Tag Archives: Thomas

Onwards and Upwards

Hi All,

The KCPEs are the set of examinations which are taken by every student in Kenya once they get to the end of primary school.  Despite ‘only’ being the end of primary school exams they are a very big deal in Kenya and can make a huge difference to the trajectory of a child’s life. The KCPE result is used to decide which level of secondary schools you will have access to (National, Provincial or District) and which specific schools will offer you a place!

This is obviously a huge amount of stress in a child’s life but we are pleased to say that Mtwapa Elite (where most of our children attend primary school) seem to get the balance right between encouraging the children to get good grades and not piling on too much pressure. They are able to do this by treating each child as an individual and setting achievable goals which stretch the child a little but give them a realistic target which they can work towards. If you ask any child in Standard 8 at Mtwapa Elite, they will be able to tell you what their target result is and how they plan to achieve that result – usually by ensuing that they score highly in the subjects in which they excel and being pragmatic about those where they struggle.

At the end of 2017 both Thomas and Emmanuel took their KCPE exams and completed their time at Mtwapa Elite. Both of the boys did incredibly well scoring well over 70% across all subjects and being given places at prestigious Provincial level schools.

Emmanuel is staying within coast province and has taken up a place at Emmanuel Kai’s old secondary school – Malindi High School. Thomas has opted to move across to the other side of Kenya and attend Orero High School, another well respected provincial level school.

Thomas on his first day at his new school
Thomas on his first day at his new school

We are obviously very proud of them both and I hope you’ll join me in wishing them the best of luck at their new schools.

Richard

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

Thomas: New Sponsored Child!

Hello everyone,

While we were out in Kenya this time we had the opportunity to sponsor another child onto the programme. Thomas is 10 years old and is now in Standard 5 at Mtwapa Academy along with Safari and Kaingu. I think they had better watch out too, since Thomas will certainly soon be competing with them for the top spot in class!

Thomas
Thomas

Thomas is the youngest child of a family we know very well. They are extremely hardworking and intelligent, almost all of Thomas’s elder brothers and sisters having attended extremely high level secondary schools. However, the family have recently fallen on hard times. Thomas’s father, who was the main provider in the home, a dedicated and very intelligent man unfortunately passed away just less than two years ago. After his death, with a very large family and one disabled son to support,  Thomas’s mother found it very difficult to sustain school fees for her two youngest children, Thomas and George. Both were achieving very high marks and with George just months away from his final Primary Examinations she was at a loss over what to do.

Eventually she was forced to send the children away to stay with some extended family so that George could take his final exams at a free Government primary school. These schools are often hopelessly overcrowded with more than 100 children to a classs, very poor facilities, no textbooks, desks, teaching or even writing materials. George received his marks at the end of January and I am pleased to report that, in spite of everything he managed to get exceptionally high grades and was offered a place at one of the best secondary schools in the whole country.

However, Thomas was still only in Standard 4, and with another four long years of Primary education in a poor quality government school ahead of him, the whole family was concerned that this would seriously affect his marks and performance, impacting on the level of secondary school he could attend and therefore his entire future. Thanks to many of your kind donations we were able to take on Thomas as part of the Milele group and assist his mother in his education. Now she can focus all her efforts on getting George through secondary school without needing to worry about paying for Thomas’s fees too. Thomas can also look forward to a future he deserves and has worked so hard for.

Thomas in his new PE uniform
Thomas in his new PE uniform

He is a lovely boy with a fantastic sense of humour, he is great fun to be around. I am sure he will settle into life at Mtwapa Academy in no time at all and reach his academic potential.

Best friends! Thomas and Kaingu make friends on a trip to the beach!
Best friends! Thomas and Kaingu make friends on a trip to the beach!