Education
 Kenya
Project #7766

Build Skills with "lost" Youth in Kenya

by Rafiki Ya Maisha
Rafiki tournament T-shirts in French colors
Rafiki tournament T-shirts in French colors

Dear Friends,

There is much going on this spring in Chepkanga.

A Rafiki Ya Maisha Youth Group emerged from a handful of highly motivated university students who want to bring change to their community. Encouraged by the energetic presence of Agatha F., our young volunteer from France, a youth charter was drawn up and a Board nominated. These young people decided to call a meeting with the village elders, the community leaders and the school principals of the Vocational Training schools that Rafiki Ya Maisha has been sponsoring. They read their charter, discussed their action plan and sollicited the goodwill from the older members. All present pledged to help these youths intent on convincing their peers to lead creative and productive lives. The top ambition of the group is to create a Talent Center for the Youth in Chepkanga.

The reason for this awareness grew from an observation and a growing concern. Twenty years ago, there was ONE bar in Chepkanga. Over the past five years, that number has exploded to 12 and as a result, the number of young alcooholics has risen drastically.

A volley ball and football tournament was organized and presented a great occasion to meet and promote ideas. Rafiki Ya Maisha T-shirts were designed and drinks offered to a large gathering of 250-300 young people from the area. The principals of both schools announced that registration was open and that government loans were accessible.

At KTTI, the Benina building foundations were dry and sofar, the construction looks like a promising new addition to the campus. Several meetings took place with the architect, the contractor and an officer from the Ministry of Works. The new Board of Governors gathered for meetings during my February visit. We spend 2 days in a seminar learning about our new duties and responsibilities as members of the BOG of the fledgling Institute.

We are very excited about this dynamic Youth Group in Rafiki Ya Maisha's heart - aren't you proud of them too?

THANK YOU ALL for your support in this adventure,

Claire Mathijsen

Youth group writing their charter with Agatha
Youth group writing their charter with Agatha
Town Hall meeting - Youth and Community
Town Hall meeting - Youth and Community
Happy Youth Group with Agatha, French volunteer
Happy Youth Group with Agatha, French volunteer
Front view - future Benina Building
Front view - future Benina Building

 Dear Friends,

 

This year has been full and exciting: an Ambassor's visit, inaugurations, a star student & a 1st prize, a new clock tower, a new Principal, prostpective students, goverment support and of course, a strong & motivated Rafiki Ya Maisha Kenya team. Now, we are ending this quarter with the biggest news of all .....we are breaking ground at Koshin again!

KTTI is scheduled to open officially next February and in the meantime, we have sourced funding for the largest building of the school. This building is the fourth and last of the central quadrangle: it contains two full classrooms and will be completed with a multipurpose hall that can seat 320-350 people.

This building - the future Benina Building - for the name of the Foundation which has sponsored the project, is designed to hold assemblies, graduations, exam sessions and conferences. In the future, it will house shows, plays, concerts and performances by the students of the planned Talent Center.

Our local architect has drawn up wonderful plans: see & admire the facsimile of the future building below.

Thank you all for your support and your interest which is making this school come more alive than ever! Our generous land donor, Margaret K. visited us in Paris. Please do the same and return the favor. We hope some of you will be able to join us next year in Eldoret, either for the official opening taking place mid-February 2017 or for a fall visit later in the year when the school is fully operational and the weather is on the dry & sunny side. 

Thank you my friends - without you this project would be no fun and we certainly would not have gotten this far!

All the very best,

Claire

Entrance with direct access to Hall
Entrance with direct access to Hall
Rear View - closing the quadrangle
Rear View - closing the quadrangle
Claire & Margaret on Champs Elysees, Paris
Claire & Margaret on Champs Elysees, Paris
Rafiki announcements in Chepkanga church
Rafiki announcements in Chepkanga church

Dear Rafikis and friends,

The Chepkanga community listened attentively during our last visit in July when Rafiki Ya Maisha International and Rafiki Ya Maisha Kenya spoke at Saint Joseph's church, Chepkanga. Many families are looking forward to sending their teenaged children for vocational training at the schools we are sponsoring.

Rafiki Ya Maisha was invited to attend a meeting of the Moiben Youth Against Drug Abuse and we were impressed by this local initiative. We have decided to partner with them and support their efforts.

Campus news. From humble beginnings several years ago as a Youth Polytechnic we have now reached the status of a Technical Training Institute. The Kosyn Tecnical Training Institute, known as "KTTI" is an administrative reality! It is a mid-level technical Institute located 15 km from Eldoret town and 20km before Iten town, the world capital of marathon runners.

The first principal of KTTI was appointed on July 15th. We welcome Mr. Ernest Cheruiyot as the piooneering steward of this new school. His credentials as former strategic planner for the famed Rift Valley Technical Training Institute, bodes well for the success of our adventure.

Our friends in Rafiki Ya Maisha and Mr. Cheruiyot are busy coordinating with the local authorities to source funds and equipment to open the Institute in the coming months. Electricity is coming, running water is there, the sceptic tank is going in and the avertizement boards are up on the roads."This will go a long way in meeting basic requirements in preparation for student amission at Kosyn TTI", says Mr. Cheruiyot.

We are looking forward to the new developments and hope to give you exciting news at year end!

We are moving fast now and want to thank you for traveling this road with us so far. We are reaching somewhere together!

Claire

Partners:"Youth Group against Drug Abuse"
Partners:"Youth Group against Drug Abuse"
KTTI Principal Ernest Cheruiyot and Claire
KTTI Principal Ernest Cheruiyot and Claire
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
 

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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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