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Community Service Projects

February 2015

EFAC Awards 40 High School Scholarships in 2015

Recently 40 new students were awarded EFAC scholarships to attend high school. As part of the admissions process, ANU staff made some home visits to deliver the good news. Here is an account of their visits written by EFAC staff member, Peter Kingori. 

Eric Wainaina and his mother in Kahara Village

Eric Wainaina and his mother in Kahara Village

Chants, jubilation and tears of joy were felt among the parents, guardians, teachers and relatives of  2015 EFAC applicants as they received the good news that they had received education scholarship from the EFAC office, Africa Nazarene University.

‘I pray to God to bless you so that you can continue to empower the needy,’ said Eric Wainana.  Eric lives with his mother in a rental house at Kahara village in Kajiado Country. He used to spend three hours per day to walk to and from school. He scored 371 marks on the 8th grade exit exam (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE)). Despite his poor background, he is determined to work hard in high school and transform the misfortune of his family. He praised his science teacher for being a role model and mentor to him. He has joined form one at St. Mary’s Boys Secondary school through an EFAC scholarship.

Tabitha at her house  in Ongata Rongai

Tabitha at her house
in Ongata Rongai

“My mother struggled to pay for my fees at primary school. It was mostly paid by well-wishers,” said Tabitha Naserian.  Tabitha lives with her mother in a rental single-room, iron-sheet house in Ongata Rongai. When she was in primary school, she missed many days because of lack of fees. Despite her needy background, she scored 375 marks on the KCPE. Her dream is to become an accountant.  She has joined form one at Vanessa Grant Girls.

"It is like a miracle for me to be awarded an EFAC scholarship. I know that if I am helped, I will achieve my goals,” said Faith Ndanu.  Faith lives with her mother and sister in Katoloni village in Machakos County. Like Tabitha, Faith was sent home quite often in middle school due to lack of school fees. Despite the challenges, she scored 391 marks in KCPE. She is thankful to the teachers who kept encouraging her to have a positive attitude.  She has joined form one at Vanessa Grant Girls.

Benard Mwengi with his teachers at the EFAC office, Africa Nazarene University

Benard Mwengi with his teachers at the EFAC office, Africa Nazarene University

Each of the EFAC 2015 successful applicants has a story to tell. For instance, Benard Mwengi, an orphan was the top student in his school. He was accompanied by his teachers to pick up his letter awarding him an educational scholarship from EFAC. He scored 376 marks in KCPE.

All of the Form One scholars have faced numerous hardships including lack of basic needs such as food and clothes. Listening to their narratives on how they used to go to school without taking breakfast, skipping the lunch meal and living with only one meal per day, but they remained hopeful. 

With the promise of an education, they can wipe their tears and alter their trajectory of life.  It is through the empowerment of an education that these scholars will grow up and bring a positive change in their communities and the nation at large. We are glad that EFAC in collaboration with Africa Nazarene University has granted education scholarship to 40 bright but needy students this year of 2015. 


Transforming Lives Through Community Service

by Caroline Ng'etich
EFAC University Graduate

Before I joined the EFAC family, life was too hard, terrible and hopeless.  I grew up in Sirwa Village, Baringo County. I faced numerous challenges as a young girl but my desire to acquire education was greater than the fear of being a house wife. Prior to being admitted at Africa Nazarene University, I was herding my father’s cattle and goats. However, my desire for a brighter future was cut short after a successful completion of one academic semester at the University due to lack of tuition fee. I had to drop out and go back to my village. I stayed home for one year without any hope of resuming my studies.

Caroline Ng'etich and SMG  Leaders

Caroline Ng'etich and SMG  Leaders

I am glad that EFAC came in my life and opened the golden gates for me. With EFAC support, I was able to resume my studies and complete my Bachelor’s degree successfully. EFAC impacted my life positively not only academically but also morally and socially as I acquired essential life skills during mentor workshops – we were always challenged to give back to the community. Thus, driven by the desire to mentor and empower young people in my community, I founded Sirwa Mentoring Group (SMG).  It was not easy at the beginning but since I had a vision, I was determined to see it mature and touch one or two lives. I approached the college students from the area and they liked the idea and wanted to help out. We organized and sacrificed our resources to fund the first mentorship forum which attracted more than 250 students. This was overwhelming, and it was successful.

