Education  Kenya Project #17797

Sponsor a Kenyan Child's Education

by Action Two Africa
Sponsor a Kenyan Child's Education
Sponsor a Kenyan Child's Education
Sponsor a Kenyan Child's Education
Sponsor a Kenyan Child's Education
Sponsor a Kenyan Child's Education
Sponsor a Kenyan Child's Education
Sponsor a Kenyan Child's Education
Sponsor a Kenyan Child's Education
Daniel in 2013 & 2015
Daniel in 2013 & 2015

True transformation is a journey, and when followed closely, the changes that result can be powerful.

One of Action Two Africa’s main focuses is transformation through education. Not only does education bring hope to communities, but it paves the way for empowerment as well.

Meet Daniel. Daniel has been a part of Action Two Africa’s Child Sponsorship Program since its inception back in 2013. Daniel is now 17-years old, and his focus has not wavered in the last two and a half years. He wants to go to college and become an engineer. When we asked Daniel about how the program has impacted his life, he had the following message for us:

“I used to spend my time roaming in the village but now I have been able to be retained at school without being sent home for lack of school fees. I am not idling around as I used to, when at one point, I was almost recruited to join the bad groups that are involved in criminal activities and terrorizing members of the community. If it weren’t for the program, maybe I would be dead or in jail. But now, through education, my behavior has changed.”

Action Two Africa is proud to be a vital part of the community in Kiambiu. With the building we rent, we are able to provide a space for the children to come after school or during vacations to talk and share what they’re going through with other members of the community. Daniel testified first-hand to how these relationships have helped him build his self-esteem and the ways he’s seen improvement both at school and at home.

When Daniel was asked about the lessons he’s learned, he quickly responded by saying that “Even though we pass through challenges in life, we should not give up. We should see opportunities in challenges.” He said we should work hard to progress, learn to appreciate and help each other, and embrace encouragement and hope, as they are the key elements to building one’s self-esteem.

“Education has brought about a great change in me. My course is clear. I am certain of what I want to do with my life. My dream is no longer a dream, and each day, I move closer toward achieving it.”

 

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Kiambiu Children in School
Kiambiu Children in School

 

Sometimes, when we tell people that a big part of Action Two Africa’s mission is to put children into private schools in Kenya, we worry that this concept might be misunderstood.

In 2003, Kenya’s president made primary education (1st through 8th grade) free. This fact might lead one to ask, “Then why are donations and sponsorships necessary to send children to school?” Great question. But one that cannot be answered unless we explain how the free, government-run, public-school system really works.

In the developed world, we tend to think of private schools as being reserved for the small fraction of the elite who can afford the high tuition fees. Most of us were educated in public schools and we tend to think that they’re “good enough.” But that’s not necessarily the case in Africa.

The fact is, the public school system in Kenya is failing the children and families that rely on it. A recent study by the World Bank reported that public teacher-absenteeism rates were as high as 15-25% in Africa. A third of children who have finished four years of school cannot read at the minimum expected standard. Often times, the fees charged by government-run schools are just as high as those charged by private schools.

I’ll give you a real-life example Christina and I experienced when we were in East Africa. Where we lived in Kenya, most children learn both Swahili and English in school. One of our good friends told us that when she could no longer afford private school fees for her son, she had to send him back to a government school. Instead of continuing his English-language learning, her son actually started to forget it, because the quality of the instruction he was receiving was so poor. His mother told us that in the government schools, they would often pack 50 or more children into a single classroom. The students were often out of control, and the teachers usually ended up doing more “damage-control” than they did actual teaching. This continued for several months until our friend’s son could hardly remember any English at all.

This is not uncommon in public schools in Africa. Teacher-to-student ratios often approach dangerous levels. Classrooms are often cramped, ill-equipped, and far below healthy standards for sanitation and safety. Private schools have cropped up all over East Africa in response to this shortcoming in the education system.

Private schools offer quality education at a reasonable price. Studies show that the children educated at private institutions are generally performing better than those educated at public schools. The level of teaching is generally higher, and there are fewer strikes at private schools, leading to a higher percentage of teachers that show up to class. Because local investors, churches, and organizations are profiting from private schools that thrive, the local economy is also being boosted.

This is why we at Action Two Africa put such a high emphasis on getting children in our Child Sponsorship Program into private schools. We are dedicated to ensuring that these children experience a quality education. Each school that we send children to has been hand-picked and examined by Humphrey, Action Two Africa’s founder, CEO, and a long-time resident of the Kiambiu community. Humphrey understands the school system better than any of us do. In fact, he used to be a teacher right here in Kiambiu!

We understand the concern about the cost of children being put in private schools, but in Africa, it’s much better than the alternative: a poor-quality public education, or worse—no education at all.

