When the young people on the scheme have completed 4 years at secondary school they return to the Yala community and do a year to 18 months voluntary work at the community centre, in schools, with the orphans and vulnerable children or visiting and nursing older people. They get a nominal wage for this so they can buy soap and other small items. Simon is very keen that the young people do this voluntary work before they are considered for further education. Part of this is about repaying to their community because they have been sponsored for four years; part of it is to assess whether the student is suitable for further education. The young people noticeable grow in confidence during this year working and are always very proud to tell us what they are doing.
The costs of further education are high. Students who get government funded University place based on final grades are encouraged to apply for bursaries. Urafiki offers support up to £500 per year while they wait for bursaries. Diploma, certificate and technical courses may also be supported and cost up to £600 a year. In all cases students are expected to repay and give back to the community and other students once they have qualified. Students also work at the Centre during their holidays.
So far one student has completed a business diploma; one student a business degree; 1 a social work degree; 3 teaching degrees; 1 a nursing diploma; an early years development certificate.
Students continue to write and update their sponsors during their voluntary work year and while they are at universities and colleges.