Posts in Ongoing news
Defining Success

Hi All, As we approach Milele's 10th anniversary we have been thinking about what Milele has achieved so far and how we define success.

The most obvious measure of success is academic achievement. When the children sponsored by Milele get top grades in a school or university that they would not have been able to attend without sponsorship then we know that Milele is making a big difference in that child's life.  We are endlessly proud of the children sponsored by Milele and they consistently surpass our initial expectations but Milele is not an academic scholarship. We do not consider aptitude for education when children are sponsored so it seems unrealistic that every child will be top of their class in every subject.

UniversityLecture-1.jpg

The Milele mission statement talks about 'facilitating choice' and perhaps this is more what we are really aiming for. Enabling children to have some level of control over their lives and the ability to make real choices about what they want to do. For so many children across the world their path in life can seem predetermined, reliving their parent's struggles and perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

Milele Mission Statement
Milele Mission Statement

For the children on the Milele programme, we hope that they are able to see beyond their immediate situation and imagine themselves having alternative lives. When they are able to do this we feel that they will be able to make an informed decision about their future and make active choices about what they want to do in life. It is perfectly possible that they make the decision to continue living in the family village and work in the family trade but the important point is that they had alternative options and they chose that life.

As Emmanuel Kai approaches the end of his university degree he is starting to think about what he wants to do in life. Having lived in Nairobi for the past few years he may have got a taste for big city life and choose to stay living in Nairobi, or perhaps he will want to go and explore other cities across the world or maybe he will want to move back towards his family and use the skills he has learnt at university on a project closer to home. The point is that whatever he chooses to do he has been able to make an active choice about his life.

I'm proud of all of our children and know that by being part of Milele they are all exposed to more options in life and that the choice of where they go will be in their hands!

Richard

10 Years of Milele - Celebration Ball

Hi All, Back in 2008 Amy and I founded Milele as a way to help children from difficult backgrounds in Kenya to access high quality education. We were young, naive and optimistic; with the help of our family and friends we managed to scrape together the money we needed to get Milele started and began sponsoring the first 4 boys.

Over time, Milele has grown from our original group of 4 boys to 19 children and whilst our family and friends are still being just as amazing as ever, we have added a wonderful group of new sponsors and supporters who help us to keep Milele going.

We have also been incredibly fortunate to be able to employ Rieder as a full time sponsorship coordinator to manage sponsorship on a day to day basis, provide support to more vulnerable families and make sure we are always doing the best for our sponsored children.

Milele will officially be 10 years old in September 2018 and we would love to get together will all of the people who have helped us over the years to celebrate our collective achievements and raise some money for the exciting years ahead.

Milele 10 year ball invitations
Milele 10 year ball invitations

We have sent out invites to all of our sponsors and supporters (so if you haven't received one please get in touch and we'll arrange for a replacement to be sent) and we would now like to extend the invitation out to anyone who is interested in finding out a little more about Milele and helping us raise some money for future children.

The event is being held at Dixie Pavilion in Market Bosworth on the 7th of July 2018, tickets are £60 each and can be bought directly from Amy or myself. We would love to have a room full of people so please consider bringing friends and family with you so we can celebrate together.

Thanks for your support!

Richard

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

Mastering Kindergarten

Last year Riziki started at Mtwapa Elite in KG2, as an 8 year old she was already much older than her classmates but her inconsistent schooling meant that she was unable to manage the work for a higher class. At the time, her teacher even expressed some doubt that she would be able to progress into KG3 at the end of the year. Prior to 2017 Isaac had been studying at Victory academy - a community school close to where he lives with his mother and brother. Once Isaac completed all of the classes Victory had to offer he took the entrance exam for Mtwapa Elite and was accepted into KG3 at the start of 2017.

We are now a year on from when Riziki joined the school and 9 months in to Isaac's first year and I'm pleased to say both are doing so well.

Riziki's confidence and ability has grown leaps and bounds and in her most recent exams she was top of the class - something which we absolutely did not expect and something which she should be very proud of. Mtwapa Elite is a huge school compared to Victory Academy and this seemed to overwhelm Isaac at first but he has now settled in and he is also right at the top of the class.

We would like to say a big thank you to their class teacher Madam Margaret who has provided all of the support they needed to make this fantastic progress. Riziki also received some extra tuition from Madam Emma at the end of 2016 which gave her the best start to her school life and helped her progress into KG3.

Madam Margaret with Isaac and Riziki
Madam Margaret with Isaac and Riziki