The latest news from Kenyan Educational Support (KES)
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Students in Bahati Division Academy classroom
Welcome to the spring edition of our newsletter. Here's what's included:

Steph's marathon achievement

We’re delighted to say that Trustee Steph recently completed the Manchester Marathon in aid of KES. Steph has been training hard over the last year or so, and all the hard work has paid off as she completed it under her target time, with a very respectable 4:15:40. Steph ran with her husband and brother in law, so well done team!

Nick Steph and Dan complete the Manchester Marathon
Nick, Steph and Dan on completing the marathon

Steph commented: “I just wanted say thank you so much for your support and sponsorship for the Manchester Marathon, it was really tough but I am pleased do say we did it!!! Thank you guys again for all your words of encouragement and for sponsoring me - which made me HAVE to complete the race, even when I got tired!”
If you’d like to show your support, Steph and the team are still welcoming donations until July.

Summer holidays, easyfundraising

As summer approaches, don’t forget that lots of holiday providers and travel agents are registered with so you can raise money for KES, simply for going on holiday! It won’t cost you a penny more, but KES gets vital extra funds and as the name implies, it’s so easy to do.
We have 29 supporters, and so far they have raised over £900 by shopping online.


Exchange rate fluctuation risk to KES

Assessing the risks

As trustees and like all those who hold that office in a responsibly run charity, we have to consider the key risks affecting the charity. Early in its existence we developed a ‘risk register’ in which all trustees considered and evaluated all the possible risks that the charity might encounter. This was done using the Charity Commission recommended risk register matrix. It’s a continually developing tool and is being fully re-evaluated annually. Risks are divided up into risks of governance and operational, financial, environmental and compliance risks and then each is assessed for ‘degree of likelihood’ and ‘severity of impact’. This enables each to be rated as a red, amber or green risk.

Key financial risk

Since the outset, the risk of a variation in exchange rates has been seen as the key ‘red risk’. Every year KES sends approximately £35,000 to Kenya in school fees, the exchange rate of the pound against the Kenyan shilling can make the cost of paying school fees quite volatile. It’s possible that a 10% variation in the exchange rate could mean an extra £3,500 required to pay the annual fees! To even out the risk, KES agreed with Bahati Division Academy to pay the fees monthly, in advance rather than every term or annually. This also has the benefit of levelling out variations in the monthly cash flow forecasts considered by the trustees each month.

Managing exchange rate risk

Trustees don’t want to ask for increased monthly payments from sponsors  to manage such severe fluctuations. With this in mind we’ve been working hard to minimise the risk for some time and here are the results:
  1. There have been a number of fundraising activities that have enabled a small ‘buffer’ to be set aside to manage immediate fluctuations in the rates. We’ve held a supermarket collection, sponsored events etc.
  2. If the ‘buffer’ became depleted, we should increase the fundraising activity to cover any shortfall and thereby re-instate the buffer.
  3. Only as a last resort would we seek an increase in the sponsors’ contribution.

Well managed

We believe that KES is a very well managed charity. The relatively small size of the charity and the professional experience of the various trustees has meant that we’ve been able to implement full risk assessment. We’ve also taken steps to mitigate these risks whilst continuing to run the charity without overheads so that, with the exception of some bank fees connected with overseas payments, nothing is spent on administration and all the donated funds continue to go directly for the benefit of the sponsored scholars.

KES on Facebook

You may have noticed KES is now on Facebook. This is to help spread the news of KES as well as reach potential new supporters. As a small charity, we need all the help we can get, so would be very grateful if you could ‘Like’ our page, which then shares the updates automatically with you. And it would be super if you could ‘Share’ KES items that you think your Facebook friends might appreciate. The more friends we have, the more good work we can do together.


Need a speaker for your club/group?

If you’d like to help spread the word of KES or just need a speaker, founding Trustee Simon is well used to doing illustrated talks to clubs and other groups about the inspiring story of how the school came about. He recently spoke at the Rotary District Conference and as a result has been asked to a number of Rotary clubs to do the talk – also recent ‘gigs’ have included WI, U3A and Inner Wheel. 
If you are in need of a speaker please contact Simon directly on
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We want your feedback

We always welcome your ideas, comments and feedback to help us manage things better, particularly for our regular supporters. Please take the time (a couple of minutes) to fill in our little questionnaire by clicking here. Thanks a lot.
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