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Summer is in full swing and, looking back, we are amazed that a year has already passed since our Open Challenge and the start of our partnership with GlobalGiving! During the Open Challenge, we were able to raise $8,130, enough to provide school sponsorships for 13 Kenyan children. We were so humbled and grateful for the generosity of those who donated to help make this dream a reality.

During the last year, as Humphrey continues to oversee the disbursement of funds and the progress of the children in the program, we have continued to be amazed at how well the children are performing in school, and how these sponsorships have helped to reshape and energize their dreams for the future.

Last month Christina and I also held our 2nd annual garage sale fundraiser in Madison, WI. This garage sale is powered entirely by donations from friends and other supporters of Action Two Africa. About six families donated items this year, and over three days, we were able to raise about $1,300. This money, combined with what has been donated online, is enough to pay for the school fees seven of the same children in our program for next school year.

In order to ensure that the remaining six children are able to continue their educations this coming year, we still need to raise another $3,240 before the end of the summer. We have set big goals in the past, and have never ceased to be amazed at people’s generosity. The part you’ve played in providing for the needs of the children of Kiambiu has been central and vital. We appreciate everything you’ve done and continue to do to help encourage everyone involved, from the administrators to the school children, in the work of Action Two Africa.

Thanks so much!

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Raphael
Raphael

*This update is from Humphrey Muchuma, founder and CEO of Action Two Africa, and a dedicated Kenyan citizen

Raphael is a 17-year old boy from Kiambiu. I have known Raphael’s family for a long time. They have lived in Kiambiu since 2004. Last year, Raphael’s mother came to me, very concerned. Her son had always earned good grades in school, but a few years earlier, things had made a drastic turn for the worse.

Raphael’s parents had fallen on hard times. Money was scarce and his mother was having a hard time keeping up with school fees for her seven children. After graduating from middle school, Raphael was forced to drop out of school because of lack of payments. But things continued to get worse. Because of not being in school and having too much free time on his hands, Raphael ended up joining a group of street thugs. In his own words, “In the process of staying home for that long, I started engaging in bad companies, where my mother saw that it was not well.” Raphael began terrorizing the community, stealing and recruiting others to join his gang.

Scrambling to pull together funds to get him back into school, Raphael’s mother was pushing herself to the limit. Last year, she came to me, and after explaining their situation, we decided to enroll Raphael in Action Two Africa’s Child Sponsorship Program.

Raphael is now back in school full time. He has joined his school’s football team, and we have seen an incredible improvement in his academics and behavior.

Raphael is not alone. We have continued to see incredible changes in our community in Kiambiu thanks to the work of Action Two Africa. The children regularly meet at our office to discuss life and the challenges that they are facing. These meetings aim to strengthen their resilience so they can have the confidence to face and resolve the difficult challenges they encounter in life. It also helps the children to identify their inner strength and mobilize the resources in the community.

The transformation that I’ve seen in the children who are enrolled in Action Two Africa’s Child Sponsorship Program is tremendous. Most of the children are developing good self-esteem and they are now living as role models and agents of change in their community, helping their peers and inspiring others around them.

It is incredible to see our mission being realized. Children in this community are being inspired and transformed. They are being empowered through education. I am humbled to be a part of this work. I thank God, and I thank the generous partners that continue to support the work that I am so passionate about continuing.

Thank you to everyone!

Humphrey Muchuma, Founder and CEO, Action Two Africa

Raphael & His Family
Raphael & His Family
Raphael Getting Water
Raphael Getting Water
Action Two Africa Children
Action Two Africa Children
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Marlyne
Marlyne

The new year has started on a high note for operations at Action Two Africa. Schools reopened on January 7th, and Action Two Africa’s sponsored children have returned another term full of learning and studying.

Marlyne, a 16-year old Kiambiu resident and Action Two Africa’s first beneficiary, is now in her last year of secondary school (high school), and will be sitting for her final exams later this year. Marlyne was one of the first children from Kiambiu that we met during our stay in Kenya. Despite her family’s economic struggles, Marlyne has stayed hard at work, intent on seeing her dream of becoming a Kenyan journalist come true one day.

Our partner in Kenya, Humphrey, recently gathered all the children together at Action Two Africa’s office to take photos of them holding signs thanking their sponsors for their generosity. Everyone here is eternally grateful for what you, our sponsors and supporters, have done to help these children break free of the cycle of poverty that afflicts the community that they live in so heavily.

We could not be here without you.

So what now? We want to hear from you! What are you interested in finding out about the children here in Kenya or about their environment? Send us an email or message us on Facebook to let us know how we can get you excited about what’s happening here in Kenya!

Have a great new year everyone!

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Organization Information

Action Two Africa

Location: Nairobi, Rift Valley - Kenya
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Christina Carlson
Nairobi, Rift Valley Kenya
$14,589 raised of $15,000 goal
 
248 donations
$411 to go
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