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KES newsletter - December 2016

More effective communications

We recently had some thought-provoking sponsor feedback about KES communications, and we’re beginning to ring the changes. Today’s newsletter is the first step in a much larger co-ordinated plan to help make all our communications clearer, more informative and more engaging for you, as well as potential supporters.

Feedback summary:

  • More details about what sponsorships delivers
  • Hard facts and more specific information
    • impact on scholars, case studies and stories
    • education and society in Kenya
  • Focus on the personal – KES is run by a passionate bunch 

The first thing we're trying to do first is introduce more context and share some more scholar stories in our newsletters. We'll also be adding some more information to the website and sharing some more regular update via Facebook. To help us communicate to you in the ways you want, we would love to hear your feedback if you like what we're sharing, what else you'd like to know or what you don't like. You can either contact the different trustees personally or email

KES scholars start their university places

You may remember from August’s newsletter that we have three scholars starting university.

Nahashon Njuguna has started at Meru University of Science and Technology, studying for a Bachelor of Science Statistics.

Martin Njuguna Njoroge is studying a Bachelor of Arts (Development Studies with IT) at Maseno University
Antony Kibet is going to the Co-operative University College of Kenya to Diploma in Information Technology.

Here are a couple of pictures showing Nahashon ready to leave his village and then during his first few weeks at university.
Nahashon ready to leave his village
Nahashon at university

My personal KES journey

By Steph Janes

As well as being a KES trustee, my husband and I currently sponsor our second student through the charity. I have always been passionate about my personal responsibility to make a difference and meeting Simon (and subsequently Joseph) made the decision to support KES a complete no-brainer.

I knew Simon through work, though we weren’t well acquainted until the day I attended his talk about KES. Simon spoke passionately about a boy he came to know - a boy from the small village who Simon sponsored through school and later made it through university and a built very successful career. That boy was Joseph, and hearing about the enormous difference the sponsorship of a single pupil made, I immediately approached Simon about getting involved.

I was worried about the cost initially, having only every supported larger charities but I was excited about the direct impact my support could have. Once I really thought about it I realised that, instead of treating myself to a new shirt every month, I could change the life of a child. The idea of changing a life may seem far-fetched but hearing about Joseph and the positive impact sponsorship had on his life, and seeing the difference he was beginning to make with Simon at the BDA school, made me realise that it was truly money well spent. If I really wanted to make a difference, KES was how I was going to do it.

Since then, the first student I sponsored with my husband, has successfully completed secondary school and is now in further college education. She has been spared from female genital mutilation (FGM) as a direct result of being offered a place at BDA and she is respected by those in her village for her achievements to date. We are now sponsoring another student - a bright and talented young boy. And whilst I don’t know what the future has in store for him, I know without doubt, that he wouldn’t have the opportunity of attending secondary school had it not been for Joseph, KES or our sponsorship.

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.

Mathematics standards in primary schools are below par, and the Government has taken drastic steps to improve performance. Some 21,095 primary school pupils will have their two-month holiday cut short to take part in a study aimed at improving the quality of the subject. Read the full article in the Kenya Standard here
Cheating and arson - the desperate measures students and teachers are going to, ensuring results in the recent KCSE exams. Read more on the BBC.
At least one million children are still out of primary school although primary education is free in Kenya. Unfortunately most of those missing out are girls, mainly due to early marriages, HIV/AIDs and lack of sanitary towels. Read more here.
Read about the alternative to KES and BDA for many children in Kenya due to the poverty and standards in other schools and areas of Kenya.

As a contrast, have a look at the BDA standards and facilities on their Facebook page.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Despite it being outlawed since 2011 in Kenya, FGM is still all too common in Kenya. BBC’s Tulip Mazunda shares her experiences in this fascinating article and video.
Details of the work taking place to help battle against FGM, change is coming but there’s still some way to go. Find out more here.
Stories of how Massai men are helping in the fight against FGM.

At KES, we're extremely proud to work with the BDA team to continue offering great opportunities for girls to achieve their potential and embrace an alternative to FGM and young marriage. They're also working hard to educate boys to respect women and understand the complications of FGM. The team are doing this being mindful of social sensitivities in a country and area which is still proudly tribal, whilst attempting to weave together tradition and modern values.

And finally - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all the KES Trustees; Simon, Nicky, John, Steph, Sam and Hannah.
Copyright © 2016 Kenyan Educational Support (KES), All rights reserved.
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