School ends at the end of November in Kenya. At this time students are taking their EXAMS. Then they look forward to their long holiday.
It is a busy time for Expanding Opportunities as we are fundraising for the nextyear's school fees, uniforms and books. Based on the amount of donations is the number of children we can assist to attend school. It is often difficult to understand that children are denied an education because they do not have a uniform, shoes, or lunch money. But thousands of children in Kenya drift to the streets in January as they are unable to attend school.
We hope to be able to continue to buy uniforms and support those children we have been assisting and to more than double the number of uniforms, books and school fees we are able to pay.
Just a pair of $25.00 second hand shoes can mean the difference between attending school and becoming a street child. Often just a $15.00 per term lunch fee can mean the difference between a meal in a day and begging food on the street.
As this year draws to a close we are thankful for those you have assisted us to help. And we look forward with excitement to the HOPE we will be priviledged to give in January 2012.
September begins the final term for this school year in Kenya. Once this term has begun, there will be many requests for assistance to help a student finish and graduate from High School. There are extra fees during this time and though families are aware of the fees, they have been unable to save up to pay them. The drought in Kenya has forced food and other prices up to never before seen limits. Therefore it is possible even excellent high school senior will be unable to pay their KCSE examination fee.
The KCSE is the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education. The examination takes place in November and covers the 12 years of school the student has completed. The scores on this examination determine the student's vocational and educational future. It is given only once during the year and does have fees attached. If the student cannot pay the fees they cannot take the examination and will have to repeat their last year of high school in its entirety to retake the examination the following year.
We have a very small amount of funding for a few examination fees. Your assistance now will be applied to the account of High School seniors for their examination fees. I will post the student stories on Global Giving.
Any amount over the fees will be saved for student fees and uniforms for the 2012 school year.
David Maina is in his second year of high school. In Kenya, the school year is divided into three terms. Each term is accompanied with its various fees. Though the Kenya government supports free public education, the subsidy provided is not enough to cover all expenses. Therefore families must raise funds each term for their child to attend school.
Maina began his high school career through generous sponsors. Even his first term of 2011 was funded. In April, during the break between Term I and Term II, his sponsor was no longer able to support him. He sent his please to Expanding Opportunities. For little more than $30.00 per term, Maina could continue his education.
As of this day, Maina was still out of school. He is the first on the list to return to school when funding is available.
First Term is almost over. Expanding Opportunities has facilitated 12 students to receive their education. Soon they will be on their first holiday for 2011. It will be a good time for them to consider their performance, rest and make new resolutions to work hard. School fees will be due in April. Saiboku and Dini, 10 and 11 years old, have attended school for the first time this year. They were so excited to receive their first uniforms. They knew how fortunate they were to be young Samburu girls attending school. Thank you Global Giving donors for playing your part in bringing hope to these girls.
School in Kenya begins a new year January 3. The lines of parents at the uniform shops assure at least a ½ hour wait to get in the door. The children unable to attend school are not seen. Parents and caregivers try to explain, “I am so sorry, we don’t have enough money to pay for your uniform, lunch fee, books and supplies. It has been hard to find work. I will keep trying. Maybe you can enter school late this year.” It is impossible for the child to hide the disappointment.
Expanding Opportunities has sent Cate, our Social Worker, to stand in the line to begin the purchase of uniforms with the funds we have received. Help us try to keep her in that line every day through the first few weeks of school purchasing uniforms and shoes for children to attend school! We will update with the number of uniforms purchased in February!
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