Tag Archives: Emmanuel Kai

Emmanuel Kai – University Update

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.

Emmanuel Kai outside the school of Economics at the University of Nairobi
Emmanuel Kai outside the school of Economics at the University of Nairobi

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 in a lecture theatre ready to learn
Emmanuel in a lecture theatre ready to learn

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!

Emmanuel learning to roller skate
Emmanuel learning 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!

Milele Celebration 2016

Hi All,

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.

Emmanuel, Thomas and Charo watching the awards
Emmanuel, Thomas and Charo watching the awards ceremony

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.

Emmanuel Receiving his Award
Emmanuel receiving his award

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.

Emmanuel Kai speaking to the group
Emmanuel Kai speaking to the group

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!)

The children having fun in the pool
Children having fun in the pool

Thanks to the sponsors who donated so we could run this event!

Richard

Emmanuel Kai – Our first university student

Hi All,

When we first thought about starting Milele back in 2008 we were aiming to help children to access primary school. A few years later when we took Emmanuel Kai onto Milele we extended the programme to include secondary school. We have now reached another milestone as our first child starts university.

Emmanuel
Emmanuel

Emmanuel Kai started studying Economics and Statistics at the University of Nairobi in September 2014. The University of Nairobi is the best university in Kenya and 7th in Africa. Emmanuel has performed really well in his first semester receiving A grades for some of his varied modules averaging a top B grade over his 8 modules.

The University of Nairobi Logo

We are so proud of Emmanuel and want all of the Milele children to be able to follow in his footsteps. To this end, we are currently in the process of developing a dedicated Milele University Fund which will allow us to ensure that any sponsored child will be able to attend university if they get the required grades.

If you would like to donate to the Milele University Fund on a one off or regular basis please get in touch here.

Trip to the beach for our sponsored children!

Visits to the beach are extremely rare for children from Mtwapa; since, despite being just a few miles away, they are mostly owned by hotels and therefore completely out of bounds for local people and children. However there is one public beach about 15 minutes drive away, so whilst out on our trip to Kenya we arranged for two buses to take the whole Milele group plus all their brothers and sisters out on a trip to the beach, in total 32 people.

Excitement brewing on the bus!
Excitement brewing on the bus!

The children were extremely excited and had an absolutely amazing time. It was a great fun day out for all of us and of course they were all absolutely perfectly behaved!

Splish Splash! The whole Milele crew plus all their families enjoying the beach outing!
Splish Splash! The whole Milele crew plus all their families enjoying the beach outing!

We played and splashed in the sea (some of the littler people went skinny dipping and others wore spare t-shirts and shorts because of lack of swim kit) and had a wonderful time! Even our co-ordinator Rieder joined in, splashing all the children and having great fun!

After a couple of hours I was keen to get everyone out and dry, so suggested that they might all like to have a camel ride (a very popular pastime on the beaches in Kenya… perhaps the kenyan version of the english donkey ride…) and never have I seen children move so fast! They raced back to the beach at lightening speed and we all enjoyed a fab picnic with juice and biscuits all round – a real treat. Little Emmanuel (who isn’t actually that little anymore) was allowed to take charge of taking back the leftover biscuits to the children in New Light Children’s Home (where he lives) which he was absolutely THRILLED about. Regular readers of this blog will know Emmanuel as the child who can never be given quite enough biscuits!!

Back to Front: Linet, Naomi, Peris and Janet enjoy their camel ride
Back to Front: Linet, Naomi, Peris and Janet enjoy their camel ride

After the beach everyone had a go on the camels and shrieksof nervousness and excited delight rang out all afternoon(the camel holding Tamira, Linet, Peris and Pendo’s younger sister Faith was particularly noisy!!)  and I’m sure the children will be talking about it for years to come! When we dropped off some of the children that evening and stayed for a brief chat, Shakeel, who is just four years old just kept exclaiming “mummy, we went on a camel…. we went on a camel mummy… It was really big!!” every few minutes!

Little Saidi with his older sister Riziki have a turn!
Little Saidi with his older sister Riziki have a turn!

The whole thing came in at less than £40… camel rides, picnic, beach, private buses and iced lollies for 32 people! Unbelievable! We finished up a trip back to Mtwapa with some very sleepy and happy children. A huge success all round. Enjoy the photos!

Best of friends already! New sponsored child Thomas (left) makes friends with Kaingu
Best of friends already! New sponsored child Thomas (left) makes friends with Kaingu

Emmanuel Kai’s Home

One of the first things we have done on this trip so far has been to see quite a bit of our eldest sponsored child – Emmanuel Kai. Since he is now attending Malindi High School some distance away, we rarely enjoy the opportunity to spend much time with him and his family. However, the school term has only just started over here after the Christmas break, so we have had a few days before he returns to Malindi.

Playing with the camera with the children at Emmanuel Kai's home
Playing with the camera with the children at Emmanuel Kai's home
How exciting! Seeing my face for the first time!
How exciting! Seeing my face for the first time!

We have been able to visit his home, where he lives with his father and a very large extended family. Part of Emmanuel’s family tribal traditions include building your own house when you reach the age of sixteen, so Emmanuel, now 19 years old, has build his on his father’s land. He was rightly so proud to show us around the farm and to welcome us into his house, preparing tea for us there (another happy tradition when receiving visitors!)

We have also discussed his future plans in much more detail, putting into place an idea for his career after finishing secondary school. First he would like to complete a computing course, to familiarise himself with IT. Then he would like to go to university to study law. Emmanuel has ambitions of becoming a human rights lawyer. In his own words, he would like to make sure that everyone has the chance to get their own rights and to have a fair chance. All I can say is how proud I am of what an intelligent, sensitive and mature young man he has become and how pleased I am that this intelligence will now not be wasted. He has every chance of going on to be a lawyer – thanks to your sponsorship and I have every faith he will be an excellent one – besides, with his posh new office shoes how could he fail?!

Keep checking the site for details of our next few days  as the school term begins and we admit a new child to the sponsorship programme.

Smart new office shoes for a lawyer!Emmanuel Kai in the house he built with his smart new office shoes for a lawyer!