Mishell and Juliana's Boarding and School Fees
Organized by: Michele Abercrombie
CHECK OUT THE NEW FUNDRAISING WEBSITE! tafadhaliforeducation.squarespace.com
3 CHILDREN ARE NOW BEING SPONSORED FOR THIS SEMESTER. THEY WILL REQUIRE MORE FUNDS FOR SCHOOL FEES IN JANUARY. PLEASE HELP OUT.
While in Kenya last summer, I worked as a teacher volunteer a makeshift Children's centre/school in the city of Nairobi. The school, calling itself Rural Visions Children's Centre houses 30 or so children, ranging in age from 1-2, and mahes a meager attempt at educating them. During my time there, 3 months, I slowly came to find that the Rural Vision did not, and according to my contacts, still does not have the kids' best interests at heart. Some of the people who run children's centres throughout Nairobi and beyond, do it out of personal interest (i.e government funding/benefits, free food, donations etc) and are not actually interested in the well-being of the kids. This I found true at Rural Vision Children's Centre. I knew the centre was receiving a certain amount of income through generous benefactors, and yet the money seemed to trickle out before reaching the needs of the children. Thus the kids are still not being educated properly as the centre claims they "cannot afford to pay for teachers." I addition, children are not even being fed three meals a day. I found that most mornings they went without breakfast.
When I began work at Rural Vision's Childrens Centre, new to Kenya and the culture and the people, I was suffering from culture shock and chose to believe everything told to me. I believed that the centre was in the best interest of the kids and I humbly accepted the need for more money and more volunteers in order for the centre to run more efficiently. For weeks I listened to requests for funding and trustingly handed it over, while also teaching the 5th grade class every day. As I, and the other foreign volunteers continued to give, we became more and more suspicious about where our money was going. We saw no improvements in the centre except the small changes we made. Two of the teachers were Kenyans, and though they asked about their pay each week, they never received it. Teachers in Kenya are paid, on average, at a good school, 20,000ksh per month----a little under $230. During the time I was there, the teachers were each paid 2,000ksh-----only $24. As a result, one of the teachers left while I was still working at the school----he has a family and cannot afford being treated with such dishonesty----and the other teacher, my good friend Bonface, stayed on only because he feared what would happen to the children if he were to leave. Though he now is pursuing a degree in early childhood education he still checks back on the kids periodically.
Currently, the children at Rural Vision are surviving but are not being educated, and are often used as child labor. The money that Rural Vision continues to receive, keeps the kids alive, but is mostly spent on the owner's son's needs and wants. While I was there, this man, (who for now shall remain nameless although he considers himself the manager of the Rural Vision Children's centre), drank away 8,000ksh in a weekend while also taking more than 7,000ksh each month to pay for his own rent. This type of thing, while frustrating, is not very uncommon and is accepted as the way things are. It is sometimes hard for the first-world mindset to grasp this corruption, but in a country where 60% of the children are orphans, it is true that these children are lucky to be looked after as much as they are. Making a difference with one child at a time is the pace I am willing to go.
My starting goal is to raise enough money to send the three girls in my former 5th grade class to a proper boarding school, where they will receive a decent education and be cared for. These three girls are Hennis Njoki, Mishell Mbone and Juliana Tabitha, now ages 12, 12 and 13. Boarding for one girl at St. Joseph's school in Nairobi (a school I know is good), for one year, will cost $740 plus the cost of uniform, supplies, exams etc.
The day I left Kenya last summer I promised Hennis, who was orphaned by abandonment at a young age, that I would sponsor her, and this I will do. I am pledging $900 for Hennis' first year of study at St. Josephs. My goal is for Mishell and Juliana to have the same opportunity that I am giving to Hennis. --- so behold! This website. Like Hennis, both Mishell and Juliana have lived at Rural Vision since they were young. Unlike Hennis, both have single mothers with whom they are in contact----but who cannot afford to keep them. I am hoping to raise $1800 for Juliana and Mishell before September so that all three girls will be able to attend St. Joseph's School together this year.
Thank you for any support you are able to offer!
* 'centre' is the correct British English spelling for the word. It is only in American English that we spell it 'center.' Non native English speakers learn the correct, and therefore British English spelling-----'centre.'