Jambo dear friends,
We are writing to you at the middle of what must be the strangest time ever for School4Life and our children:
- Normally at this time of year, we would be in Kenya, working with the Kimilili School to complete their budget for the next year, preparing for the annual parents’ day events and helping to celebrate graduation day with the students.
- Normally, we would be preparing our Leavers from our Leaver Programme for their year’s end exams in their technical colleges or at university. We would be discussing next steps and requirements to achieve their dreams.
- Normally, we would be busy organizing our annual School4Life celebration in Switzerland, thanking all of our dear sponsors for the support received.
But this year, “nothing is normal”! What has been happening in Kenya?
Ever since the first confirmed case of Covid on March, 13th, Kenya has undergone strict measures to contain the virus, including a night curfew, closure of learning institutions, ban of social gatherings and more. Despite the strict attempts, the cases have increased to over 33’000 with 550 deaths. Kenya’s decision to close all learning institution has impacted many severely: teachers and staff members aren’t being paid, learning is on hold and many struggle to feed their families and themselves.
What does this all mean for the children and beneficiaries of School4Life?
Many of our beneficiaries struggled with the unexpected situation: no job, no income, increased food prices by up to 30% and no possibility to feed their family, leading to many hungry tummies. Back in May School4Life decided to step in and developed a “Corona Support Programme”, supporting the most vulnerable with a budget to ensure our children have enough to fill their hungry bellies.
Over 100 beneficiaries were identified including our special needs children and families, staff members like guards and teachers and additional families struggling with the situation. On a monthly basis, the Corona Support programme provides the families with the equivalent of 8 kg of rice, 8kg of flour for chapatis (local pancake), 8 big cans of maize, cooking fat and charcoal, protecting the children from the worst of the crisis: hunger. The reactions have been overwhelming. Here are some of them expressing their joy:
“Good morning! Greetings from Kimilili! I just wanted to share with you the joy of the beneficiaries who have received a second payment. People are overwhelmed with gratitude and are so happy! I would like to share one testimony with you: Centrine was in church when her phone went. On seeing the credit she started jumping for joy and singing praises to God for what she deemed was a miracle. Before she received the first payment she had absolutely nothing in the house. As a single parent she has two late teenage children and a ten year old. She was stopped from her job so had very little income. She is truly blessed and so grateful.” – Wamoyo (S4L Head of Corona Programme)
“Hello Dad how are you doing hopefully you are fine as family ,we are so grateful and glamorously marvelling of what a blessing you slapped us, thank you so much on behalf of my mummy we received and we are blessed. May the good God richly bless you and your generation. We thank God for using you to be a blessing in our lives. Surely Asante sana.” – Naomi (Daughter of S4L Corona Support Beneficiary)
“Yeah am happy really happy mum my God bless you entire life surely you have been nice to me and you shall always be in my heart thank you so much.” – Gachi (S4L Corona Support Beneficiary)
“Leaver’s Programme” picking up from Corona “on hold” situation
Through the Leaver’s Programme, established in 2017, School4Life supports children with tertiary education. The beneficiaries receive sponsorship to complete a certified course through technical colleges or universities. All learning institutions were closed due to Covid, forcing us to put the programme “on hold”. School4Life is very pleased to report that our Leaver’s Programme is slowly picking up again. Many universities have now decided to start offering their courses online, allowing university students like Dennis to continue or start their university degree.
We are pleased that this year in September two new Leavers from Kimilili will start their learning path: Marcos (on the right) will be joining the Kenyatta University in Nairobi to become a nutritionist. Johnwilly (on the left) is excited to join Meru University for a Bachelor of Commerce degree, having received his very first computer to attend online courses.
We are very proud of Marcos and Johnwilly from Kimilili: Well done!
As soon as the government allows, we will also continue to support our Leavers attending technical colleges. We will keep you posted.
Joining our local team: welcome Wamoyo
With the new exciting opportunities faced through the pandemic challenges, School4Life is pleased to announce a new member of our local Kenyan team: Wamoyo Wycliffe. As “Head of Corona Programme” and “Head of Leaver’s Programme”, Wamoyo will be the first local point of contact for all our beneficiaries. With his broad experience and enthusiasm for Leadership Programmes, Wamoyo is a valuable addition to our School4Life team. Welcome Wamoyo!
We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for your kind support in our mission to enable children to follow their dreams through education. From the bottom of our heart: asante sana!
The School4Life Team would like to send you and your families our very best wishes. Please stay safe
With our very best wishes,
Agnes and Astrid & the School4Life Team