Education Sponsorship – Educating Kibera’s Children
We began by seeking the help of volunteer teachers who were able to provide the children with some structure to their learning. It was obvious that the opportunity for education was not only necessary, but would be welcomed with open arms by the children.
Re-named ‘The Chappell Informal School’ after our first contact in Kibera, Br Frank Chappell, we were able to provide schooling for 20 children who had already completed the free, government funded primary education, but were unable to move onto secondary education because of the high cost.
After a year at the Chappell Informal School, the children are then in a position to move forward to high school education, if we as a charity are able to pay for this. So far, every child who has completed their year with us has been able to continue their education.
However, we have limits on the number of children that we can help there. But every day, and especially at the beginning of January at the start of the new school year, hundreds more arrive, desperate for their chance to learn.
One of the most heart-rending decisions is how to choose which children to accept.
Even more heart-breaking is having to tell those we can’t…
We have to choose those whose needs are greatest. Many of these are orphans, with no family, no future, no hope – who without this lifeline would most likely be devoured by the criminal gangs; girls sold in into prostitution and boys used as drug couriers or becoming a member of a ‘gang for hire’ is their most likely future without education.
For the few we can take, many shed tears of gratitude. They know that an education really can offer a glimmer of hope for a life away from Kibera. Through their own desire for education, the children themselves had created an opportunity – a real mark of how determined and ambitious these people are to forge a life for themselves that will take them away from the slum.
And it’s people like you who make this possible. The higher our donations received, the more children we can help.
Today, Women For Women In Africa helps with education in a number of ways. This includes the complete funding of over 70 children for their primary education and for over 120 children for their secondary education – many of whom are orphans.
For years, WFWIA has invoiced our students’ sponsors as little as possible to provide this. This covered the costs for their uniform, shoes, books, stationery, any necessary medical and dental treatment, lunch for those at day schools, transport to and from school and boarding fees for those who attend boarding school. From 2017, this school fee rises to $1,250 a year for primary and secondary school students.
Boarding schools provide the best education opportunity. They are a safe haven, away from the violence, abuse and rape that is so prevalent in Kibera. There’s a warm bed in which to sleep, 3 meals a day, toilet facilities and electricity so they can continue to study when the sun’s gone down. Not only do they get a vital education, but they become aware of the opportunities that are out there – opportunities they can strive to achieve through education.
Still others are helped in smaller, but no less important, manner. We might provide just 2 or 3 elements to help with their education – such as paying for lunch, uniform or school books (this is a prerequisite to attend school).
Post-Secondary Education and Opportunities.
Those who gain the necessary exam results in their high school exams (KCSE) can, in some cases, gain government funding to attend university. This is paid back at a later date when they enter employment.
However, this funding is few and far between, and every child wants to continue their education.
University and college education is expensive, and many of our students have successfully undertaken or are undertaking courses with the ongoing support of their sponsors. These courses range from short Certificate courses to Diplomas and Degrees. We now have a nurse undertaking a post-graduate diploma course. Fantastic!
Thanks to a very generous bequest, we now have another way to help our students after they finish secondary school. It is the Erica Hammond Scholarship Fund. This fund is designed for students to undertake short courses to gain extra skills to compete in the work marketplace such as computer skills or becoming a nursing attendant. There are conditions for approval but it’s a great way for the students to up-skill.
But even for those who can’t go onto university, high school education provides so much;
High school education opens their eyes to the opportunities that exist.
Women For Women In Africa believes the best way to relieve poverty is through education.
You can make a difference today with a small donation, please help.