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Apr 10, 2019

A note from Douglas as he heads to university

Douglas with Kwamboka, in primary school, and now
Douglas with Kwamboka, in primary school, and now

This update was prepared by Douglas, one of our oldest alumni. MOCF began supporting Douglas in 2007, funding his education at a local boarding school. When we opened the doors of our own school in 2009, Douglas became part of the inaugural 5th grade class. After passing national exams in 8th grade with high marks, he won admission to a selective high school in Nairobi. He recently graduated, again with high marks, and will soon begin university. This is Douglas’s story in his words:

They always say life has no meaning when one seems to have no beginning. When one seems to be lost and has no one to be a shield. But when I tell my story, it seems to disagree with the saying. My father died when I was a year old. He was the bread winner of the family. He left six kids in our family. I was the second last born. My eldest sister was in grade three by then. My mother was left in pieces. All our relatives neglected us and friends too.

But on 27th January 2007, one of our neighbors came to our house early in the morning. He was a head teacher at a local primary school near my home. I was in grade three by then. We had a knock at the door and my mother rushed to open it. I overheard them talk about an organization that supports poor orphans to continue with their education. This was the Margaret Okari Children’s Foundation, and Kwamboka (founder and executive director) had spoken with the head teacher about children in need. The teacher only wanted to enroll one child in our family and my mother chose me. Although I was young, I felt something in me had changed suddenly. The information touched my life.

So it was that I had to report to meet Auntie Kwamboka. It was on a Thursday when I arrived at the school. I was in rags. My shirt was torn all over from behind. I was barefoot and dirty. And I was nervous of course. In a few minute's time, Auntie Kwamboka arrived. I was shocked to find out that she was so friendly and loving. She smiled at the group of us and asked us to call her auntie.We learned we were to be admitted at school the following week. We were quite a large group. The day finally came. It was my first time to wear good school shoes, a good uniform. I looked good. We were admitted at Nyambunwa academy, a good private school. Auntie Kwamboka often visited us. I worked hard and I was always at the top in class.

In 2009, when I was in grade five, we were then moved to our own school, Margaret Okari Primary School. We were well taken care of. Good food, quality education, love from Auntie Kwamboka and all the others. I met visitors from the USA and learnt that they funded the Okari Foundation. They were so kind. I learnt from their benevolence that it's through giving that you can receive.

I sat for my National exams in 2012 and I managed to score high marks. I was so happy because I made our school proud too. Auntie Kwamboka helped me find a good high school, and that was the first time I stepped into the city of Nairobi. It was like a dream come true. My time in high school included a lot of challenges but in my mind I always knew that I was a Margaret Okari Children’s Foundation product. I had to work hard and be better tomorrow. I successfully completed my high school education in 2018 and I managed to score an A-. 

I am now getting ready to join university and want to pursue medicine. I want to be a qualified medical doctor. I want to make a better tomorrow, to help others. I am so grateful for the Margaret Okari Children’s Foundation, which got me where I am today.

Jan 11, 2019

Good News to Start the New Year!!

Happy New Year!

As we get ready to start the new Kenyan school year this week, we are very proud to report that results of the 2018 national exams came in and once again we ranked 1st in our district of more than 140 schools! Additionally, four of our students scored in the top 1% nationwide!

Not only have we ranked first two years in a row, but our students are also performing at levels that make them competitive with some of the best in the country. Each November, 8th graders across Kenya take a national exam that determines which high schools they will qualify for. The exam is scored out of 500, and the highest score in the country is typically around 450. This year, the top score nationally was 453. Of our 22 8th graders who sat for the exam, four scored above 400, placing them in the top 1% of students across Kenya. These are remarkable results given the context in which we work, the social and economic disadvantages our students face, and the fact that we operate on such a lean budget. The fact that we are graduating students who are performing so highly reflects both our driving focus on providing marginalized children with the best academic foundation possible and our commitment to use each dollar available to us for maximum impact.

The following is a note our Founder and Executive Director, Kwamboka Okari, sent after receiving news of the results:

Hi all you good people!

We are all very excited about the performance of our 8th graders. Yesterday the community of Gotichaki poured into our school compound and broke in song and dance, in celebration of our school's performance...

Yes, we are No. ONE once again, out of 141 schools, this time round. We learned this yesterday. Our 1st student scored 427 out of 500 marks. The 1st student in Kenya scored 453 out of 500 marks. Twenty-two of our students sat for the exams. Four scored 427, 422, 416 and 409, respectively. For the next week, the head teacher and myself will be busy sourcing for scholarships for those who qualify for one. Will keep you posted of the outcome.

Once again, I would like to thank you very much for your continued support. Trust me, without your dedication and commitment to our cause, our school would not be where it is today.

Our warm regards,
Kwamobka

We are very excited to begin our 11th school year and thank you for your continued partnership. As Kwamboka said, our school and the hundreds of vulnerable children we educate each year would not be where they are without you!

Happy New Year,
The Okari Team

Jan 11, 2019

Good News to Start the New Year!!

Happy New Year!

As we get ready to start the new Kenyan school year this week, we are very proud to report that results of the 2018 national exams came in and once again we ranked 1st in our district of more than 140 schools! Additionally, four of our students scored in the top 1% nationwide!

Not only have we ranked first two years in a row, but our students are also performing at levels that make them competitive with some of the best in the country. Each November, 8th graders across Kenya take a national exam that determines which high schools they will qualify for. The exam is scored out of 500, and the highest score in the country is typically around 450. This year, the top score nationally was 453. Of our 22 8th graders who sat for the exam, four scored above 400, placing them in the top 1% of students across Kenya. These are remarkable results given the context in which we work, the social and economic disadvantages our students face, and the fact that we operate on such a lean budget. The fact that we are graduating students who are performing so highly reflects both our driving focus on providing marginalized children with the best academic foundation possible and our commitment to use each dollar available to us for maximum impact.

The following is a note our Founder and Executive Director, Kwamboka Okari, sent after receiving news of the results:

Hi all you good people!

We are all very excited about the performance of our 8th graders. Yesterday the community of Gotichaki poured into our school compound and broke in song and dance, in celebration of our school's performance...

Yes, we are No. ONE once again, out of 141 schools, this time round. We learned this yesterday. Our 1st student scored 427 out of 500 marks. The 1st student in Kenya scored 453 out of 500 marks. Twenty-two of our students sat for the exams. Four scored 427, 422, 416 and 409, respectively. For the next week, the head teacher and myself will be busy sourcing for scholarships for those who qualify for one. Will keep you posted of the outcome.

Once again, I would like to thank you very much for your continued support. Trust me, without your dedication and commitment to our cause, our school would not be where it is today.

Our warm regards,
Kwamobka

We are very excited to begin our 11th school year and thank you for your continued partnership. As Kwamboka said, our school and the hundreds of vulnerable children we educate each year would not be where they are without you!

Happy New Year,
The Okari Team

 
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