Jambo dear Friends,
Firstly we would like to send you and your families our very best wishes and hope you are all safe and in good health. As this unprecedented virus crisis sweeps across the world, we must work together as a collective community, sharing compassion for the challenges people are facing around the globe.
In this newsletter, we will explain the impact experienced by our orphans and needy children in rural Kenya and outline School4Life’s response to own challenges occurred during the last year.Firstly we would like to send you and your families our very best wishes and hope you are all safe and in good health. As this unprecedented virus crisis sweeps across the world, we must work together as a collective community, sharing compassion for the challenges people are facing around the globe.
In this newsletter, we will explain the impact experienced by our orphans and needy children in rural Kenya and outline School4Life’s response to own challenges occurred during the last year.
Covid-19 Situation in Kenya
Since its first detection on 13th March 2020, the COVID-19 cases have grown considerably in Kenya, now reaching close to 1214 cases and 50 deaths as of 25th of May. The Kenyan measures are strict, including a country-wide curfew enforced by military police.
Adding to the crisis are two additional major disasters happening simultaneously in Kenya: Flooding in many regions of the country due to heavy rain and the worst plague of locusts in 25 years, impacting 70% of the plantations.
The hardship from these three crises befalls the most vulnerable households in Kenya. Most daily workers lost their jobs as a consequence of either the pandemic or the measures to mitigate its spread. Moreover, they face a higher risk of contracting the virus – due to crowding and lack of access to basic facilities.
At the same time, the price of food has increased by around 30% as a result of supply chain failures both internationally and within the country.
‘It is not the coronavirus that will kill us,
says Clementine, one of our beneficiary’s from Kimilili.
Kenya is facing a triple challenge and we at School4Life decided to step in:
Corona Support Programme
The triple challenge inevitably puts huge pressure on our beneficiaries, often not knowing how to put a plate of food in front of their children.
School4Life decided to establish a temporary Corona Support Programme to help the vulnerable families and provide them with financial support to buy basic food supplies at their homes. On a weekly basis, around 100 needy families will be supported, providing them with the equivalent of 2 kg of rice, 2kg of flour for chapatis (local pancake), 2 big cans of maize, cooking fat and charcoal, protecting the children from the worst of the crisis: hunger.
The programme will run until the learning institutions open again and the Leaver’s Programme can continue to support our children with furthering their education.
We want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your kind support. A 50 CHF / EUR monthly donation will sustain 2 families through the Corona Support Programme. Once the Corona is overcome, the donations will be re-directed towards the Leavers Programme, supporting a child in following their dream. School4Life believes in our founding principle: 100% of all donations go to the children and the community.
If you would like to get involved, you can do so here.
Leavers Programme on hold
Through the Leaver’s Programme established in 2017, School4Life supports children with tertiary education. The beneficiaries receive sponsorship to complete a certified formation through technical colleges or universities. We have had many children following their dreams, including Dennis, our first university student from Kimilili, currently completing his third year of teacher training at Bungoma University. Due to Corona, the local learning institutions are currently closed. We will continue with the Leavers Programme as soon as the situation allows, ensuring that all children currently in the programme will complete their education. Thanks to your continued sponsorship, many others will hopefully be able to follow their dreams and thrive in the job market with completed certifications.
Cooperation with CBSM Kimilili
It has been a difficult few months for School4Life, especially as we unfortunately had to end our cooperation with one of our local partners CBSM in Kimilili as of February 2020 due to concerns around governance and transparency. School4Life’s intense efforts to resolve the pending issues were sadly unsuccessful. Unable to fulfil the required high standard we adhere to, we handed over the matter to local authorities for further investigation. This step was not taken lightly and School4Life will continue to monitor the local situation as it evolves. Results are expected only in 2021 and will define our next steps. We will keep you updated on any progress. Meanwhile, as soon as the Covid situation allows, the pupils will proceed with their education under CBSM management.
Structural Changes at School4Life
Jürg, Ole and Silvia from our Advisory Board decided to step down from their current roles but will remain available for any advice we might need. We are immensely grateful for the support and advice received over the past years, professionalising our charity and strengthening our governance. This has enabled School4Life to significantly increase the impact on our children and communities in rural Kenya. We are looking forward to continuing this journey with Guido.
Alex and Miriam decided to step back from the Board to take up roles in the Core Team. We would like to thank both of them for their endless dedication to School4Life, impacting many children in rural Kenya to advance their education and follow their dreams.
We are looking for volunteers willing to step in and grow School4Life’s impact in rural communities. If you are interested, we look forward to hearing from you here.
With a big ASANTE SANA
Agnes and Astrid & the School4Life Team