Thank you for supporting our work to educate children in Kenya. Over the years, we have seen many children benefit from your generous contributions.
Our partner ECD centres and schools in Kibera, Nyamwanga, Busire and Kandara have had changes in their circumstances and no longer require funding from Vision Africa. Through our connection with another organisation, these projects have secured funding and we hope will continue the great work that they have been doing during their time with us.
As the scope of our work in this area has changed, we have taken the decision to deactivate this project.
If you are still interested in supporting our work and the education of children in Kenya, please check out our other project to Keep 60 Vulnerable Children In Their Families by supporting their education costs. These are children who have been reintegrated from children's homes to their families but still need financial support to ensure they complete their education.
Once again, thank you for contributing to our work and making a difference!
True Gunners Youth Club is a young and growing community based organization whose members are drawn from the sprawling slums of Ngando in Dagoretti South Constituency, Nairobi. This club was started by young people in the community who were passionate about nurturing talents of young boys and girls through soccer and enhance their capacity towards active participation in the development of their community. Their major goal was to impart skills, empower and develop talents of children and youth from grassroots to higher standards hence make them responsible citizens in the future. The club has a membership of approximately 150 young people both male and female of whom majority are under 18 years. Their core activities was mainly in soccer, art and design and awareness campaigns but 3 years down the line they partnered with Vision Africa to implement an afterschool programme dubbed Village of Hope so as to complement the education being offered by government and informal schools through an afterschool library where children are allowed to come and complete their homework, revise and access reading and learning materials in a safe and conducive environment. Being situated at the heart of Ngando slums, the after school programme serves all the children within the slums but also extended their services through mobile library where volunteer teachers visit schools that has no libraries to provide books and spend time with children during reading lessons hence improve their reading culture.
Good news is that through Village of Hope project, children and young people have made positive progress not only towards improving their school performance but also in building their self-esteem and confidence through mentorship. The programme also run the empowerment club for the youth over the weekends which have given them a platform to voice their concern, share issues that affect them within their families and school and find solutions to their problems. When we spoke to Village of Hope project leader, he said that their 2017 highlight was the good performance by all the children at end of year exams, increase in enrolment for high school students in the programme, winning football tournaments. Their most significant achievement is the 10 students who sat for Kenya Certificate of Primary Exams (KCPE) performed well with a girl being on the lead. Christine who scored 364 out of 500 marks has been called to join a National school in Nairobi. The biggest challenge for Village of Hope is to get scholarship for these students since they come from humble backgrounds whereby their parents cannot afford to pay secondary education. As they apply for corporate scholarships, I believe that by January all the 10 students will get admission to advance their education in high school.
Other news is that schools have been on recess since the beginning of November and children within our programmes are at home with their families. Although the holiday is long, we could not organize for holiday activities for the children and young people to participate due to political temperature that had engulf the county since August after the general elections. The only project that has continued with its activities to keep children and young people busy is the Village of Hope through empowerment and football clubs respectively. Parents appreciate the work that Village of Hope is doing in partnership with Vision Africa as they say that their children’s school performance have significantly improved and the empowerment club has changed their characters in a way that they have good relationships at home and in the community!
All this would not have been possible were it not for the continuous support you have given to us to bring change in the lives of children and young people. I believe it is through education that children and young people have the opportunity to reach out their potential to thrive and succeed in life. Thank you for your ongoing contribution towards our education programme, we would not have come this far without your help.
May I take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!
Education is one of our core programme areas that have continued to positively impact in the lives of our children and young people who have the potential to thrive and succeed in life like the young man whom I requested to make an introduction! “Hello, my name is Chrispine, I am 20 years old. I am an orphan and I come from poor background being raised by my grandparent. I would like to share with you how (Kibera Mpira Mtaani) Kimmta Afterschool Programme has really transformed my life up to where I am today. I joined Kimmta in the year 2011 when I was in class seven and I really know how this project is meaningful. I can confidently assure you that Kimmta is the best place to be. The reason being that, it’s the only place you can find teachers helping students and they have one on one which is the best way to learn. We also have a lot of different books and other revision materials which has made this after school programme to be more efficient.” Chris as who is a volunteer teacher has a fond memories of his time while student at Kimmta as he shared how the programmed supported them with school necessities and I quote “There was also provision of some school uniforms especially shoes and this I will never forget since I used those shoes for 3 good years. Last but not least Kimmta provides a conducive environment for studies and it has been one of the best places for excellence in term of education. I did my primary level joining high school still believing and trusting in Kimmta and besides education there is also empowerment club which is also useful to our lives.”
