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Sep 10, 2020

COVID-19 Impacts on Primary Education in Kenya

Thanks to the support provided by you and our other amazing donors, construction for two new classrooms at Nangina Primary School was completed by the end of May 2020. In June, your cotinued support meant that the Collective for Orphan Care and Education (COCE) raised enough money to purchase desks to fill both classrooms.

Please check out our latest blog to hear from the local school Chairman about the impact these two classrooms will make on Nangina and surrounding communities.

In Kenya, the academic year begins in January and ends in December. Usually the second term would begin for our primary school students in Nangina Village in June. Like many other countries, COVID-19 resulted in school closures across Kenya in March. However, Kenya made a decision in July to keep all Kenyan schools closed until January 2021. All children will repeat the grade they began in January 2020. This will further exacerbate gaps in educational attainment -- particularly for poor children in the rural villages COCE serves.At COCE, we have set up a Student Assistance Fund here on GlobalGiving to raise money that helps support young people in the rural villages while they wait for schools to reopen.

We are moving forward on having desks built by local tradesmen. We have had two prototypes constructed and are making decisions this month so we can move forward with construction. When children do return to school this January, they will have a desk to support their learning. We will send an update with pictures when they are completed.

Additionally, we are beginning to fundraise and plan for a community library to better meet the educational needs of children in this rural area. Next week, September 14th-18th, we will be participating in GlobalGiving's Little x Little campaign, where every donation between $10 and $50 made to our project will be matched at 50%! We hope you will check out our GlobalGiving project page to learn more.

Thank you for being part of our collective. It truly takes a village to ensure healthy growth and development for all of our children.

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Aug 3, 2020

Desk for all!

What an amazing summer it has been! At the Collective for Orphan Care and Education (COCE), we began raising money in March to build two classrooms in Nangina Village, which is located in rural western Kenya. By the end of May, both classrooms were built. Then came the task of filling them with desks and chairs. On June 1, 2020, we started our crowdfunding project "Donate a Desk and Change a Life" and as of July 1, 2020, we met our goal of $3,800!

Having this microproject fully funded means that students will not only have an individual desk to sit in, but we can also support the local economy through our purchase of materials and labor. In August, we will work with a local carpenter to buy materials and begin building the 90 total desks needed for students using these classrooms. When the desks are completed, we will send an update with photos so you can see the final result.

We want to thank all of our donors for their generosity because, without you, children would be sitting on concrete floors to learn. Your investment in children and their education means the world to them, and to us at COCE.

While COCE will have the desks constructed this fall, the Kenyan government has mandated that schools will not reopen until January 2021. Virtual learning is not an option for most students in Kenya, due to lack of internet access, electricity, and technology devices. Moreover, many poor students are struggling to survive due to lack of food as a result of COVID-19. Rural Kenyans do not have access to food pantries or safety net programs. At COCE, over the next several months we will be working to establish a Student Assistance Fund to support students and their families through the provision of food, hygiene, and basic health care needs. As we gear up for this new project campaign, we hope that you will consider joining us in these efforts.

Thank you for your continued support of our children. You have made a difference beyond what you can even imagine.

Gratefully yours,

Aug 1, 2020

COVID-19 relief update

At the Collective for Orphan Care and Education (COCE), our mission is to support and empower vulnerable youth to gain the knowledge, resources, and skills they need to lead healthy and successful lives. We began this COVID-19 relief project in April, when many children in rural villages were sent home from boarding schools that shut down. The connection between having basic needs such as food, nutrition, and hygiene met and being able to concentrate on educational pursuits is well-established. Not only were children no longer able to attend school and many adults unable to work, but poor families now had additional mouths to feed each day.

Many people in the U.S. and elsewhere can relate to this situation. However, in rural western Kenya, there are no food pantries, no safety net programs to alleviate some of the financial stress. The situation in rural western Kenya remains dire, and youth will not return to school until January 2021.

We are so thankful for contributions from donors like yourself, who have invested in the health and well-being of children. With the donations received thus far, we were able to provide food and basic needs for 4 children for one month. This was a relief to the families and the children. At COCE, we will continue to support children and families in rural western Kenya and hope you will consider doing so as well.

Gratefully yours,

 
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