It has been a year full of exciting achievements for Africa SOMA scholarship winners, new and old.
Noah, our Kenya coordinator holds meetings with all scholarship winners every term break to monitor their academic achievement and discuss their high school experience. Noah provides an invaluable mentorship to our winners, discussing their goals for the future, how to cope with their workload and balance it with family responsibilities, and how they can give back to other students in their communities. Some of our scholarship winners provide tutoring on their holidays, and afterwards many go on to work in schools as assistant or full teachers.
Noah is also hard at work laying the groundwork for the 2016 scholarship competition. He is liaising with the head teachers of the ten participating primary schools in Elangata Wuas zone to confirm the number of final-year students they have who will be eligible for an Africa SOMA scholarship and to get their signed declaration of participation. In late December/early January when the results are posted, Noah will convene a meeting of all of the headteachers to review students results and pick our next four winners. Both of these winners are thrilled that their scholarships have allowed them not to miss any school due to lack of fees.
In the scholarship winners meeting this August, we heard from our scholarship winners Alex (Form 2) and Damaris (Form 4) that they are enjoying their years thus far and are getting ready for exams. Alex explained that he was able to participte in a Maasai dance team at Nakeel Boys that proceeded all the way to the National level of competitions. Damaris has had a challenging year due to a family re-location but her grades have risen over the course of the year and she is set on passing her final KCPE exam in December with flying colours.
Our scholars now have just over a month to prepare for their end of year exams. For those in form four (the final year of high school) this year, that exam will be the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam. The results from this exam will determine what colleges and/or universities our scholarship winners are offered places in. We are wishing all of our scholarship winners the best of luck in their exams this December.
Africa SOMA is proud to present to you our newest scholarship winners:
Felister is 12 years old and attended Emurkeyia Primary School. Her favourite subject is Science because "it delas with normal things." She aspires to become a doctor as she wants to help people. In secondary school she is looking forward to making new friends and studying hard! Her father, a livestock keeper, and her mother, who does house work, are very proud of her.
Maureen is 14 years old and attended Torosei Primary School. Her favourite subject was Kiswahili. She aspires to become a pilot so that she can travel the world. She is very excited to explore the new environment of her secondary school and expects to work very hard. Her father, who is a livestock keeper, and her mother, who is a tailor, are both very proud of her.
Innocent is 20 years old and attended Emurkeyia Primary School. His favourite subject is Math because he is good at it. He aspires to attend University after high school and then to pursue law. He wants to become a lawyer because he wants "all people to be treated with equal justice." He is excited about the new subjects he will have in his new school and plans to work very hard. He hopes to fit in some football to refresh the mind. His mother, who is alone and with no employment, is very proud of him.
Mathew is 15 years old and attended Singiraine Primary School. His favourite subject is English because he can speak it well. He aspires to become an engineer because he wants to invent new things and he thinks he will be very good in physics, although he has yet to take a physics class. He looks forward to meeting new people and also engaging in his new classes. His parents, livestock keepers, are very proud of him.
Africa SOMA would like to wish our new scholars the very best of luck in their studies and in the pursuit of their dreams.
Felister, Maureen, Innocent, and Mathew would like to extend to all donors their tremendous gratitude for this opportunity.
ASHE OLENG/ THANK YOU
As we settle into 2015, Africa SOMA is getting excited to announce the 2015 Africa SOMA scholarship winners.... but you'll have to wait until our next update to hear about that!
In the meantime we'd like to give you an update from one of our scholars, Yvonne, who summed up her second year of secondary school beautifully in her year end report.
"The year was a very fantastic year in school where I realised why I am in school and knew very many things in school since last year I was just a form one. So I never knew many things about secondary school. Last year we had very many activities happening in school which I took part in some of them.
There were games in first and music in second term and in first term I went to a humanities contest where I participated in geography and became number two but our certificates were never issued. In second term I also participated in the Maasai traditional dance and drama festivals where we went up to provincial levels.
In games I also participated in football and netball which are very enjoyable games in my school life. The school is going on well in management and development like last year we had a school bus and new classes which we were very happy about. We are also almost finishing the school dining hall which is also a development.
In terms of performance of the school in last year results was not very encouraging but I ought to work hard towards mine. Generally my own end of term results good although I had a mean grade of a C+ and I will try to work even harder than before. The school has a very conducive environment for me to learn so I ought to work on it.
I received the scholarship money of which I thank them so much for the offer because it is really helping me and my parents in general. We ended our term very well and by the grace of God am now in form three which I really appreciate due to my efforts. I will work to continue with my studies in order for me to achieve my prospective goals."
On behalf of Yvonne, the rest of our Africa SOMA Scholars and the Africa SOMA team I'd like to thank you for your support and encourage you to consider donating again to support our 2015 scholarship winners.
Africa SOMA has been lucky enough these last few months to have one of our board members, Jennie Glassco, on the ground in Kenya. Jennie is in Kenya conducting her PhD research in a community near to Elangata Wuas and as a result has been able to visit Elangata Wuas and our scholarship students to get updates.
This last weekend Jennie was able to visit some of our high school students and chatted with them about their schooling and what the scholarship has meant to them. Dorcas, now in form 1, aspires to be a journalist. "I like the stories that history tells." she told Jennie "I want to be seen on TV in the future giving out the news. I love to read newspapers in my free time” With this career goal in mind she said she pays paticular attention in history class.
When discussing what the scholarship meant to her and what she wanted to tell people that have donated money towards her scholarship she asked that we pass on this message:
“Thank you so much for this scholarship. Please continue to support us in secondary school and we will work very hard and do our level best to achieve our goals”
Another student Jennie was able to visit with, Yvonne, also asked us to pass on her sincere thanks. “I appreciate the people who are funding my scholarship so much." she said "Africa SOMA has done so much by helping my parents with my school fees. My parents are so happy I have come so far”.
These may be just two of the sixteen scholarship students that Africa SOMA supports, but the appreciation and genuine thanks is a common sentiment expressed by all of our scholarship winners. It is thanks to individuals like you, and your financial support, that these young Kenyans are able to further their education.
As we move into the season of giving we hope that you will consider supporting Africa SOMA's scholarship students again. Every January, when our form 4 students graduate high school we accept four more new students. We hope you will join with us in supporting these new students as they work towards their dreams.
From Dorcas, Yvonne and all the rest of the Africa SOMA students and board members, thank you for your support.
As Africa SOMA's 2014 Scholarship Cohort enters the midway point of their first year in secondary school, Abigael, Dorcas, Kelvin and Alex would like to pass on their sincere thanks to the donors that have supported Africa SOMA's scholarship fundriasing efforts. These four students, along with the
With two cohorts of Africa SOMA Scholarship Recipients having now graduated secondary school, it has been wonderful to see where their educations have led them. Of the 8 graduated students, 7 have continued on to follow post secondary training, and one has started his own business. Three of the graduated students have themselves become teachers.
However some changes are coming to Africa SOMA's scholarship program. Thanks to feedback from community members it has come to our attention that, due to inflation, the amount of our scholarships need to increase. This will of course require renewed fundraising attempts. This year, Africa SOMA is fortunate to have two summer Montreal-based interns focusing on fundraising and grant writing. These ambitious interns have organized a fundraising comedy night that will take place this Friday, July 19th at 7pm at Montreal's Comedy Nest. For those who are interested in coming, check out the link to the facebook event below to find information about tickets!
At Africa SOMA we believe education is the key to so many opportunities otherwise inaccessible to these rural Kenyan youth, and we than you for your on going support.
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