Chris as he commonly called dreamt of excelling academically because of the confidence he had put when he joined Kimmta and he is proud of the decision he made 6 years ago since he completed his form four (secondary school) and passed the national exams in 2016 thus qualified to join a public university in August to undertake a bachelor in Business Management. “I used to tell people that nothing is impossible just strengthen your foundation like I personally strengthened my foundation and Kimmta is behind my good performance.” Early this year, Chris decided to come and give back to the community and this is to become one of the volunteer teachers for after school program. He had an easy time assisting students since he believed that experience was the best teacher and he had total experience towards the living way in Kibera. He says “Kimmta is really helping and as I can compare the population during my time and now the population has really grown. The total is around 400 as u compare with our time which was less than 100. I love and respect this place and I believe it’s a place of transformations.” Chrispine has raised some of the funds he needs to start university but is still in need of 14,000ksh (£110, USD140). Can you help support a young man from Kibera who is doing positive things to change his life and his community?
The third and final term of the school calendar is finally here and learners have gone back to school for this term is shorter but important for candidates in class 8 and form 4 who are completing primary and secondary schools respectively. Parents were apprehensive in taking their children back to school due to election fever that has engulfed the Nation after the August general election. Some of the schools which were used as polling stations were destroyed during the post-election violence especially in the slums of Nairobi where some of the children we support come from. The effect of violence is still in the minds of these little children and according to one of the primary teachers I spoke to recently said “since the school opened, the level of concentration among the children has gone down as they keep discussing on politics, violence that they witnessed and the upcoming presidential elections in October”.Although not all the counties experienced violence and destruction of properties, there is still tension as Kenyans awaits the second presidential election since Supreme Court nullified the August election. It is unfortunate that the media, and those running for electro offices have not considered the effect this election have had on our children since they are the most vulnerable thus what they see and hear shape their developing brains, leaving effects that last into adolenscence and adulhood.
Other news is that the after school programmes and the Early Child Education and Development centre are in session much as Kibera and other parts of the countries have been named as hotspot in regards to post-elections violence. The teachers reported a low turn up last week when schools opened but the numbers kept increasing hence this week their classes are full. The Kimmta ECD teacher also informed us that even the little ones are chatting on politics which leads to debate with regards to their preferred candidates. We have requested all our project partners to start a conversation with children with regards to their place in politics, the coming election and the impact on their education so as to dispel the fear in them. They are also to create awareness and work closely with parents to ensure that the children are restricted from accessing media channels that broadcast violence or attending political rallies that expose them to negative publicity towards different political class. We hope that schools will teach children for them to understand that the difference between politicians is not personal but based on ideas so as to reduce anxiety amongst and to enable them to concentrate with their academics.
I would like to sincerely thank you for your continued support for our education program since through your generous giving, many of our children and young people in disadvantage families are able to access reading and writing materials but also school necessities to enabled them perform well academically hence advance in their studies. We believe that through quality education, these children and young people will have the opportunity to thrive and succeed in future!
