gravel paths, the sports court and playsets for the young ones. It is a beautiful whole!"
Hello lovely people!
For the past 6 weeks, I have been in Ghana visiting all our projects, but really focusing on the scholarship program. I have had a phenomenal time. This is my expereince.
"Meeting the scholarship students was an experience I will never forget. Being a student myself, I love learning. I think that education is such a powerful tool and opens up so many opportunities. In Ghana the Meet Kate Foundation gives brilliant but needy young people the opportunity to finish high school. We make sure that we can cover all three years of tuition, boarding, books and food so that our focus is more on quality than quantity.
To describe these young people is incredibly difficult without sounding like I’m exaggerating. Their passion was so inspiring it actually overwhelmed me! Tears sprang to my eyes as I thought of how amazing it would be if each and every one of them had the opportunity to live their dreams. I get to do that when I am in university and the only difference is that we were born into different circumstances: something that is completely out of our control.
Chatting to Ebenezer, one of the second years, I am speechless as he describes with no bitterness, his mother’s heartbreak that her intelligent son couldn’t finish high school. He speaks of how difficult it was when he used to sell yogurt on the streets to bring home an income. Then his face lights up as he talks about how he now wakes up at 3:30 in the morning, not because he has to, but because he wants to learn. His eagerness is something akin to a dry sponge. His passion is to absorb everything, feasting eagerly on education, never satisfied until he is completely saturated with knowledge. He doesn’t see it as hard work, but sees himself as extremely lucky to have that opportunity! His smile tells a story of restored hope. His future is bright again and all thanks to the generous donations Meet Kate Foundation gets. Now when he grows up, he can be what ever he wants to be.
And it’s that time of the year again. The motivation letters have started coming in. Each year because of funding, we have a limited number of places to give away. The selection process can therefore be quite competitive. The students have to write a motivational letter explaining why they want a scholarship, take an exam and come in for an interview. Our mentor also finds out about their parents’ financial situation to makes sure we really are reaching the neediest people.
One evening, just as I am about to leave the office, a young boy, small for his age comes into the office with a hesitant smile. It is plain to see, that this means so much more to him than I could possibly put into words. With trembling hands, he hands over the letter that could change his future. One line reads: “The reason why I want this scholarship is that I want to be a medical doctor to help the people in my community and country, because people in my society die because they lack medical care.”
I’m blown away by his selflessness; he sees a need in his community and he wants to be the one to fill it. The late Steve Jobs said, “the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” I think it takes incredible strength to dare to believe that you can change your world, even though at first glance, your situation suggests otherwise. These are the people who inspire us. Every child has dreams of what they want to be when they grow up. Meet Kate invests in them. Will you get involved?
Sending you a pocketful of the sunshine from Meet Kate!
Naa Akle Dromo Okantey
President Meet Kate UK”
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