ASANTENI SANA! Thank you very much! We are extremely grateful to everyone who helped our project reach the initial target of $10,000. Each and every donation has helped us continue running our four Seed of Hope centres in Kenya giving dignity, hope and opportunity to destitute teenage girls.
When we were pulling together our information for the GlobalGiving challenge, we weren’t sure what to set as a target. $4,000 was the amount required to secure a place but we wanted to aim higher. To run our four centres for one year costs around $50,000 so $10,000 seemed like a good starting point and you helped us achieve that total in a period of nine months. This has really helped us in the funding of the centres and given the support we have seen from GlobalGiving donors, we decided to increase the target to $20,000...we know we can make it!
In line with the Kenyan school holidays, all our centres were closed for the month of April. During this break, the staff from all the centres came together in Nairobi for two days of training and exchanging ideas. Students returned at the beginning of May for their second term which will see our second year students prepare for their trade exams in Dressmaking. These exams are the same ones that government polytechnic students sit – the difference with our course is that we also train students with invaluable business skills and life skills. Many girls have problems with self-esteem when they enrol at our centres due to the circumstances from which they have come. Through counselling and lessons in Personal and Social Education, they gain a confidence which enables them to chat freely with visitors to the centre and to their own clients when they graduate and set up their own business.
Another difference between our curriculum and that of the government polytechnics is that students learn how to produce “marketable crafts” such as jewellery, mats, leather bags etc. They also learn about fashion and design and how to create their own designs. On a recent trip to our Kariti centre in Murang’a, we were shown some printing blocks the girls were working on. Showing great resourcefulness, the teacher had shown the girls how to make these from old flipflops! A fantastic example of recycling – check out the picture to see the results.
As well as seeking international donations for Seed of Hope, we have also been working with local individuals and church groups who are willing to assist the centres. In Nairobi, a group of visitors from a nearby church took time to visit the homes of some students in Kibera slums then headed to the centre to meet all the students. They were so touched by what they saw that they have decided to support the feeding program at this centre, ensuring that every girl will be given lunch at school. The same group also brought bags of newspapers which can be sold as part of the centre’s recycling project, re:future, to generate income towards the running costs.
Students are very much encouraged when we tell them that people locally and internationally are supporting them through their course. This motivates them to also help themselves by working hard and by contributing to the income generating activity at their centre. On behalf of the students, staff and management committees of each centre thank you for this support and we look forward to announcing that we have reached our revised target!
*** June 16th is International Day of the African Child....and also matching day on GlobalGiving where all donations will be matched with 50%. A great opportunity for us to take a step closer to that target! Please spread the word.***
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