Education
 Kenya
Project #7766

Build Skills with "lost" Youth in Kenya

by Rafiki Ya Maisha
Vetted
S.G. Christian Roth greeting Dr. Dinah Mwinzi
S.G. Christian Roth greeting Dr. Dinah Mwinzi

Dear Rafikis and future friends,

 

There is so much exciting news to report as we move towards the opening!

It starts with the official registration of the new Koshyn Technical Training Institute, henceforth locally referred to as KTTI. A great acronym, don't you agree? See the Certificate issued on April 25, 2016. This means that the school can actually open. The new future Principal is being sourced as I write, along with the Deputy and teaching staff. Equipment is being located and we hope for donations in kind from other schools and from the Kenyan government. The Ministry of Education is aiming for an opening in September.

We are happy to inform you that Dr. Dinah Mwinzi, Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and a long-standing friend of Rafiki Ya Maisha arrived in Paris this week! She is leading a team of 4 delegates at the invitation of the Embassy of France in Kenya and is busy developping a partnership with France in the area of technical & vocational training. We are told that the seeds of this project were planted by Rafiki Ya Maisha two years ago when guests of honor H.E. Ambassador Rémi Maréchaux and Cultural Attaché Jean-Pierre Tutin of the French Embassy in Nairobi inaugurated donated classrooms in a ceremony in Koshyn. We are delighted that the spirit of exchange that Rafiki Ya Maisha stands for is developping and gaining ground.

Last but not least, a first Harambee was held by our Kenyan partners on June 18, 2016. A major event! The word "Harambee" in Swahili translates as "let's pull together" - it was a rallying cry and slogan for the first independant government of Kenya in the 60's. In East Africa, it refers to an event held by and for the community to raise funds for a charitable purpose. Our fund raiser aims to raise money to put the finishing touches on the Administrative wing and to build the principals' house. A group of High School finalists planning to apply to the school joined in a dance for the community and their guests for the occasion.

Thank you all for giving these young people the desire to learn a trade and to dream of a productive and open future. You are changing their lives. 

Asante sana!

Claire

Dinah Mwinzi & Claire Mathijsen happy in Paris
Dinah Mwinzi & Claire Mathijsen happy in Paris
Harambee: future trainees dancing
Harambee: future trainees dancing

Attachments:
Star Student and project leader
Star Student and project leader

A plumbing student:

" I am grateful for the support I am offered by the Rafiki Ya Maisha. Thanks to Rafiki Ya Maisha, I was able to identify my talent. I am passionate in plumbing which leads me to self employment." writes Bernard T., a 27 year old student at our school. " I have learned a lot at the capmus in Chepkanga. I used plumbing skills to start a tree nursey and with drip irrigation I save time; this leads to conservation of environment. This is how I raise money for school fees, now I am able to pay in advance, as I save more money for further studies."

The Ambassador of Ireland:

"My first field trip shortly after arriving in Kenya last year was to Koshyn in February, then I came back briefly on a casual basis and today I'm here on an official visit - don't worry, you'll see me here again for a fourth time!" said a smiling Dr. Vincent O''Neill as he officially opened the brand new administration building at our Koshyn campus on February 27, 2016. He came from Nairobi for the afternoon event and stressed that Misean Cara, our Irish sponsors, are very proud of our progress in Koshyn. He celebrated the long standing Irish involvement in education in the Rift Valley.

A clock: 

A clock tower was raised on the roof of the first 2-room building of our Chempkanga campus early March. The teachers and 84 students training in various fields looked on curiously at this mark of distinction: the school looks unique and very different, no other school has this feature. Prof.Margaret Kamar, former Minister of Education, told the students "Congratulations for the good progress. With the clock, Time is of essence. Keep time and use it wisely as the sky is the limit for all Learners".

These three seemingly random subjects are all connected to YOU. Our Sergoek Youth Polytechnic program is finding pace, style and purpose in a large way thanks to your support.

BREAKING NEWS: the plumber, Bernard T. was nominated for an award, becoming the best student in the county out of 240 competitors, today March 20th!  Aren't we all super proud? Thank you for your sustained support. 

Best,

Claire

Opening of admin building at Koshyn
Opening of admin building at Koshyn
Irish Ambassador and local officials
Irish Ambassador and local officials
I
I'll be back here 4 times!
Chepkanga students & Clock tower
Chepkanga students & Clock tower
A distinctive style for Chepkanga campus
A distinctive style for Chepkanga campus
New classrooms at Chepkanga campus
New classrooms at Chepkanga campus

Dear friends of Rafiki,

 We are closing the year feeling very proud indeed. This year has yielded an exceptional harvest of events: a sizeable grant from Misean Cara (Irish Aid), a visit of the Irish Ambassador, an inauguration by the French Ambassador, an online article in The Daily Nation, 39 graduates from the Chepkanga school, 3 buildings at the Koshyn school. In short, the large visibility of our educational project is gaining traction and we are all riding high. It’s been a really BIG year!

