Our second eldest sponsored child, Josephine, has recently finished her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examinations (KCSE), successfully gaining a D- as her overall final grade. Well done Josephine! Read our earlier blog post on the KCPE and KCSE exams here.
Josephine has undertaken a short computer literacy course in Mtwapa and has now moved on to study for a Certificate in Secretarial Studies at a college in Mombasa, living in a rented apartment in Mtwapa which she will be sharing with her cousin.
She is an exceptionally hardworking and organised young lady and we are sure she will be very well suited to this environment and her chosen career path.
This has been a big year for our youngest sponsored child, Isaac, as he has started at BIG SCHOOL!
Isaac was previously attending Victory Academy, a small local kindergarten run by a wonderful woman named Madam Susan. Madam Susan runs the kindergarten (for around 80 children from 18months to 5yrs) out of her home and cares for all the children as her own. Isaac has now graduated from Victory Academy and is ready to start big school for the first time!
To read more about Isaac or Victory Academy check out our other blog posts:
Isaac was very excited when he moved this January into the Kindergarten class at Mtwapa Elite! He has his posh new school uniform and is feeling pretty smart!
Isaac is joining Kindergarten 2 at Mtwapa Elite, which is an excellent primary school, currently leading the way in the examination results for the whole of Kilifi County. He will be among family, since 8 of our milele sponsored children already attend this school.
To find out more about Mtwapa Elite, check out our previous blog post:
Isaac is settling in really well and we are starting some extra tuition for him with his kindergarten teacher to help him catch up with his reading skills. He has already made lots of friends and is in the same class as Riziki, another of our Milele sponsored children. Riziki and Isaac are neighbours and are already firm friends!
We look forward to hearing more about how he is getting on at big boys school – stay tuned!
Congratulations to Steven and Saidi, who both graduated from Kindergarten in December! This week they will start in their new primary classes. They won’t be changing schools as Mtwapa Elite goes right through, but they do get a posh different coloured PE uniform!! Very grown up!
They are very excited – lets wish them luck in their new classes and all have a little nostalgic moment remembering how much they have grown!!
Back in 2015, Emmanuel Kai began attending the University of Nairobi to study Economics and Statistics. He has been working away hard for the past 2 years and is now just more than halfway through his degree programme. Whilst we were in Kenya in September we were able to catch up with him in person and find out a little more about his experience and how he is getting on.
Having grown up on a farm just outside Mtwapa, one of the biggest changes Emmanuel has had to get used to is living in Nairobi. Emmanuel rents a room with a friend in an area called Nagra which is quite near to the University of Nairobi campus. This means he is generally able to walk to university unless it is dark when he gets one of the many public buses as street crime is common. Nairobi is around 1,500 meters above sea level and this means that it is cold; when Emmanuel first got to Nairobi he was shocked at how cold it was and his first purchase was a big thick jumper that wouldn’t have been out of place at a ski lodge!
Emmanuel has always been very academic and we knew that he would thrive at university but when he first showed us his list of modules we started to worry how on earth he would have time to study so many different subjects. Each semester he takes 8 modules which range from core skills such as ‘Aspects of Language Skills’ to degree specific specialisms ‘Economic Statistics (1, 2 & 3)’. Over the course of his degree he will study more than 60 modules and he is expected to obtain at least a D in every module in order to pass. To date he has been very successful getting a good number of As and Bs in a wide range of areas.
Emmanuel is spending the vast majority of his time studying but he does have a little time off to spend with friends. On a Sunday he attends a local church and he has started to learn how to roller skate!
We are very proud of Emmanuel, he is a real inspiration to the other children on the Milele programme and shows that with enough hard work anything is possible!
Thanks to a generous donation from the Dorothy Holmes Charitable Trust we have been able to start sponsoring a wonderful little girl called Riziki.
Rikizi is 8 years old and lives in Mtomondoni with her Mother and 2 siblings. They share their home with Riziki’s grandmother and her 7 youngest children – which makes for a very busy home!
Riziki’s mother works in a large factory near to Mtwapa where she is able to make a regular wage but as she is the sole earner in a household of 11 people it just doesn’t stretch far enough. This means that as well as working 12 hour shifts, 6 days a week she spends her solitary ‘day off’ doing odd jobs to make a little extra money. In fact, Rieder first met Riziki’s mother whilst she was doing washing for one of his neighbours.
Riziki has been attending school on and off since she was little but as money became more tight she was able to attended less and less which means she has fallen behind her peers. When we took her for her interview at Mtwapa Elite she was placed into KG2 which is usually for children around 5 years in age, but after just a week of school she is getting back into the swing of things and already starting to show her aptitude for mathematics. Her class teacher is giving her extra tuition whilst the younger children sleep and also after standard classes finish; this one on one tuition is really helping her to regain confidence and improve her performance.
Riziki is a very sweet little girl who is really enjoying the chance to go to school. In fact, she has taken to dropping in on Rieder on the way home from school just so she can show him what she has learnt during the day.
We are really excited to be sponsoring Riziki and can’t wait to see what the future will hold for her!