SMG 2014 Parent Session

SMG 2014 Parent Session

Since then, most parents and students have changed their perspective about education. I was glad to witness the highest number of students who joined high school that year with an aim of being like Carol or my fellow college students. This mentorship has now become a yearly event in our community and surprisingly parents and leaders have pledged their support. In December 2014, we held our second mentorship event at Sore Primary school and it attracted youth in primary and secondary schools, form four leavers, college & university students, parents, leaders and academicians.  I am happy that there are small changes which are taking place in my village - everyone is working hard to ensure their kids go to school. Besides that, my neighboring college students are taking up the mentorship challenge by starting small groups in their villages with the aim of transforming lives. This is a great multiple effect of SMG.

SMG 2014 Interactive Afternoon Session

SMG 2014 Interactive Afternoon Session

Learning from Mother Teresa who once said “I cannot change the world alone but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples,” SMG gives me hope that the world will gradually change into a better place. A noble change starts with an individual who makes a positive change in someone’s life and that person impacts the same to someone else gradually. My passion is to make a difference in other people’s lives. I will use my abilities to fulfill my purpose here on earth. My next step is to organize a big event with the aim of nurturing student talents and help them realize that life is not all about books but being well-rounded.

As an EFAC Alumni, I am always thankful to the entire EFAC family; my brothers and sisters in college and high school, Sponsors and all mentors who have made me to be whom I am today. I will forever be grateful and will lift the EFAC flag wherever I go. Finally, I would like to encourage my fellow EFAC scholars that they do not need to have much in order to make a difference, all they need is a willing and caring heart. 

What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead. — Nelson Mandela

August 2013

News from EFAC Graduate Joyce W

Cleaning at Kijabe Mission Hospital

Cleaning at Kijabe Mission Hospital

I am excited to let you know that I will be joining University soon. According to the Kenyan Joint Admission Board, I have been selected to take a Bachelor of Science at a University in Nairobi.

I am finishing the 9-month Global Give Back Circle course (GGBC) at Starehe Girls School on August 29th. During the GGBC course, I have taken all the accounting exams and I have one remaining IT paper. It has been a tough journey and a long one.

The past 7 months while still with GGBC, I have been doing voluntary service. At Kijabe Mission Hospital I have done cleaning, feeding patients, dusting, arranging wards, and planting trees. And at Kiambu Primary School, I have worked in the Feeding Program. Kiambu Primary School is a public school with vulnerable Children in the society. Either they are orphans and live in streets home or they live with the grandparents who can hardly provide three meals for them. We have visited some of their homes with help of the Kenya Red Cross Kiambu.

I am so grateful for what EFAChas done to me. I have grown to be whom I am due to the devotion and kindness from all the blessed hearts of its supporters and well wishers. To all the founder members there is no precious heart of kindness than what I have found in you. If the whole world wasmade up of people like you, the world would be a best and beautiful place. We cant repay you for the much you have done for us but deep in our hearts we are truly grateful.

Preparing food at Kiambu Primary School

Preparing food at Kiambu Primary School

 

 

 

June 2013

Update from A Recent EFAC Graduate

Evans at the VG School for Children with Special Needs

Evans at the VG School for Children with Special Needs

For his community service project, Evans worked at the Vanessa Grant School for Children with Special Needs and the Vanessa Grant Vocational School. When we visited the school with him, the students at the school crowded around Evans, and it was clear that they loved being with him. Naomi, the head teacher, gave us a tour of the facilities and proudly pointed out all the work that Evans had done in the gardens as well. The EFAC community service requirement was from January through March, but Evans has enjoyed his work so much he decided to extend his commitment at the Vanessa Grant School until he goes to University. Here is a recent update from him:

Evans in the VG School gardens

Evans in the VG School gardens

Jambo! That’s our Kiswahili greetings! It has been a great time for us because the rains have begun. There have been a heavy down pour and now I'm very busy. I had prepared some nursery beds for spinach at the Vanessa Grant Vocational School, and they have come out nicely. Now I have transplanted them into the greenhouse I prepared during my community service project. The plants are now 2 days old and they are growing healthy.

Thank you to Nancy, Rod and EFAC for coming up with the Community Service Programme. It has equipped me with the BEST survival that I do not think I would have gotten elsewhere in this planet earth. I have really loved this programme.


Post Secondary Mentoring Update

The mentoring program is off to a good start based on our first quarterly updates. Many of the mentors and students seem to be finding a genuine and meaningful connection.

