Urafiki’s secondary education scheme was set up in August 2004 to provide sponsored school places for children who would otherwise miss out on an education. There are currently over 240 places on the scheme (and to date over 200 young people have been supported in this way).
In Kenya, education beyond the age of 14 has to be paid for, which puts it beyond the reach of many families. The three types of secondary school – national, provincial and district – each have a different academic level. A pupil’s final exam grades at primary school will determine which secondary school would suit them best.
Urafiki’s team in Yala considers applications from young people across the different tribes and religions, and those who live in extreme poverty. They look out for students who have academic potential combined with a real commitment to studying. Sometimes young people will have encountered huge obstacles in their lives, yet their sheer will to learn makes them stand out.
The scheme has already had a very positive effect in the community. For many young people, the alternative to school is deprivation, unemployment, and ultimately self-neglect leading to drug or alcohol abuse. For girls, there is the added danger of becoming pregnant at a very young age – with all the associated health risks – and early marriage. Education can quite literally be a lifesaver for some of these youngsters.
As more and more Urafiki students complete their education, they are moving on to vocational training, going to university, and finding jobs. They have seized this opportunity and studied hard, emerging full of confidence, with fresh skills, and the very real possibility of lifting themselves and their families out of poverty.
Seeing the difference an education can make, more parents are sending their children to primary school in the hope that they, too, might be chosen to join the Urafiki secondary scheme when they are older. This is their children’s best hope for a brighter future, and each year the queue of children waiting for a place grows longer. It’s a great vote of confidence, and we would love to be able to help everyone who applies, but it’s just not possible. That’s why we’re always seeking new sponsors!
If you think you’d like to know more, please contact us so we can explain what’s involved in becoming a sponsor, and how rewarding it can be!
Oscar’s father died in 2000 and so his family became homeless. They now live in a rented hut and finding enough food to eat is a daily struggle. Having enough money for school fees is out of the question for this family.
Oscar runs the long distance to and from school everyday with very little food to energise him, but despite this he always applies himself extremely and frequently top of his class. Nancy says ‘his positive attitude and determination radiates like a shining light, encouraging others’.
Education is this family’s only hope, so Oscar and his mother are extremely thankful for the support of a sponsor.
Rose’s father tragically died of throat cancer. Even though her mother works on people’s farm to scrape together a living, they often going hungry. Without sponsorship, Rose’s future was bleak and it was almost certain that she would be forced into an early marriage.
Thanks to her sponsor, Rose has been given the chance of a brighter future. She is now able to attend secondary school, the first girl in her family to do so. Inspite of a long and tiring walk to school, Rose works extremely hard and is top of her class. She is a great example to other girls as she encourages them to work hard and to focus on their studies.
Sharon lives with her parents who pick tea for a very meagre living. The family lives in dire poverty with many mouths to feed, sleeping on rags and sharing blankets.
Sponsorship has enabled Sharon to be the first in her family to go to secondary school. Because of her background, Sharon has been given a place at boarding school where she feels more secure and can better concentrate on her studies as well as receiving a daily meal. She works incredibly hard and hopes to go to university. Education provides her with hope for the future.
We still need YOUR help
Alvin is a very bright 15 year old and came to the URAFIKI centre desperate because he wants to go to secondary school and his mother only earns £1.50 a day so its out of the question. None in his family has ever gone to secondary school. The poverty he lives in is dire with food not guaranteed each day, no running water and nothing to call his own. Without education he knows his life has no hope and he will repeat the cycle of poverty of his family. Can you help get Alvin into school for £20 a month?
Sponsor for £20 a month
As if being orphaned isn’t hard enough, this term at school has been a disaster for Atonya. She is in her 2nd year, 1st term and without a cent to pay towards the fees she has now been sent home permanently. This could be the end of the road as far as her education is concerned. She is not a high flier but can improve her grades if she is in school each day.
Could you be the one to help Atonya back into education? It costs £20 a month to support her for the next few years. Without urgent help she is destined to early marriage and a life of poverty.
You think you have a place at secondary school. This means opportunity; the prospect of paid work; a future. You turn up on the first day, full of hope and excitement, only to find there’s been a terrible mistake. The scholarship has actually gone to someone else – someone with a very similar name.
It sounds like a bad dream, but this was Victor’s reality last February. Understandably, he was distraught. But he won’t give up on his future. He refuses to take no for an answer, and has turned up day after day at the Urafiki offices, believing that his luck must somehow change; that someone, somewhere, will hear about his plight, and help.
Could it be you?