 Theresia, local resident and retired English teacher of Koshyn primary, expressed the awe the community feels in a few simple words : « From nowhere to somewhere ».

This translates well in the thoughts of Kibet, 26, a plumbing student who says "I study hard now; I want to generate incomes so that I can be responsible of my own and of my future family."

 The new buildings coming up at Koshyn Polytechnic are now officially registered with the Kenya Board of Education, a headmaster is being recruited and student registration will start in the new year.The future campus looks ready to go.

 The Polytechnic school at Chepkanga expanded with 3 new classrooms, benefitted from a French volunteer teacher for 2 months and added a former trainee to their staff : Matthew K. is now the electrical instructor at the school which taught him 2 years ago. Matthew is a living testimony to the ‘giving back’ spirit inspired by our school.

 Another success of our educational mission lies in two current trainees, Alex and Laban who are the grandchildren of one of our founding members. Isn't that an exciting development and role model for the community?

Happy celebrations!

Claire Mathijsen

Matthew, Electrical teacher & former trainee
Matthew, Electrical teacher & former trainee
Victor, French volunteer coaching science
Victor, French volunteer coaching science
New Admin building at Koshyn campus
New Admin building at Koshyn campus
Maureen, a prospective student
Maureen, a prospective student

Dear Rafikis,

Maureen, 20 years, and a prospective student of the school says :

“ It is rare for a community to have a tertiary institution within it. We as the community and more specificly the youth of Kosyin are privileged to have one.”

 She continues by pointing to a hard fact concerning the young people in the area.

“The youth for a long time have been wasting their time on unproductive activities because of lack of advancement in school.”

 With a smile on her face, she adds:

“The building of the polytechnic in our region will totally change our lives for the better and enable us to be more productive members of our families and our society.”

 

22 year old Isaac, also from Koshyn, confirms this view, adding :

« In particular, most of the youth get their skills through learning and eventually get employed or rather employ themselves. »

 Both students marvel at the three buildings that have come up in less than a year. Before the end of next month, the horseshoe shaped school center will be fully apparent.Our next goal is to open at the start of the new academic year in January 2016 ! Onwards, now!

 The students say a resounding « KONGOI » - Kalenjin for thank you – to all those in Rafiki Ya Maisha who are involved with this transformation.There are many more buldings to go and we can't wait for the 1st step: to fill the classrooms with trainees.

Aren't you proud to be agents of change and hope for these youths with Rafiki ?

Claire Mathijsen

Administrative building shaping up
Administrative building shaping up
Core buildings of the school
Core buildings of the school
French Ambassador unveils plaque
French Ambassador unveils plaque

Dear friends,

We have not lost anytime with the school construction project: 1 wing is fully constructed and 2 more will be ready after the summer.

 The highlight of our recent events was the official inauguration of the 2 classrooms sponsored by the French government. These classrooms were funded by the French Embassy’s Social Fund for Development. H.E. Ambassador Rémi Maréchaux was the guest of honour at the inauguration ceremony held on May 14, 2015.

 The Uasin Gishu County governor Jackson Mandago, the Member of the County Assembly for Tembelio Ward Pius Kigen, the land donor and former Minister of Education Prof. Margaret Kamar, and other personalities were present. Please check the link for the online article published in THE DAILY NATION, the widest circulated paper in Kenya.

 The other two classrooms donated by close friends and supporters of RAFIKI YA MAISHA were also officially inaugurated on that day: the Katy and Matthieu Debost room and the “women’s” room sponsored by the Association of American Wives of Europeans in Paris, France and the Association Femmes d’Europe in Brussels, Belgium.

 The students from our school who train at our first campus in Chepkanga sang spirited songs, the elder of the community offered the traditional rungu or staff to the men dignitaries and the ladies got adorned in traditional kangas or wraps.

 This first building plus the new ones under construction constitute the central quadrangle of the school. The first students will be expected for the beginning of the new school year in January 2016 thus inaugurating the academic purpose of the institution.

More classrooms and workshops are being built at this time. Our goal, given the high buidling standards -  is to transform the institution from a rural ‘village’ polytechnic school into a regional Institute for Technical Education.

 “ From nowhere… to somewhere!” exclaimed Theresia, an older community member, as she proudly showed off the new building. I hope you can feel the excitement that is radiating out of that field. Aren’t you happy to be providing hope & change for a whole new generation of underserved youths?

Cheers!  Claire

Inauguration ceremony
Inauguration ceremony
Viewing a finished classroom
Viewing a finished classroom
Energetic songs by school girls
Energetic songs by school girls
Community members show their support
Community members show their support
Construction of next buildings continues
Construction of next buildings continues

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Rafiki Ya Maisha

Location: Paris - France
Website: http:/​/​www.rafikiyamaisha.com
Project Leader:
Claire Mathijsen Roth
Paris, France

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