Every student who goes through the Kenya Keys sponsorship program is changed forever. Salim is a great example of a bright and eager student who couldn’t afford to go to school, and who now has a good education and a promising future.
Salim entered the sponsorship program in 2010, while at Taru Secondary. He performed well in secondary school, and qualified to continue to university. He studied Travel and Tourism Management for three years at Utali University in Nairobi. While at university, he completed an internship with African Touch Safaris, where he works today. His primary role in the company is supporting businessmen in Kenya traveling outside the country for business. He also recently began traveling with groups to other countries as a tour leader.
Salim is an active participant in Kenya Keys’ mentorship program, providing inspiration and guidance to students in the villages. He has also worked with Kenya Keys interns on an economic analysis of Taru village to address possible apprenticeship opportunities for young adults. This is one of the most rewarding outcomes of the sponsorship program: sponsored students always give back to the schools and communities in meaningful ways.
Salim lives in Nairobi, and continues to maintain contact with his sponsors in the U.S. He is beyond grateful for the opportunities his sponsorship provided. He describes his job as exciting and fulfilling. He loves what he does and is excited for what his future holds.
Salim probably had no idea, when he entered the sponsorship program, that he would someday be leading tours in China. But he knew that to succeed he would need to work hard. That’s the beautiful thing about the Kenya Keys sponsorship program—by providing their school fees, you unlock the potential of countless individuals who are ready to work hard. Success is sure to come when the obstacles to their education are removed and they are able to pursue their dreams. On behalf of Salim and the hundreds of other students you have helped, we thank you for your generosity.
Once again you, our wonderful donors, have exceeded our expectations! Thanks to you, we raised over $10,000 during our #GivingTuesday campaign on GlobalGiving and finished in the top 5% of all organizations. That alone is really incredible, and the money you helped us raise will accomplish so much good in the lives of students in Kenya. But you accomplished even more than that—because of your generous donations, Kenya Keys earned two rewards from GlobalGiving: social media promotion and homepage time on the GlobalGiving site. These rewards will help us spread the work of Kenya Keys to new people.
The timing couldn’t be more ideal. We will be hearing soon about all the new students in Kenya who have qualified for a Kenya Keys sponsorship. With new students coming on board, the money we raised will be put to very good use. Your donation will provide a qualified student with 1) tuition and fees required to attend secondary school, 2) room and board for students who board at school, 3) books required to study for their courses and national exams, and 4) a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to break free from illiteracy and poverty so they can create a bright future for themselves and the people they love.
Khadii is one example of a student who took the opportunity for a better life and ran with it. Well, metaphorically. Kadii was living at the Ndohivyo Special Needs School when she met future sponsor Bill Self, a Kenya Keys volunteer. He was struck by how severe her disability was, as she walked everywhere on her knees. Her lower legs were totally malformed and flopped behind her as she walked.
But her determination was unbridled. She moved quickly and she loved to learn. He ascertained that she did not have any mental disability. In fact, she seemed very bright. Bill determined that he wanted to sponsor her to go to good school where she would be challenged. He had watched her "run" a 50 yard dash, and he felt that if she had the determination to do that, shuffling along on her knees, that she could obtain any goal she set for herself.
She was moved to an outstanding school. This past December she took the national exam (KCPE) and scored the highest score of any girl in the region. Her science score was the highest in Kenya—out of over 900,000 students! It is thanks to sponsors like you, and the Kenya Keys program, that this outstanding young girl is able reach her potential!
Louise and her husband have been providing funds to sponsor a student in Kenya for six years. Their student, Davicy, was a quiet and shy, but determined Form 1 (freshman) student when they became his sponsor. He worked hard over the next four years, and despite setbacks along the way, he qualified to attend college. And his sponsors stuck with him. He is now in his second year of teacher training college. Soon, he will be in a position to provide for himself and his family. More than that, he will be inspiring young minds to pursue education, and their dreams, with determination.