The second term of the school calendar began May. The term is seen as the longest yet has numerous extra-curricular activities like music festivals, ball games & Athletics competitions and educational trips. For many of the children sponsored through Vision Africa education programme, this term is very significant as we encourage them to participate in school activities so that they nurture their talents, get opportunity to travel out of their comfort zone and get exposure to a different world. Students’ participation in the school activities has had positive impact in their lives as it has enable them to build confidence, socialize, learn and appreciate different ethnic communities, culture and traditions. The educational trips also give pupils the opportunity to see the beauty of our country; the wild animals found in our National Parks and learn about the pre-historic sites which more often find its way as questions being asked during exams. We also encourage teachers in the early childhood education centres that we support to take the learning out of class and allow the little children to interact, compete in games, to explore and learn new things in a different environment. This was realized by two ecd centres in the western part of the country as they organized football competition between the two schools Nyamwanga ecd and Busire ecd. The pupils were so excited to have met and compete with each other in their favourite game hence they are now nagging their teachers to organize more of such outings. Unlike the other 3 ecd centres under Vision Africa, the Kibera Mpira Mtaani ecd pupils always get the opportunity to go out of their learning environment and interact with pupils from prestigious schools within the city as they compete in balls games and learn different art work. Although our pupils come from the Kibera slums, they are not intimidated by the fact that people see them as children from poor families but instead they have been trained to put their best foot forward with confidence and play to win in all games. Teacher Irene from Kibera ecd once said, “Our ecd centre is envied by so many schools and parents within the Kibera slums because our pupils are not only clean, neat and well fed but we also take them out for school trips and games. It is unfortunate that we are not able to enrol or accommodate a huge number of children each year who wish to join us due to scarcity of space to put up a bigger ecd centre.” The same ecd centre is also used by the after school programme as pupils from within the slums come to study, finish their homework and tuition.
Kibera Mpira Mtaani and Village of Hope after school programme has a total of 475 pupils who attend the evening classes each day. The programme continues to impact the lives of many students both in Kibera and Village of Hope as there is significant improvement in their school performance which has led to increase number of pupils who have joined the evening classes. One such student who has benefited from the afterschool programme is Sonia. Sonia is the lastborn in a family of 3 siblings who are all in high school. They live in the slums of Ngando with their mother who is the soul breadwinner in the family. The mother works as a cleaner in a nearby clinic to fend for her children and with the little income she has managed to put her two children in high school. However when Sonia completed her primary education, her mother was worried for her daughter as she did not have money to enable her join in high school like her brothers. After the Kenya certificate of primary education was released, Sonia had emerged the top in her class of 148 students with a mean grade of A-. She attributed the good results to afterschool programme and the help of volunteer teachers who coached her well before she sat for her K.C.P.E. Everyone including her teachers were overjoyed by her exemplary performance and it was a matter of time before she got a letter to join one of the best National schools in Kenya. Unfortunately, her dreams were shattered as her mother could not raise enough money to see her join the school thus missed the golden opportunity. Sonia was devastated by the fact that her mother tried to reach out to relatives and well-wishers in support of her daughter’s fees to high school but all in vain. The girl did not give up easily on her quest to advance her studies although she lost the opportunity to join National school, she went back to Elvis the project leader of the afterschool programme and explained her situation. The project leader took to social media and shared Sonia’s story and made an appeal to the public to support her in getting admission to join a local secondary school. People came out to give the little they had and within no time, Sonia was able to join a boarding school although it took a month after the initial high school admission. The money raised through Village of Hope has seen her go back to school this second term but the project needs to raise more funds to ensure that Sonia does not drop out school due to lack of fees thus secure her future. Sonia’s mother is grateful for the support that our partner project gave to her daughter although they still have few challenges, her mother had this to say “I had lost hope in seeing my girl admitted to high school but through Elvis and other well-wishers, my Sonia is now in school. I would like to thank Village of Hope family for all their support in giving my daughter an opportunity to continue with her studies so she can have a better future.” During the April holiday, Sonia who is an active member of the girls’ empowerment club was chosen to be the Village of Hope Children’s Ambassador. She will represent the children within the project in all matters pertaining to children’s rights. I believe that Sonia has a brighter future ahead as she promised to work hard in her secondary education and become the voice of the children in her community.
Other news is that the Kibera Afterschool programme held another football tournament during the April holiday so as to keep the children/youth actively engaged through sports and community services. The children and young people who participated were also mentored on how to navigate their way through adolescence and beyond which is seen as a major challenge to many young people growing up in informal settlement. The parents are happy to release their children to attend such activities during the holiday because it has improved their children’s behaviour and attitudes which in turn have enable them to improve in school grades, family relationships and bring positive energy among peers. The youth were also challenged to become peace ambassadors within the community during these as the country is headed for general elections in August.
I would like to sincerely thank you for your continued support for our education program since through your giving, many of our children in informal settlement are able to access reading and writing materials as well as get remedial classes in the evening which has enabled them perform well in school hence advance in their studies. We believe that through quality education, children and young people will have the opportunity to succeed and have better life in future!
