Expanding Opportunities, Brooks, United Stateshttp://www.exop.org
Enable children in Kenya, especially orphans and street children, to attend school by directly providing school uniforms, shoes, fees, tuition, desk, textbooks, school supplies, and/or school lunches.
In Kenya, over one million primary school aged children are not in school often due to the lack of a school uniform, shoes or fees. 30% of the population ages 15-24 are illiterate. Only 20% of those who enroll in primary school complete all eight years. Less than half the students eligible for secondary school are enrolled. Only 5% of Kenya’s 2.4 million orphans have hope of completing a minimal level of education.
Each child educated encourages the education of another. $5,700 buys: 64 school uniforms and pairs of shoes, 4 high school student full year tuition, 10 desks, one year of school lunches for 20 students and books or school supplies for 70 students.
Education is not just literacy; it is an effective tool to eradicate poverty and a powerful channel for peace and personal progress. Providing direct assistance to identified students and schools allows many children the opportunity for potent change
Meet Shubian. Shubian is 16 years old and desires to go to high school. She is an orphan. Her father had three wives. Her mother died and she was living with the last remaining wife of her father. She recently moved to live with her sister who has two children of her own and three more related children. Shubian performed well in her Class 8 examination which determines which high schools will accept a student. She hopes to raise enough funds to get into high school next week!
Expanding Opportunities has promised $60.00 from this project on Global Giving be sent directly to the High School towards the almost $500.00 she needs for her first year of high school.
Your donations at work.
Bevelry Gilbert Stone
Meet Patrick and Voyot. One day not so long ago we were visited by two women. One bagan her story in Swahili and the other helped translate. She is a widow and the boys are her grand nephews. The boys never knew their Dad so when their Mom died, the boys went to live with their grandmother on Nairobi. Life was difficult and the boys began the street life. One day the great aunt was asked to save the boys from the streets. So though she did not have much money and no regular job she opened her heart and house to the boys and struggled to get them into school. After a home visit we decided to assist with the education funds. We would help with school fees, uniforms, shoes, books. Bags etc. The next Sunday the boys were at our gate with a rooster. It was a thank you present and later yhe same day potatoes arrived. The gratitude from the aunt and the smikes on the boys provide the motivation to keep on. This is how your donations change luves. A pen; a notebook, a book bag , a book not only brings a smile but also provides the tools of hope.
Beverly Gilbert Stone
Eloto: I met him under a tree. As I wandered a new area, I was curious why some men were in the shade of a large tree and several yonger men were huddled in the sparse shade of a bush. The young men told me they cannot sit with the elders. While discussing culture norms here in this place we would build the Girl's Rescue Center, I noticed a young man intently staring at my mouth and tipping his ear and concentrating with a palpable depth. Eloto, 19 years old, an orphan, had never been to school. When asked if he was interested in school, there was a resounding YES. When asked if he would go to school with young children, another resounding YES. Well that is just what happened for Eloto. He interviewed at the local primary school, traveled to town to be fitted for a custom made uniform, and was in class by Tuesday! He took some of the expected ribbing being called an "elephant in the classroom" yet he persevered and is moving along very fast! It has cost him more than either of us had expected though. His uncle, with whom he lived, was angry. He will no longer care for Eloto because he cannot herd the goats; He is unable to load sand on the trucks to earn his food. He eats only the lunch served in the primary school. He sleeps outside wrapped in a blanket.
We had located a sponsor for his basic needs in primary school, uniform, pencils, shoes, notebooks etc., but had not considered the need of his accommodation. We are currently reevaluating how we can raise the funds to send him to a boarding school or support him in a hut on a well wisher's land near the current school.
Thanks to you, global giving donors, Eloto and others with a thirst for education that surpasses the desire for money and even food, students like Eloto attend school.
