Earlier this year, we received a message from Kwamboka Okari, our Executive Director in Kenya. She wrote:
Last Friday, I received a call from the police to inform me that they needed our help and asked if I could go to their station. The police lady showed me a little boy seated in a corner and asked if I could help enroll the boy at our school. She explained that the little boy (Amos, age 6) and his sister (Marion, age 4) were brought there by their neighbors because their mother had beaten them badly and had threatened to kill them. When I asked why they didn't take the boy to the children's office, she explained that they tried to put the children in an orphanage, but the orphanage only took his sister. I agreed to take Amos, but on condition that his sister come along with him so the children would not be separated. After several phone calls by the police lady, we drove to the orphanage to pick up Marion. They are both with me until next week when I will take them to school (which was on holiday at the time).
Later in our exchange, Kwamboka wrote:
It broke my heart immensely when I learned that for six days Amos had been sleeping on the cold bare cement floor of the police building corridor, with only a light jacket as a cover...After Amos got to my house, I asked him what they gave him to eat and he answered 'ugali without veggies' (meaning for six days he ate only a polenta like cake made of cornmeal and water). The story goes on and on, but I will stop here for now because I just want to cry...I love what I do, however it pains me deeply when children are hurting.
Fast forward several months and Amos and Marion have fully integrated into life at Margaret Okari Primary school.
Amos and Marion are two of more than 200 orphans and at-risk children we educate, house, feed and nurture thanks to the support of donors like you. Our major fundraiser of the year, #GivingTuesday through GlobalGiving, is coming up on November 29, 2022. We hope that you will, once again, help us to care for children like Amos and Marion.
Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving, The MOCF US Board
In our last update, we mentioned that 8th graders had just completed national exams. We are very pleased to share that exam results came out and we finished #1 out of 179 schools in our sub-county. We have finished #1 multiple times before and are consistently in the top five, but we are particularly proud of our results this year as the number of schools in the sub-county has increased from 140 to 179.
We also ranked #19out of 956 schools in our county. This is the first time we have finished in the top 20 schools in the county and is a significant accomplishment. In math, we finished #5 out of 956 schools and in Kiswahili we finished #8. These results are particularly encouraging given our student population is made up of orphans and other at-risk youth.
With strong exam results, our graduates have also gained admission to good secondary schools. This includes three of our students who received full scholarships to Starehe School, one of the top secondary schools in Kenya, located in Nairobi. In the photo above, the grandmother of one of these students, Sylvia, presents a chicken to our Head Teacher, Johnson Wekesa, as a demonstration of her gratitude. Her son and daughter-in-law, Sylvia's parents, both passed away, leaving Sylvia an orphan.
We operate on a very lean budget and are so grateful to you for making our school, and these outcomes, possible. Thank you!
Greetings from Kenya, where we have just completed another school year.
Prior to the pandemic, the school year in Kenya aligned with the calendar year, beginning in January and ending in November with a holiday break at the end of the year. However, months of school closures in response to COVID-19 disrupted that cycle, so we are now operating with an altered calendar.
Given the changes, our 8th graders (pictured above) just completed the national Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams, usually administered in November. The exams take place over several days and test students’ knowledge in all core subjects. The results also influence where students will go to high school.
We are very grateful to our teaching staff for their hard work preparing our students for their exams, and to both our students and staff for their adaptability and dedication over the course of two highly unusual years.
Thank you, as well, for your continued support and for choosing to be part of our school family. We look forward to updating you again when the new school year gets underway!
With gratitude, The Margaret Okari Children's Foundation Team
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