Louise recently received a letter of gratitude from Davicy. He expressed his love of learning and his love for them, his sponsors. Louise was emotional as she read his expressions of thanks to her and his optimism for his future. “I don’t know why it hit me so hard now, after all these years, but when I read his words I was overwhelmed to know how much his life has been changed by our sponsorship,” she said.
And his life is not the only one changed. He will influence everyone in his family, in his village, and in the school where he will teach. He will mentor young students—girls and boys who will look up to him and learn from him because he was once exactly where they are. His success will be a beacon for others, an example of what can be accomplished when you dream big and work hard.
The story of Louise and Davicy is beautiful not because it is unique—it’s beautiful because it is just one example of the hundreds of lives that have been forever changed through the Kenya Keys’ sponsorship program. Your donation is changing lives. Your sponsorship of students in Kenya will have a lasting impact for good. Asante sana for giving so much. Please share our sponsorship program with your family members and friends—let them know how much good they can accomplish by making education possible for deserving students in Kenya.
Not many people can truthfully say that they’ve beaten impossible odds to get an education. But Agnes can. Her challenges have been many, and even in a world where no one is a stranger to harsh difficulties, hers have been particularly severe. You can read her full story in this blog written by Kenya Keys’ Director, Rinda Hayes.
Demonstrating her deep commitment to education, Agnes persevered and, through the help of a Kenya Keys Sponsorship, she graduated from secondary school with high marks and is now preparing to go on to college. While waiting to begin the next phase of her own education, she has been actively contributing to the education of others—teaching as a volunteer in the Kenya Keys’ adult education class and volunteering in the community library.
It is fitting that Agnes, who has grown so much through her own sponsorship and education, would take part in a significant event marking major growth for the sponsorship program itself. Last month Agnes was part of a team that traveled to western Kenya (a drive of over 20 hours from her village) to help the Chwele Community launch a sponsorship program and girl empowerment project based on the Kenya Keys’ models.
Agnes and the rest of the team, including Kenya Keys’ Directors and interns from the U.S., worked with community leaders, principals, teachers, and students. The training ensured that the Chwele community has all the knowledge and resources to successfully replicate the Kenya Keys’ programs.
The Chwele Sponsorship program will begin with five students. That may seem small, but Kenya Keys own sponsorship program started small. And as Agnes will tell you, even just one sponsorship changes far more than just one life. Because of her education and empowerment, she has already contributed to the betterment of the lives of countless individuals, and she is just getting started.
It’s always energizing, a little scary, and very rewarding to welcome a new group of students to the Kenya Keys’ Sponsorship Program. We are so proud of each of these remarkable students. To a person, they have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to qualify for further education, and they have met the high requirements to qualify for a sponsorship through the Kenya Keys program.
This year’s group of students is unique in an exciting way: for the first time ever, the majority of our qualifying students are girls. When Kenya Keys started in 2005, fewer than 5% of girls in the region went on to secondary school. With consistent and focused effort, we have seen steady improvement in girls’ academic achievement. And it all comes down to this—your donations give them hope. Before Kenya Keys, there was no chance they could go on to school. Now, because of donations like yours, they know that if they work hard enough, they will be provided with the means to get the education they have dreamed of for so long.
We want you to meet two of our new students. Christine is the fourth of nine children born to parents who never had a chance to go to school. Her parents struggle daily to meet the needs of their large family and Christine and her siblings often have to miss school in order to help. These challenges delayed Christine’s schooling, but she never gave up. At the age of 18 she has just completed 8th grade and qualified for a sponsorship. Thanks to donations like yours, Christine’s school fees have been paid and she has the chance to pursue her dreams.
Joseph is a remarkable young man who has used every resource available to him to further his education. He completed high school through a Kenya Keys sponsorship provided by students in the Honor Society at Madison High School in Portland, Oregon. Through his hard work, he scored very high on the national exam and has qualified to go to college! Even to qualify for college is a dream come true for him, and now he is waiting to hear if Kenya Keys can provide the funds necessary for his education. If you are able, please consider making a donation to our sponsorship fund to help support Joseph, and many others like him—eager scholars who are disciplined learners, ready to make their world a better place through their education.
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