Milele means ‘forever‘ in Swahili and is a very small charity which Rich and I set up in 2008.
We are a sponsorship programme, so we sponsor the education of children from the townships just north of Mombasa, Kenya.
Although education is at our heart, we have grown and learned a lot along the way and now Milele is really much more than that. We have a food programme and a healthcare programme for our children as part of a really holistic approach. We also provide access to counselling and psychological therapy, as well as social and emotional educational input. All of our children come from very vulnerable backgrounds and many were at very high risk of issues such as child marriage, early pregnancy, HIV or just simple malnutrition before we sponsored them.
Our children are all different, and as such have different needs and require different support. We have built personalised plans of care for every child, tailored around them and their family to help keep them safe, healthy and happy.
I always think of Milele as a way to give children a choice. So many babies in this area are born with their lives mapped out for them – I truly feel this is outrageous and it makes me angry when I think of the injustice of it. Children have their whole lives ahead of them, they have a basic human right to an education, a right to decide for themselves what they want to do and who they want to be.
All 18 of our children are at different stages in their personal journey, from their first baby steps in Kindergarten to heading towards university graduation. Most importantly, all our children are in school and learning, progressing and able to make choices about their future.
This success is thanks to YOU! Milele sponsors, volunteers and supporters. You are changing lives, you are making a difference – so be SUPER PROUD OF YOURSELVES!
Exams are a very important part of the Kenyan education system and are taken very seriously indeed. This week is the week of the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams for Safari, Kaingu and Pendo and the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams for Josephine. We thought you might like a little bit more information on them.
The Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams are ran by the Kenyan National Exam Council and take place at the end of primary school. They cover a wide range of subjects including English, Kiswahili, Maths, Science and Social Studies and are used to decide which school the child is able to attend.
Government run secondary schools are ranked and put into three categories:
A good result (usually more than 75% average grade) will secure a place at one of the prestigious national schools which have the best facilities and usually get the best grades. For those who are not lucky enough to gain entry into a national school they may be offered either a provincial or district school depending on their grade.
Unlike with primary education, the government runs some the best secondary schools in Kenya. Private schools exist but they are usually either of a lower quality or specialise in progressing poorer students. Mtwapa Elite Academy (where many of the Milele sponsored students do their primary education) runs a secondary school and has had great success helping students to increase their grades between primary and secondary.
The Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams take place at the end of secondary school and are used to access college or university. If a student scores above a certain mean grade (usually B) they are automatically offered a place at university with some government funding. It is also common for students to take a college course which offer nationally recognised qualifications that can be ‘topped up’ to become a degree at a later date. This option is often preferable as it generally allows the student to work along side their education which is near to impossible at university.
All four children sitting exams this week have been working incredibly hard. We really hope they will be able to achieve their full potential and go on to be very successful.
Amy and I were just sitting down to watch some television tonight and we noticed a program which grabbed our attention; ‘Tourism and the Truth: Stacey Dooley’. It is a very interesting program about tourism in Kenya and it features the costal area of Kenya where we work. We recognised many of the shots of residential to be Mtwapa and the surrounding areas. It is very odd to see this on television and it does show Mtwapa as it is.