Beverly Gilbert Stone
Faith: Three months ago an email came in. There was an orphan girl placed in a juvenile detention facility for her own protection. Many female orphans are taken in by family members but it is not for humanitarian reasons. The facility knew that juvenile detention is really not a good place for a young girl whose only crime was being an orphan. At the time of contact we did not have the funding for Faith's education.
We hoped that there would be someone of better character to take Faith into their home or donors would assist to move her to a school
Thanks to several small donors, the two pieces came together. A Kenyan woman working in child affairs was willing to take Faith into her home and pay her support if. she could receive help with her school fees.
Expanding Opportunities' was able to purchase her uniform, school supplies and pay her school fees. Now Faith is in school. She completed her first end Term Exams for 2012 and did well for someone who has been out of school. Now she has a bench mark and can work upward from there.
Thank you donors.
Kenya has three terms per year. May marks the beginning of Term 2. Uniforms washed and mended, shoes repaired and polished, books covered, pencils, pens, mathematical sets, exercise books purchased and ready to go. School fees paid.... A simple check list for some, a disastrous end of education for others. Expanding Opportunities assists as many as financially possible complete this checklist so they can attend school.
We have purchased desks, bought entire uniforms, just sweaters, repaired shoes. We have paid lunch fees, tuition fees, development fees. We have repaired seams, resoled shoes, taped books. The line on the done side is long and rewarding. the line on the to be done side is even longer. At this moment a young girl rests in the juvenile remand, not for anything she has done but for what has been done to her. She needs to be in school but so far there is not enough funding to pay for her boarding school fees. She is next in line.
Beverly Gilbert Stone
Eliakim is an orphan. He completed his KCPE last year. He had little hope of attending Secondary School. He was living with a cousin but it was not a satisfactory place to stay as his cousin only worked part time and had little money to support both of them.
Eliakim's situation was brought to the attention of Expanding Opportunities. Through your generous donations, Eliakim is now in a boarding Secondary School! He will stay with his cousin during the holidays. When we visited Eliakim in school, he had the broadest smile ever!
Thank you for providing an education for Eliakim.
Beverly Gilbert Stone
The beginning of January is exciting and hectic! Schools open for the new year. The students need uniforms, books, school supplies and education fees. Shopping for uniforms and supplies means long lines and long days but the rewards are great!
We thank you for helping get 10 children completely outfitted and sent to school. There are several more on the waiting list for uniforms or school fees. Just yesterday I was approached by an anxious father. His son had had all his school items stolen, including his uniform and shoes.
The father is desperately trying to find help before his child loses too many days of school. I do believe we have one fantastic pair of shoes to bring the dad today.
We hope to raise enough to get several more into school before the term has progressed much further.
Bevelry Gilbert Stone
School ends at the end of November in Kenya. At this time students are taking their EXAMS. Then they look forward to their long holiday.
It is a busy time for Expanding Opportunities as we are fundraising for the nextyear's school fees, uniforms and books. Based on the amount of donations is the number of children we can assist to attend school. It is often difficult to understand that children are denied an education because they do not have a uniform, shoes, or lunch money. But thousands of children in Kenya drift to the streets in January as they are unable to attend school.
We hope to be able to continue to buy uniforms and support those children we have been assisting and to more than double the number of uniforms, books and school fees we are able to pay.
Just a pair of $25.00 second hand shoes can mean the difference between attending school and becoming a street child. Often just a $15.00 per term lunch fee can mean the difference between a meal in a day and begging food on the street.
As this year draws to a close we are thankful for those you have assisted us to help. And we look forward with excitement to the HOPE we will be priviledged to give in January 2012.
Beverly Gilbert Stone
September begins the final term for this school year in Kenya. Once this term has begun, there will be many requests for assistance to help a student finish and graduate from High School. There are extra fees during this time and though families are aware of the fees, they have been unable to save up to pay them. The drought in Kenya has forced food and other prices up to never before seen limits. Therefore it is possible even excellent high school senior will be unable to pay their KCSE examination fee.
