Schools in Kenya are restarting after being closed in March 2020 due to the Covid pandemic. The good news is that it look likes almost all the students registered originally in January 2020 will be coming back. The sad news is that many of the returning students are coming back with no funds from their parents to pay for their school fees. This is leaving the schools in the very precarious position of needing to provide meals and boarding for all of the returning students, but having insufficient funds to do so and operate the schools.
The Kyaithani Cluster Scholarship Fund has just provided 69 Scholarships to Kyaithani and Lower Yatta Secondary Schools to help the parents of these 69 students with their school fees for the 2020 school year. Each of these scholarships is worth CAN$150, which is 12,000 Kenyan Shillings (approximately USD$120). Secondary school fees there cost 39,000 Kenyan Shillings per year (USD$390), so parents of scholarship recipients are still required to find ways to pay the remaining 27,000 shillings (USD$270) of school fees per student. With average family income of these parents of about USD$1 per day, that's 270 days of their family work/income (almost a whole year!) to pay the remaining school fees so that one of their children can go to secondary school.The total benefit to all the parents from these 69 scholarships is 828,700 Kenyan shillings (approximatelyUSD$8300). So these scholarships represent about 8,300 days of family work/income that these 69 subsidence farmer families will not have to spend to pay for school fees this year in this very poor, drought-prone area of eastern Kenya! 52 girls and 17 boys received scholarships this year. These were split almost equally between Kyaithani Secondary and Lower Yatta Secondary Schools.
The Scholarship Fund only provides scholarships to students that originate from the six primary schools in the immediate Kyaithani area. The reason for this is that a focus of the Scholarship Fund is to try to raise the level of education, over time, in the Kyaithani area community. The one exception to this is that, as a memorial to Ann Mwania (who founded Lower Yatta Secondary School), there are 3 Most Improved Achievement scholarships open to all girls attending Lower Yatta Secondary School.
For the 2020 scholarships, the students receiving scholarships came from: 19 from Kyaithani Primary 14 from Ndunguni Primary 12 from Muusini Primary 9 from Ndandini Primary 10 from Nthilani Primary 0 from Ilovi Primary (a new school with no students graduating yet) 3 from other Primary (Ann Mwania Achievment scholarship recipients) Our Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to about 1 in 6 students at the two secondary schools.There is so much more opportunity to help provide an education for the kids in the Kyaithani area of Kenya and to help their parents who struggle to send their children to school. There is so much potential benefit to the Kyaithani community by improving the education level of its future citizens and leaders. Since 2011 when the Kyaithani Cluster Scholarship Fund started by providing only 9 scholarships, the Scholarship Fund has now provided a total of 419 scholarships to these two schools. That is the equivalent of a total of almost 50,000 days work/income for the parents since 2011 that they have not had to spend on school fees - because you helped them. As our fundraising for 2021 scholarships approaches the Christmas season, please think about how much good your support of the Kyaithani Scholarship Fund does for the students and parents in Kenya. Please help us to help even more students in the coming year. It costs only C$150 to fund a scholarship for one year. Any size donation helps. We would especially like to thank our regular donors for your past and ongoing suppor. These donors include:the congregation of St. Hilda's Anglican Church in Sechelt BCthe student members of Chatelech Secondary School Interact Club in Sechelt BCthe members of the Rotary Club Sunshine Coast-Sechelt BC private individuals from BC, Canada and around the worldThe students, parents and school administrators have asked me to ensure that you all know how much your support is appreciated. We too are so thankful for your generosity and interest in the work that the Scholarship Fund has done since 2011 and continues to do. Terry