We have some exciting news to share with you. Thanks to a very generous donation from the Forest of Arden Golf Club we have been able to start sponsoring another child – Steven.
We first met Steven and his mother back in 2013, when they were one of the 86 families who received christmas food parcels and mosquito nets. Since then, we have been keeping a close eye on Steven, hoping we would be able to take him onto the Milele programme.
Steven’s mother is a single parent, extremely hardworking and loving. Steven is everything to her, and she regularly sacrifices herself to make sure that he has food to eat and is able to attend some school. Without a regular income, however, it was very hard for her to keep him in education regularly.
Thanks to the donation from the golf club, we were finally able to sponsor Steven in March 2016. Steven is a happy, energetic little boy. Every time we have been to visit Steven, he has always been out playing with his friends, whether its running and jumping playing tag, or chasing crickets outside his house. He is very friendly, with an adorable cheeky grin. Since starting in Kindergarten at Mtwapa Elite he has really started to grow in confidence, making firm friends with Saidi (another child sponsored by Milele).
Steven and his mum have gone through some very difficult times in terms of housing and food. But we are happy to say that they are now in a secure, dry and comfortable room in the same block that Saidi and his mother live in. The two mothers have quickly become very close friends and have been supporting each other, sharing food and cooking utensils as well as keeping each other company in the day while the children are at school.
Mama Steven is really keen to run her own business, so as part of the Milele Business Grants scheme we have helped her to do this- keep your eyes peeled for a post with more detail about this soon.
With Steven doing great at his new school, the future for this family has transformed dramatically, thanks to all the hard work and kindness of the Forest of Arden golfers and their families, in helping to raise the much needed money to welcome Steven onto the Milele programme. Thank-you so much.
We are looking for sponsors for Steven! If you are interested, sponsorship costs £90 per year, you can find out more here.
Please do contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on this post to get more information. Thank-you
It has become something of a tradition for us to hold an event to welcome new children on to the Milele programme and celebrate the achievements of the children who have been working hard all year. In the early days these tended to be small events held at school with a few sodas and a pile of sweets but as we have grown, so have the events. This year we wanted to add in something a little bit special.
Every child has made amazing progress this year whether it be academically or socially so we decided to hold a prize giving celebration to let the children and their parents know just how proud we are of them and their hard work. Rieder called each child up and spoke a little about the progress they have made throughout the year and presented them with a certificate commending their hard work and a celebratory cake.
Emmanuel received a special award for being so exceptionally hardworking all year and in Rieder’s words ‘being perfect’. He has really focused on his studies and is showing great progress but he has also made a special effort to look after his books, uniform and school bag and has an impeccable attendance record.
We were also really lucky to also have Emmanuel Kai attending the event so he was able to speak to the rest of the sponsored children and share some of his experiences of University. We are so proud that he is being such an amazing role model for the other students and doing amazingly well at university! I’ll post an update about his university life in a separate post.
Once everyone had received their award and a big round of applause, we celebrated with a huge amount of Pilau, Kachumbari and sweets before jumping into the swimming pool! There was so much Pilau left over that each family were able to take a zip lock bag home with them! (Thanks for packing the zip locks Jan!)
Thanks to the sponsors who donated so we could run this event!
Just a quick post to say Happy New Year and thanks to all of those who have sponsored, donated or helped out in any way in 2015! We really appreciate your help and it makes such a big difference.
2016 is going to be a big year for Milele; we have Pendo, Safari and Kaingu who are all taking their KCPE exams and will be graduating from primary school as well as Josephine who is taking her KCSE and will be graduating from secondary school! Hopefully they will all do fantastically and by this time next year we will be celebrating their successes!
I’d like to introduce you all to our youngest sponsored child Isaac.
We met Isaac 2 years ago when Isaac’s family received a donated food parcel. Isaac is a happy, confident and active little boy, who is very friendly and loves going to school & playing with the neighbour children.
Isaac lives with his younger brother Anthony and incredibly hard working mother. They all stay in a small rented room which is quite close to Victory Academy where Isaac and Anthony both attend school.
Every time we have met Isaac’s mother she has been working hard; either selling nuts, washing clothes or other casual labour. These jobs are often pay very little so Rieder is working with Isaac’s mother to see if Milele can help her to start a more profitable business. I am sure that with her hard work she will make the business a huge success.
For thew time being, Isaac will continue to attend Victory Academy as it is very close to his home and he is receiving a good level of education. When he reaches Standard 1 he will move to Mtwapa Elite Academy to join the other primary aged children sponsored by Milele.
Charo (along with his brothers) was one of the first children to be sponsored by Milele. At the start of this year he reached a milestone in his education when he started at Chasimba High School. Like the vast majority of secondary schools in Kenya, Chasimba is a boarding school. This means Charo has also moved out of the children’s home where he has lived for the past 8 years.
It has now been a few moths since Charo started at Chasimba and he has settled in well. He has made lots of friends, is liked by his teachers and has recently started leading prayers in assemblies which is a big responsibility.
We are very proud of Charo and hope that in a few years time he can follow in Emmanuel Kai’s footprints by making it all the way to university. He definitely has the potential!