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KES newsletter - August 2017

Introducing a few more scholars

We're please to announce that so far KES has helped 94 students and we're hoping to surpass 100 soon.

Here are some details of a few of the latest scholars.

Vivian - 14 years old. Parents are unemployed and peasant farmer. She's the oldest of four children.
Vivian Jan 2017

Charles - 13 years old. His father is a casual labourer and his mother is unemployed. He has two siblings.
Charles Jan 2017

Eunice - 14 years old. Her father is very ill with TB, her mother abandoned Eunice and her two siblings.

Edwin - 15 years old. His parents are peasant farmers and his mother earns £1.50 a day as a casual labourer. He has 9 brothers and sisters, some who are married but several others are also in school.

Here are a few quotes from the scholars which helps capture the impact education support through KES is having on these kids

"I had no dream but now I see a bright future" Enoch

"Your support will help me concentrate on what is more important to me, education without worrying about the fees. This will help me reach my goal of graduating with a degree in bachelor of environmental studies and community development. I hope that one day I'll be able to help other students achieve their goals just as you have helped me." Lucy

Remember as well to check our website and Facebook regularly as we also be share some details there.

If you're a sponsor and have a story to tell, or just want to find out more, feel free to share your experiences too. You can either contact or

My sponsorship journey
by Nicola Hart, KES Trustee

The meeting with TT sticks in my mind. February 2011 - my first visit to Kenya, and to the new Bahati Division Academy. 11 young and very needy children sponsored by Simon had joined the first primary school intake. One of them was TT's older sister. With her and a small group of other new students, we joined the school home run to visit their homes and families. The BDA minibus, jam-packed, bounced through the tight muddy lanes, squeezed on both sides by dense green. 

At the first stop - a small wooden tin-roofed house, mud-packed yard with heavy-leaved trees, chickens underfoot - the children burst out of the minibus with us, others ran to join in. In the deep shade under a large tree, surrounded by children and chickens, a hand slipped into mine: "Are you my sponsor?" This was TT. What could I say? So I became TT's sponsor. 

TT and his best friends in 2011
TT and his best friends in 2011

TT was then about 8. He and his older sister were victims of the violence suffered by many families following the 2007 Kenyan general election. They had lost their home in another part of the country and joined the thousands of displaced people. They had no parents and now lived with an aunt in a spartan one-room house provided by the government to displaced families. The aunt had earnings of less than a dollar a day.

TT in 2011 outside his house
Meeting TT at his home in 2011

TT is a real character, lively, articulate and funny - but also hardworking and driven. Despite the extreme deprivation of his background and the family's marginalised circumstances, he has excelled throughout his school career. Top of his class throughout primary school, he achieved one of BDA's highest marks in the KCPE (end of primary school national examinations), allowing him to graduate to secondary school with flying colours. 

Meeting TT at his home in 2011
TT outside his home in 2011

Yet like many of our KES sponsored students, TT has met with problems along the way - things go wrong and the path isn't always smooth - for student and sponsor. TT has managed to overcome these difficulties and stick with his education and ambitions. His sister has also hung in there through ups and downs and is now approaching her KCSE (national end of secondary examinations) with a good track record to fortify her confidence.

Me with TT and his sister in 2015
Me with TT and his sister in 2015

I have enjoyed keeping in touch with TT and always look forward to catching up with him when we visit Kenya. I've been there to applaud him with pride as he has stepped up time after time at the BDA prize-giving day. He aims to become a doctor and is focusing his efforts especially on mathematics and sciences. He wants to sponsor a needy child himself one day. Whatever he does, I know he will do well. I am proud to be TT's sponsor and to have the chance to enable him to realise his potential.

Kenya news round-up

Here we focus on key topics affecting Kenya, BDA and our scholars. If you want to know more about a specific topic not listed here, please let us know.

Election - 8 August
Kenya's Presidential and Government Elections is entering it's final stages, with the big day being 8 August 2017. Here's a great little video on BBC detailing all you need to know.
And you can keep up to date with election news here on the BBC.

You may be aware that Kenya’s election is approaching (8th August) Education seems to be a hot topic within the various party's manifestos. Both of the key parties – the ruling Jubilee party and Nasa party are promising free secondary education which will mean a radical shake up of the existing system. Whilst the details are still sketchy of how and when each party would implement the new funding, it's bound to demand significant cost.

On paper it seems a very positive step, however there will be some huge challenges. Currently primary education is free for all, however the standards are generally poor with huge classes, low skilled teachers, facilities that are extremely lacking and the requirement for many to fund their own 'extras' - desk, chair, books etc which aren't necessarily seen as essentials.

Since KES was set up in 2010 the percentage of eligible children in secondary education has risen from 60% to 84% in this year's enrolment. Notably in 2002 it was as low as 46%.

Lots of articles in the Kenyan Press cover this topic if you would like to find out more below. We'll keep a close eye on the progress and keep you abreast of updates accordingly.

Education - how technology can boost engagement
Here's an interesting article from The Guardian about how cutting-edge technology is being implemented by Kenyan digital companies to engage children and widen education in some of the country's poorest schools. .

FGM - Kenyan school girls have developed an app to help fight against FGM
As part of a tech compeittion sponsored by Google, Salesforce and Adobe, for 10-14 year olds to get involved in technology, a group of Kenyan school girls have reached the finals after developing an app to offer support to victims or potential victims of FGM.  Find out more here

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