It was a time for joy when the scores on the test for entry to high school were revealed this January, as Kris Wetah wrote:
We had an awesome performance from the class to join high school.. Out of the 500 marks, they performed as follows: 421, 416, 401, 390, 370, 370, 354, 349, 325, 210, and 275. All qualified to join high school. The 1st 4 will approximately need $1000 each for tuition alone for the year. They will be admited in national school, the top flight government schools.
Our moment of jubilee was stopped when we realized that the orphanage had to raise $13,000 for tuition by February 3. It was a scramble, but with Kris' hard work and the cooperation of Spanish and German NGO's, help from the GSCH founder's granddaughter, and Fabulous African Fabrics, the money was paid by February 3. All of the teens proudly took the places reserved for them and now are studying hard to excell in high school.
Our contribution to this term totalled $3650. So this is a gigantic thank you to all of you who have contributed to GlobalGiving project 6163! Please continue to contribute to this project, especially on March 16 when there will be a Bonus Day, and your donation will be matched by GG.
What does your help mean to the individal student? Here is a letter received from Mary who is now at St. Mary's Mission Hospital High School in Kenya. She is 17 years old and in Form 2, a graduate of the Good Samaritan Home.
I joined Good Samaritan Home in 2011 and have been there for four years and the home has been providing me with education, food and clothing. The main reason I joined the home is that my parents did not have enough [money] to cater for my school needs and everyday concerns. Since I joined it has offered me hope to achieve my dreams of a doctor. With these I will be able to give back to the society and help my parents. I want to touch lives of children with the same problem and even setting up my own children's home. Indeed Good Samaritan has been a home of love, care, comfort and encouragement. I am really thankful for Mama Mercy and I will continue relighting my candle day and night and work hard, for good things comes to those who are patient.
So Thank you for your generous donations and keep up the good work!
Most Kenyan students in primary and secondary schools are currently on holiday having closed schools on April 8th, this month. From May 2nd, schools will open for the second semester and go on till early August when they close again for holidays. The last semester of the year will commence in early September to around November 18th when students break for December holidays. Holidays always mean the Good Samaritan Children Home (GSCH) has more mouths to feed as all the children, especially those in boarding schools, come back to the orphanage awaiting the schools to open for the following semester. More often than not, the GSCH find their budget a bit stretched as they have to buy more food to feed the children.
At the same time, opening of schools means finding tuition fee for all school going children living at the orphanage. The schools also require students to be in full school uniform and shoes the first day they report at school. Usually, all students go through a detailed inspection to ensure they have met all these requirements before they are allowed into classes and dorms (for those who live in dorms). Students who do not have tuition fee and uniforms are turned away immediately. This leads to a loss of study time, for the affected students, as well as frustrations on the part of students and the orphanage. We appreciate that you have stood with the children all this time and hope you can dig a little deeper into your pockets, before schools open, and ensure that all the children at GSCH are starting school with all other students and continue learning for the rest of the semester.
The crisis started when a large number of teens did so well on their entrance exams at the end of elementary school last spring . Suddenly the Good Samaritan Children's Home had more students with places in top notch high schools. The tuition bill was sky high. Did you know that places in high schools are held for students with high grades, but if tuition is not paid in full on registration day, those places are given to students with lower grades and wealthy parents? Neither did I. The orphanage met the high tuition bill by adding some of the food budget to pay tuition. For several weeks the younger children were fed only once a day. They became out of sorts, not knowing why they could not get more food. A donation of $800 from Fabulous African Fabrics provided food for a month, and the six to twelve year olds went to class with full stomachs ready to learn.
Suddenly in a new national ruling from the schools demanded a payment of $50 dollars for an exit test fee for each student who is in the last year of high school. It had to be paid at their winter enrollement. Seniors were sent home to the orphanage when they did not pay this fee, being told they would lose their place in school if this was not paid on time. A gracious donor from FAF paid the $950 bill, and that crisis was met. The teens went back to their boarding schools.
At the same time, the government demanded a payment of $1800 for NGO registration. The orphanage was threatened to be closed. Fabulous African Fabrics stepped forward and emptied its coffers and the orphanage was saved. With this NGO registration and restructuring the Kenyan goverment has pledged to help The Good Samaritan Children's Home with some of their financial woes. We do not know exactly what this means at this time.
Now FAF must face helping pay the spring tuition bill. Fortunately it will be smaller than the February bill, but we need your help. It is bonus day at GlobalGiving on Wednesday March 16. You can provide tuition money by giving generously. Bonus Day funds from GlobalGiving will be $75,000. Let's get some of that bonus. The percentage of bonus depends on the amount raised, so reach into your pockets.
We will meet each crisis as it comes, but under new management the Good Samaritan Children's Home will be prepared.