The KCSE is the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education. The examination takes place in November and covers the 12 years of school the student has completed. The scores on this examination determine the student's vocational and educational future. It is given only once during the year and does have fees attached. If the student cannot pay the fees they cannot take the examination and will have to repeat their last year of high school in its entirety to retake the examination the following year.
We have a very small amount of funding for a few examination fees. Your assistance now will be applied to the account of High School seniors for their examination fees. I will post the student stories on Global Giving.
Any amount over the fees will be saved for student fees and uniforms for the 2012 school year.
Bevelry Gilbert Stone
David Maina is in his second year of high school. In Kenya, the school year is divided into three terms. Each term is accompanied with its various fees. Though the Kenya government supports free public education, the subsidy provided is not enough to cover all expenses. Therefore families must raise funds each term for their child to attend school.
Maina began his high school career through generous sponsors. Even his first term of 2011 was funded. In April, during the break between Term I and Term II, his sponsor was no longer able to support him. He sent his please to Expanding Opportunities. For little more than $30.00 per term, Maina could continue his education.
As of this day, Maina was still out of school. He is the first on the list to return to school when funding is available.
Beverly Gilbert STone
First Term is almost over. Expanding Opportunities has facilitated 12 students to receive their education. Soon they will be on their first holiday for 2011. It will be a good time for them to consider their performance, rest and make new resolutions to work hard. School fees will be due in April. Saiboku and Dini, 10 and 11 years old, have attended school for the first time this year. They were so excited to receive their first uniforms. They knew how fortunate they were to be young Samburu girls attending school. Thank you Global Giving donors for playing your part in bringing hope to these girls.
Beeverly Gilbert Stone
School in Kenya begins a new year January 3. The lines of parents at the uniform shops assure at least a ½ hour wait to get in the door. The children unable to attend school are not seen. Parents and caregivers try to explain, “I am so sorry, we don’t have enough money to pay for your uniform, lunch fee, books and supplies. It has been hard to find work. I will keep trying. Maybe you can enter school late this year.” It is impossible for the child to hide the disappointment.
Expanding Opportunities has sent Cate, our Social Worker, to stand in the line to begin the purchase of uniforms with the funds we have received. Help us try to keep her in that line every day through the first few weeks of school purchasing uniforms and shoes for children to attend school! We will update with the number of uniforms purchased in February!
Just in from Kenya. The Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams are over. The last year students are home for the long wait while the exams are graded... One of the students that Expanding Opportunities has supported through school wrote the following in an email.
"You are a blessing sent straight from heaven. You have really encouraged and challenged me....do you know some of the reasons that made me to keep on working hard;?????
1. I saw your efforts and I never wanted to let you down...
2. I wanted to work hard and also have a children organization (if a person can come all the way from U.S.A to help me and others, why cant I be of help to others)
3. I also wanted to fulfill all the promises I once made to you ... you really inspired me...
4. I also wanted to be a responsible man in the future who can man his family and other businesses"
Help us make it possible for others to complete high school.
Beverly Gilbert Stone
The school year in Kenya is from January until December with three breaks during the year. November is the month for final examinations and promotion to the next class.
Many parents and students are already worrying about how they will pay their school fees, buy uniforms or supplies for the 2011 school year. The education of children of marginal income single parents is often delayed until they are 9 or 10 or interrupted after they have started. Many street children are the children of single parents who work at menial day labor jobs to earn enough for one meal per day while the children roam the streets begging as they do not have funds for uniforms. Many orphans and street children hope for a chance to go to school.
Young people who are currently taking their eighth year examination hope for a way to attend high school. Even high scorers are not guaranteed entrance into high school due to the inability to purchase a uniform or pay the minimal fees for lunch or a desk.
January often brings a line at the gate of the Joseph Waweru Home School: parents asking for help, messages from the schools with the names of needy children, young people themselves bringing their school reports to show their great desire for more education. Street Children rushing up to greet me, eagerly asking for a chance to go to school.
We hope to be financially prepared to help many of the truly needy children.