Although elementary education in Kenya is “free,” there are many costs associated with going to school, making it difficult, if not impossible, for orphans to get the education needed to prepare them for promising futures.
Elementary school costs include a mandatory school uniform, shoes, sweater, books, stationery, and fees for extra teachers, desks, and more. Kenya does not provide free secondary education, and most Kenyan high schools are boarding schools. Friends of Kakamega has provided educational sponsorships for orphans since 2004, making it possible for over 150 children to go to elementary and high school. Friends of Kakamega sponsorships cover elementary school costs for Care Centre and homebased children and the residential fees for high school students who qualify.
Sponsors and the children whom they support form an important bond. When the service trippers visit the Care Centre each summer, they bring letters, photos, and a gift, such as a blouse or shirt, for the children from their sponsors, the opening of which is a highlight of the camp. The children write letters in return and often include a small gift, such as a hand-painted bookmark, for their sponsors. Friends of Kakamega sends updates and photos of the children to their sponsors each year. Sponsors sometimes go on the service trip or visit the Care Centre at other times and get to have joyous meetings with the children whom they sponsor.
TYPES OF SPONSORSHIPS
- Children at the Care Centre: A sponsorship of a Care Centre child covers the costs of school and contributes to living at the Care Centre.
Click to see a day at the Care Centre…
- Home-based Children: For orphans who live with a guardian, a sponsorship covers all school costs, a mattress and blanket for the child, and a food stipend.
Learn more about the Homebased Program…
- Read an interview with an elementary student.
Note: Sponsors do not choose which type of elementary child they will sponsor. When someone signs up to sponsor a child, the Friends of Kakamega/USFW Boards assign a child from the Care Centre or Homebased Program.
$1,000/year or split by 2 sponsors: $500/year
Friends of Kakamega strives to continue the education of sponsored children through high school. The secondary students sponsored by the Orphan Project attend residential high schools.Entrance to high school is very challenging and expensive in Kenya. An 8th grader must pass a rigorous examination to be accepted, so the children who go to high school from the Care Centre have worked hard and are highly motivated to do well. The project sponsored two high school students in 2003, and, by 2011, there were 58 in high school and five in college.
A Letter from Beryl Busolo
Kakamega Care Centre
My father died in 1999 when I was 3 years old, and my mother died in 2000. After that, I lived with my aunt. I’m used to calling her Mom, so sometimes I just say, “I live with my mom.” My brother, sister, and I lived there. My aunt knew Mama Dorothy because we live in the same area, and I came to the Care Centre in 2005, when I was in Class 6. Since I graduated from secondary school, I live again with my aunt.
Before I came to the Care Centre, a big challenge for me was school fees. The Care Centre took care of them, and I thank God for that. The Care Centre has been very important in my life because it enabled me to go through my education without stress since they provided school fees and basic needs. When I first came to the Care Centre, I didn’t like to answer questions about my parents; I didn’t want to talk about those memories, but I came to accept that I was an orphan, and I learned to socialize with many kinds of people and made new friends, and I liked it a lot. My experience at the Care Centre was also fantastic because I learned drawing, painting, and knitting, and I enjoyed singing there. I believe that I sing well and have a passion for it, and I joined the Kenyan Girls’ Choir where I sang soprano. I also loved the discussions that we had at the Care Centre. Living at the Care Centre was wonderful, and I miss it a lot. I hope that one day I can come back to the Care Centre and help.
I would like to pursue a course in Public Health or, if not, a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at a university. I would love to work in a hospital, and I think these two courses would enable me to work in a Kenyan hospital or one abroad. I chose Public Health because it is very marketable in Kenya at the moment and nutrition because it is also marketable and I love things to do with cooking. I am a good student. My grades were very good; I got a B+, so the government will pay half my university fees. Math is my best subject. I would like to go to Moi University in Eldoret in September, which is the time for entrance for those who pass well in secondary school, and the government will chip in. Now I am at home, and I am doing some computer studies in Kakamega.
- Read a letter from recent High School graduate, Beryl
- Read more about high school sponsorship
- View the high school sponsors slideshow
Explore the links below to learn more about the Orphan Project of Kakamega.