Oct. 2020 letter from Terry

23October2020  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

New Ndandini Facebook page.  See: https://www.facebook.com/KyaithaniCluster/

July 4, 2018  Ndandini  (Kyaithani) Scholarship Update

Below is an update regarding the Kyaithani scholarship program.  It is what I sent to all our Rotary Club members, but it is relevant to all donors who contribute to the scholarship fund.

And a BIG THANKS for your support since the beginning!

 Terry (& Jan)


July 4, 2018

 As we begin our new Rotary year, it is appropriate for all of our Club Members to review the significant benefits that our club's "Kyaithani Scholarship Fund" provides for Secondary and Post-Secondary students in Kyaithani, KENYA.  Below is an email of thanks that we received this past week from the Principal of Kyaithani Secondary school ( with my highlights):


From: Ngumbi Kimali 
Sent: June 30, 2018
To: Terry Umbach
Subject: Wires today for scholarships/bursaries
Jambo Terry. 
We are glad and thankful to God to have resumed operations after the midterm break. 
It is with lots of pleasure to report that the amounts you wired have been received in the school account. 
We reiterate our commitment to apply the funds to the intended purposes for the good of the learners and the Kyaithani High school community at large. 
In my assessment and experience, the sponsorship program remains one of the best ongoing projects that the donors have brought to Kyaithani cluster. 
It is my prayer and humble request that more funds can be raised to increase the allocation as well as the number of beneficiaries, for the level of need is very deep in our society.
May all our donors feel appreciated, loved and recognized for their generosity, concern for and selfless service to humanity.

 The total donations received this past year, mostly from non-Rotarian sources, for our scholarship program was $16,390 .  

A very special thanks (Asante Sana in Swahili) to all of our donors and to each of you!!  

 Rotary-related donations included the $1200 that our Club donates annually for the Kyaithani scholarship Program.  We also received $950 from the Whistler Millennium Interact Club and $600 from the Chatelech Interact Club (Total $2,750).

 Significant non-Rotary donations included $6,600 from a private donor and $4,000 from St. Hilda's Anglican church.

 This year our Kyaithani Scholarship Fund provided (64) sixty four - $150 Secondary School scholarships and 3 (three) - $600 vocational training bursaries.  

The total cost of the scholarships for this year was $11,400.  This has grown significantly from the 9 scholarships that were provided in 2011!     


This year there were 24 scholarships provided to the girls at Lower Yatta Girls Secondary Boarding School plus 3 special "Ann Mwania Memorial Scholarships" in honour of the original Principal who passed away so unexpectedly at the school in January this year. 


There were 37 scholarships provided at Kyaithani Mixed secondary Boarding School, to 20 boys and 17 girls.  


So in total, there were 44 girls and 20 boys who received a SecondarySchool Scholarship .  The names by forms 1 through 4 at both Secondary Schools are listed at the bottom of this email.


The 3 bursaries were awarded to three 3 boys attending Syongila Polytechnic for vocational training.  These bursaries are a continuation, for second and third year studies, of earlier awarded bursaries.  

 We are holding $22,000 "in trust" to be able to continue to provide these 64 scholarships and 3 bursaries for the remaining (1-3) years until Graduation.  Future donations received during the coming year will enable us to continue to provide scholarships for new students entering First Year Secondary School.

 Charitable donations for the Kyaithani Scholarship program received in the past year by registered charities (specifically Canada Helps and St. Hilda's Anglican Church) who provided tax receipts, and provided these donations to the Belleville Rotary Club (Ontario) to be directed to our club in support of the Kyaithani Scholarship Program totalled $7040.73. 

 ALL $7040.73 in donations provided to our club by the Belleville Rotary Club, have been included in the wire transfers sent to Lower Yatta and Kyaithani Secondary Schools this year for application towards paying the school and boarding fees of the named 67 scholarship and bursary recipients.  

 The additional $4,359.27 required (to meet the $11,400 total cost of this year's issued scholarships) was funded by donations received directly by our club for the purpose of supporting the Kyaithani Scholarship Program.  No tax receipts were provided by our club for any donations towards the Kyaithani Scholarship Program.  Our club is not a registered charity with Canada Revenue Agency CRA so is unable to provide tax receipts.

 After setting up & running this Scholarship Program for 8 years, I am happy to welcome Tanya Hall as our Club's new Kyaithani Scholarship Program coordinator.  Thank you Tanya!  I will continue to assist Tanya, in any and every way, as she becomes familiar with the many aspects of fundraising with both private and Rotary donors, liaising with the schools, reporting, public relations, marketing, which goes on during 12 months of the year.

Terry (and Jan)


May 2018 Well update

Ndandini Well Update:  From Terry Umbach:  “Rotary Club approved covering the cost of the repairs to the generator that was totally submerged for some time by the flood, and it has been running fine at the repair shop.  Unfortunately, while the generator seems fine, the automatic voltage regulator unit turned out to be damaged beyond repair and required replacement at an additional $6,000 cost.  Our Rotary Club Board is recommending that our members approve payment of this.   I think that the best way for St Hilda’s to support the Ndandini/Kyaithani community is by your continued prayers and support of the scholarship program.  These kids are the ones that will make a difference in the community in the long term.”


In conjunction with the Sunshine Coast Rotary (lead organization), St. Hilda's have actively supported efforts in drought-stricken Ndandini, Kenya.  We have assisted the village and surrounding area to obtain fresh water from a drilled well, constuct greenhouses, and provide education scholarships for secondary school students.  In 2016 we raised $5000 for scholarships and one of our parishioners visited the village.  Special thanks to Terry and Jan Umbach of Sechelt for all their vision and hard work.

Learn about the Scholarship Program here.

 For more updates see the Ndandini blog

Contact:  Jill Halliwell  604 885 1994  wellspring2@telus.net

A video of our parishioner Donna Walsh-Wheeldon's 2016 journey to Ndandini Village: