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The word ‘Urafiki’ means ‘friendship’ in Kiswahili, and this small but very special charity began with a wish to build links and friendships between our community in the UK and another in Yala, Kenya. Links that would enable the Yala leaders to tackle the extreme poverty that is part of daily life for so many. Over time, these friendships have grown very deep. We trust each other, have shared values, and can see the real, lasting difference that our projects have made.

About us

Secondary Education Scheme

URAFIKI’s secondary education scheme was set up in August 2004 to provide sponsored school places for children who would otherwise have no access to education. In Kenya, education beyond the age of 14 has to be paid for, which puts it beyond the reach of many families.

Through our sponsorship scheme, the Yala team considers applications from students living in extreme poverty, across multiple tribes and religions. Many children in Yala have encountered huge obstacles in their lives and are desperate to learn – URAFIKI gives them that opportunity. The more disadvantaged children are given access to education, the more the community benefits. Students avoid early marriage and a life of drugs and alcohol, and instead go on after school to receive vocational training, university educations or skilled jobs.

Bixa's Success Story

Bixa Matambo was living in desperate poverty with his younger siblings when his mother died. His father had passed away when he was very young and his mother had been too weak to work in the fields or put food on the table, due to the fact that she was HIV+. The Yala team met with Bixa’s mother shortly before she passed and were blown away by her unyielding positive spirit and fervent love for her children.

Because of a single sponsorship, URAFIKI were able to find a boarding school for Bixa, where he is now fed and cared for in a positive learning environment. Through regular letters, he has formed a very close bond with his sponsor and is grateful to have someone who he can talk to about his experiences.

It costs just £240 per year to cover the cost of a year at secondary school for a child in Yala, which includes tuition and exam fees.

How You Can Help

Jaqueline Kaboga

Life was ok for Jaqueline before her father was struck with a debilitating mental illness and so unable to work. Her mother works washing clothes for people.

Jacqueline has done one year at secondary school but will not be able to go back in January unless she has a sponsor. She is the 3rd born of 5 children. She is desperately upset and clinging to the hope that a sponsor will come along to help her. Please can you help by sponsoring Jaqueline for £20 a month?

Clifton Muguzu

Clifton is desperate to go to secondary school but has little hope unless he finds a sponsor. He is the 2nd born of 4 children and lives with his father. Their mother has run away. Their father works as a casual labourer on people’s farms and doesn’t earn enough to feed the family. Even eating each day is a problem. Clifton walked seven miles to the URAFIKI office seeking a chance of education. It will cost £20 a month to support Clifton in secondary school. Please can you help him?