The last two months have been busy as the schools reopened for first term in January which came earlier than the norm and parents had no choice but to follow the new school calendar. The ministry of education believed that parents were given ample time during the long holiday to save their children’s fees and other requirements so that the children could report back to school without failure. But that category for the children who come from the middle class and wealthy families . As many families living in the slums and rural area with less that $2 per day, their story is diferent since most parents struggle to put food on the table hence become impossible to save for their children school fees most specially those who completed public primary school which offer free education and are hoping to join high school. Vision Africa has been supporting pupils in all our project areas to see them complete primary education but unfortunately lack of enough funds does not permit the organozation to continue supporting pupils to highschool just like in the case of Josephine.
Josephine and her two brothers have been beneficiaries of Vision Africa sponsorship program since 2008. This is after their family was displaced at the time the country was unstable due to the post election violence that led to death and displacement of families. Josephine and her family were also affected and they had to run for their live from a small town called Limuru which is 35km away from Nairobi. Their house was touched by angry youth and they had to find refuge in the area police station before being moved to safer place in Nairobi. While in Nairobi, they were taken to a church in Kibera where other families who were also homeless were being hosted.
After living as internally displaced people in the church, Josephine’s mother and her 5 children were hosted by one of the church members within Kibera so that she could go out look for casual work and start life again away from the camp. She was determined to look for odd jobs and earn a living for the sake of her children since she is the sole bread winner after separating from the husband. Luckily the church that accommodated them had a school where the children were admitted to continue with school while she worked as a casual worker to pay off part of the fee and also be able fend for her children. It was at this time that the mother met one of Vision Africa former staff who was working with other families in that school and she poured her heart out since her biggest concern was a place to live and the children’s education. Upon hearing her story, Vision Africa’s founders decided to pay for her rent for two months so that she could move out with her family as life had become unbearable with the host family . They also gave her some seed capital to her to start a small business so as to complement her monthly wage which was too little to meet her needs. The children were added in to Vision Africa sponsorship program so that their education needs could be met for a certain period of time.
The organization has been paying school fees for Josephine and her two siblings for the last 9 years until she sat for her Kenya Certificate of Primary education. Despite the challenges that the family have been facing while in Kibera, Josephine performed well in her final exams and although sand got several letters to join girls high school. Unfortunately, her mother could not afford to raise enough money for her daughter to join high school. She came back to Vision Africa pleading with us to support her as she strive to put her daughter to school although she was aware that her sponsorship had ended after completing primary school. Having walked the journey with the family as they resettled in Kibera, its was heartbreaking for us to let Josephine’s dream of becoming a journalist being shuttered. Our director was able raise enough money for her to get admission to a public secondary school within Kibera as the private boarding schools she was called were too expensive. I joined Josephine and her mother as she reported for the first time in high school and this is what she said “Today is the happiest day of my life because I had lost hope of joining secondary school so as to fulfil my dreams. I cant thank Vision Africa enough for this opportunity as I start new chapter of my life in high sschool.” Although we hope to continue looking for funds in support of Josephine high school education, she promised us to work hard so that she can be the one in her family who will get her mother and siblings out of these cycle of poverty. Her mother also expressed her joy and said “ I feel like the burden I had carried for the last three months have been lifted. I thank Vision Africa for the support they have given my family more so now that I was desperate to take my daughter to high school.” Josephine and her siblings are also attending the after school programme and she also joined the girls empowerment club that is run by the Kibera Mpira Mtaani.
Other news is that the Early Childhood Development programme enrolment increased in all the four centres as new parents rushed to get slots for their children after getting positive reports from parents whose children had already graduated from the ECD. The total number of pupils in all the 4 ECD centre amounts to 368 while the number of pupils who are also benefiting from the after school program is 573. I would like to thank you for supporting our education program since through your giving of our little children are able to enjoy the feeding programme, reading and writing materials and quality learning while the pupils who attend the after school have a safe and friendly environment to complete their homework, access textbooks and get support from volunteer teachers who provide tuition for them so as to improve their school grades.
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