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Jan 24, 2020

End of Primary School exams

Sudin from Agulu Primary
Sudin from Agulu Primary

Each year when our Umoja students finish the primary schoool year they take exams (KCPE). These exams last an entire week. In the last year of primary school, class 8, the exam is high stakes. The results of the KCPE exam determines where a child may attend secondary school (high school) and what scholarships that they might be able to earn.

In 2019 the Umoja students had a banner year. Out 389 who graduated from class 8, there were 105 students who qualified to receive scholarships from Umoja. Some of our students received scholarships from other organizations. We will be supporting 45 form one students again this year which will increase our number of secondary students this year from 135 supported in 2019 to now 158 in 2020.

We need your help! We would love to send all of our children to high school no matter how they score on their class 8 exams but for now that is a dream. For now, we need your help funding these 158 students. Sudin and Irene are Form 1 students in 2020, what we would call freshman high school students.

Sudin is a total orphan and has only an elderly grandmother to be his guardian. He attended Agulu Primary school and has joined Chulaimbo Boys School. Chulaimbo has had good success with matriculation on to colleges and universities after Form 4. 

Irene is a partial orphan who lives with her aunt. She graduated from Chulaimbo Primary School and has joined Sinyolo Girls Secondary School. She was the second best girl in her graduating class. The first girl in her class was also an Umoja student.

Please keep our secondary students in your thoughts and prayers as they start their new school year!

Thank you for your support, we couldn't send any of these children to school without you!

Irene from Chulaimbo Primary School
Irene from Chulaimbo Primary School
Dec 9, 2019

Irene Graduates

Graduation Photo
Graduation Photo

Irene recently graduated from Baraton Teachers Training College with a Diploma in Education Art, and English/Geography. 

Irene is a long-time member of the Umoja family. She attended Mawego Girls Secondary School and has been active in the Girls Empowerment Team (GET UP) for many years.

Following her graduation, she wrote:

Thank you very much Umoja Partnership family for helping me make this dream come true by being there with me through the rough times, the love from this big family gave me the courage to fight life challenges and here I am celebrating with you the victory.... thank you.

Congratulations, Irene -- we are so proud of all that you have accomplished!

The last person in the video below is Irene, make sure you click on the link!

 

As donors, we could provide the college and university tution without you! Thank you for your continued support!

2017 picture of scholar studying in Eldoret
2017 picture of scholar studying in Eldoret

Links:

Oct 11, 2019

Girls Empowerment Retreat

Small group photo op with Madame Osango
Small group photo op with Madame Osango

In August I had the opportunity to join our secondary and post-secondary students at the Girl's Empowerment Team of Umoja Project's three day annual retreat. The retreat was held at a school close to the Massai Mara. The girls and the facilitators stayed in the school dorms and we ate in the caffeteria each day. 

The retreat included fun and games, a talent contest, and a game drive. However, the bulk of the time was spent in small groups led by facilitators covering responsibility, peer pressure, sexual health, mental health, and financial health. The girls retreat had five speakers: Madame Alice Osango, Madame Nelly Ndenge, Mural Nyangaga, Olivia Naya, and Mr. Samson Nyarima.

It was amazing to witness the dedication of our staff and speakers. It was inspiring to listen to the youth and witness their many talents in music, dance, speech, and design. Hearing their stories was both heart breaking and awe-inspiring at what they have overcome.

The girls wrote letters to the U.S. side of the project.  Here are a few quotes from those letters.

Since I came to the project I never felt like an orphan anymore. I have always benefitted from sanitary towels, the lunch at primary school, uniforms, blankets, and D-light. I am very grateful for everything. I appreciate your loving, caring, and understanding nature. May God bless you. I also thank you for appointing the staff which are so understanding, faithful, and fair. And to and on top they are very dedicated. May God Bless them. 
– Doreen, Journalism and Mass Communications, Chuka University

The major lesson I learned this summer: the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service to others.
– Ruth, intern from Maseno University Social Work and Gender Studies Program.

I was sponsored by the Umoja Partnership when I was in class 7 after a very difficult situation when I lost my parents in a road accident which made me very pessimistic about my future. After a sorrowful moment, the Umoja Project sprang into action and I was taken as a member of the beneficiary. At this moment, I promise to work harder. I was taken to high school which keeps the fire burning unto the end to ensure that I achieve my goals in life. 
– Linet, Form 3, St. George’s Sianda Mixed Secondary School

By now, my life has changed and I am no longer an orphan. I have many fathers and many mothers. By now I am a daughter to many mothers and fathers. I am appreciating the Umoja Project for the support they have been giving me and I am enjoying the high school life and also being in this project. The project is admirable. I am glad to be in this project and I am advising and requesting you to continue sponsoring people.
– Lensa 

Umoja has always been a place to be. I term it as a home where lives are transformed. In the midst of the fear of what the future held, confusion and helplessness, Umoja took the burden altogether and my life phase shone once more. I cannot deny the tireless job that is done in Indianapolis just for the sake of them who are like me. 
– Lorite, 4th year student in Business Management, More University

I lost both of my parents when I was one year old. My older siblings also died at a young age leaving me with only my grandmother who struggles to support us with her increasing age. But indeed God has been grateful to me through Umoja project. I was lost in the darkness but Umoja gave me hope, and with Umoja family, I don’t feel like an orphan anymore. Umoja is really like a close and passionate friend to me. Umoja has supported my education through paying school fees, my sanitary towels, lunch program in primary school, uniforms, and foodstuffs for home. I really appreciate the fact that you care for us so much, you are such loving and understanding people. I thank all the Indiana people for their contribution.-annonymous

During my visit, I learned from these young adults that the Umoja Project is working.  The holistic approach of food, clothing, shelter when necessary, education, and emotional support is empowering young people to become independent and provide for themselves and their younger "siblings." These young Umoja beneficiaries are grateful, but most of all they are hopeful for a better life tomorrow. They know with hard work they can achieve their dreams.

Thank you for supporting their dreams!

Hand made garment made from packaging
Hand made garment made from packaging
 
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