Education  Kenya Project #32634

University expenses for former street children

by Child Rescue Kenya
University expenses for former street children

Both Jacob and Abel continue to work hard in university.  Jacob is currently in Eldoret (a town near Kitale) doing some practical 'on the job' training.  This is giving him an opportunity to see how his studies will be relevant in the workplace.  He has had to find local accommodation and 'go to work' on a daily basis so he is getting to experience what real life will be when he graduates.  While it is important for students to go on such attachments, they also add to the overall cost of their education.  Jacob's accommodation near the campus and his university fees still have to be paid, even though he is not there.  In addition, there has been the cost of travel to his place of attachment and accommodation there.  There are many 'hidden' costs such as this for university students and many families simply cannot afford them as they are already struggling.  Without donor support, there would be no question of Jacob attending university and being able to complete his degree.

The government in Kenya do not provide much financial support other than a small loan which may be taken out once a year for a maximum of approximately US$450.  In reality, this barely covers the cost of renting a small room in a hostel for the entire year at some campuses - at others it does not even cover the cost for six months.  Tuition, exams, equipment, transport, computer and phone/internet costs, clothing, food etc  must be paid by the student.  Part time jobs are highly sought after and few are available.

Abel is also doing well.  He is about to break for six weeks and we are hoping to find him a job during his holiday to help with his costs. 

Both of our boys are very grateful for this opportunity and their hard work reflects how much they appreciate how lucky they are.

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We are delighted to report that both of our boys continue to do well in university.  In our last report, we advised you that Jacob had received his exam results comprising mainly A's and a couple of B's.  Abel received his report for the end of his second year.  An amazing 3 credits (the maximum) in each of the 7 subjects comprising his degree course (BSc Agricultural Economics).  We cannot ask for more! 

Both young men continue with their determination to beat all odds and graduate in hopes of finding a secure future, a world away from the lives they knew on the streets of Kitale town.

We look forward to seeing both Jacob and Abel over the Easter break which will give us a chance to talk to them and make sure that all is well with them. We will also get some up to date photographs for our next report.

So often the perception of street boys is negative but these boys are proof that there are intelligent, deserving youths on the streets, often through no fault of their own, who can perform and do well in life if just given a chance.  Initiatives such as our mobile school will hopefully identify some more bright stars who will follow in the footsteps of Jacob and Abel.

The good work continues...

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We have come to the end of 2018 and our boys have successfully concluded another step closer to their degrees. The university’s held exams for students just before Christmas and many only managed to leave for their homes on 23rd December and had to join the mass exodus from various cities to get to their home counties. Buses were jam packed and charging almost double the usual fares but everyone desperately wanted to be home with friends and family for Christmas rather than spending it alone in their university accommodation.

Our boys, Jacob and Abel, were no exception to this and made their way back to Kitale to spend time in familiar and friendly surroundings.   Both boys have worked hard this past year. Jacob received his exam results for his first year and has A’s and B’s in the five blocks of subjects in his course. We are confident that he will stay the course and graduate successfully. Abel is a year ahead of him and is awaiting results in January and we shall keep you up to date but, again, he is determined to succeed.

It is stressful for both boys knowing they are dependent on our support and that we in turn are dependent on donors to be able to keep them in university. We are proud of these boys and how far they have come, and we hope that their stories will encourage supporters to provide a chance for them to complete their studies.

Jacob and Abel wish you all the very best for 2019, as do we all at Child Rescue Kenya!

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Jacob and Abel are progressing well.  Both youths have beaten all odds to get where they are and they are determined to stay the course.  They have dealt with family trauma, life on the streets, poverty and uncertainty and, despite it all excelled in school and obtained university placements.  Life at university has been no picnic either.  They face the uncertainty of funding from year to year to enable them to complete their studies, in addition to the challenges of coping with the requirements of their chosen courses, strikes by university lecturers, and being a long way from home. 

We purchased a laptop computer for Jacob.  He is studying computer forensics and has managed for longer than he should have needed to (over a year), to pursue his course through borrowing friends' computers, staying longer in the library or visiting cyber cafes but now, at last, he is the proud owner of his own computer and we hope this will enable him to have one less worry.   It is quite amazing that some 10 year olds in the first world have their own computers, tablets, mobile phones etc while university students in the third world, who are actually studying computer courses, often do not even have their own computer and even an old or second-hand model would be a blessing!  Jacob has also now completed his first year and the unversity requires second year students to move off campus into private accommodation.  This increases costs for Jacob.

Abel is about to enter his final year and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  He has faced considerable pressure from family expecting him to earn money to help contribute financially.  This is possibly the most difficult hurdle for youths from poor communities.  Even if they are fortunate enough to be assisted with the high costs of third level education, during the time of their course, they are not earning any money to contribute to the family coffers and many drop out to find casual work.  This is one of the main reasons that we do not support many youths through long courses unless we are sure they can withstand the pressures to drop out and earn an income. 

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Dear Supporters,

We hope that this report finds you well. We are about half way through teh academic year in Kenya and would like to provide an update on the university project. 

Abel and Jacob, the two young men who are currently supported through this project, are continuing to work hard at university. Jacob in particular managed to complete the first year of a computer forensics course using the limited shared facilities at his university, but now that he is in his second year it is getting more and more difficult to complete the assignments and seminars without his own laptop. We are therefore appealing to our supporters to help us to buy one that he can use for the course. Laptops are generally seen as a requirement for university in general, but especially so given the nature of Jacob's course. Abel in now in his third year and adapting to the increasing course work requirements of studying when you you are getting closer to the finish line. We are very proud of both young men.

Meeting the costs of university attendance is an increasing burden for young people wanting qualifications to compete for positions in today's labour markets. After the first year, they must move out of campus accomodation and find more expensive private lodgings. This means that Abel and Jacob must pay more rent and potentially extra transport costs. In addition, recent lecturer striked means that the semester has been extended to make up the work missed and their leave time, which they usually spend at home with family, has been shortened - the time they usually spend working at home, to earn money for their expenses is also less.

We are however looking forward to seeing them when they come home for the short respite from classes in August and will update you on their progress after their visit.

Thank you again for all your support of CRK's work!

Best Wishes,

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Organization Information

Child Rescue Kenya

Location: Kitale, North Rift - Kenya
Project Leader:
Su Corcoran
Kitale, North Rift Kenya

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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