Many of the students taught in primary and secondary school during their community service period .They talked about their self-confidence and their pride in sharing what they had learned with their community. One student said,” we were looked down on because we are so poor but now the children listen and call me teacher-teacher.” Several are considering education as a career. All took their community service obligation to heart and worked hard in hospitals, clinics, schools and various other venues during their three month break.

I have been surprised how much of their communication is via email and Facebook as opposed to text. What I learned is that their email and Facebook posts appear on their phone, like a text message. Therefore email and Facebook have replaced text as their platform of choice. The added benefit is that email communication with the states is cheaper than text.

Sending a message to you costs something. Some of our kids have no money and therefore are hesitant to write back. We hope to solve this in the future by giving those who need it a communication allowance. But they see your message for free and love that you are sending it to them.

Most of the graduates are on Facebook which is a great way to communicate. You can send private email to their page which is better than posting to their wall which everyone sees. You also get to see who their friends are and what they are talking about. You can even add a comment or two to their discussion. Try doing that with our US teenagers!

If you do communicate on Facebook, you will see most of their conversation between each other is in a language called Sheng, a combination of English and Swahili that actually started in Kenya and has spread across Africa. They will use English with you.

Thank you all for the love and caring you put into the mentoring program. These kids really appreciate their connection with you.

Rod 


Worth, Thanks and Appreciation

At the farewell dinner of the Career & Computer Course for our first class of EFAC graduates, Joshua, Gibson, Emmanuel, and Francis presented a poem of thanks to EFAC and their sponsors and mentors. Their words brought tears to my eyes. Thank you to all who have made their educations possible. 

Worth, Thanks, and Appreciation
Have come a long way,
Have passed through all it means,
Had fun together in joy and pleasure,
People of different ways yet compatible.

As brothers and sisters we have trekked together,
In harmony, kindness and hospitality,
With one common goal in mind,
We were born to shine not to die insignificantly.

First of all we would avoid,
To thank Rod and Nancy,
The father-mother of EFAC.
Thanks to you. You are worth it.

Maybe our appreciation counts nothing,
What you have done we will never be able to pay.
But in us you have struck a heart,
A heart of giving, a heart of appreciation.

Our sponsors, people who have hearts of love
People who never knew us in any way.
Not by distant relationship, not by blood,
Yet they invested in us in sacrifice and toil.

Thanks to you all, accept our words,
We promise we will hold on the same,
We will fight to change as many lives,
Before we die, we will have something for joy.

Together as one we will fight not with guns,
Not with arms or crude tools,
We will fight with heart and soul,
Suffering will be no more coz we were born to prosper.

Thanks our mentors you are great,
You taught us to survive and surely we have,
Thanks all, thanks everyone,
And forever EFAC will remain our sacred home.

Presented by:
Joshua Angwenyi, Francis Mbugua, Gibson Kigen and Emmanuel Orangi

March 2013

Girl Rising: Take Action

  Thank you to everyone who was able to join us for the screening of Girl Rising at The Music Hall. It was an unforgettable film about the power of education to change the world. 

As we learned, millions of girls around the world face barriers to education. But when girls are allowed to go to school, they have a significant impact on their family and community. When you educate a girl she will earn up to 25 percent more and reinvest 90 percent of her income in her family. Her children will be more likely to go to school and be immunized, leading to healthier, more productive individuals and communities. 

"When girls go to school and get an education, they stay healthy. They save money. They speak up. They build businesses. Then they pass it all on...and poverty declines," Richard Robbins, Director of Girl Rising.

So how can you help? 

Sponsor a girl in the EFAC freshman class; we currently have 11 girls who need sponsors to finish high school. 

In Kenya, where high school in not free, many families cannot afford to educate their daughters beyond eighth grade. To address this challenge, EFAC identifies impoverished girls who excel in primary school and provides mentoring and scholarships to attend top Kenyan secondary schools. These students are then paired with sponsors like you to fund their education and provide support and friendship.

Miriam, EFAC Class of 2017

Miriam, EFAC Class of 2017

To learn more about the 11 girls who need funding, visit our Class of 2017 webpage where you will meet Annah, Benta, Miriam and others. In her application for a scholarship, Miriam says, "When I grow up, I would like to be a civil engineer and help the needy." Together we can help Miriam and other girls like her realize their dreams. 

An EFAC sponsorship is $800 a year for four years or for $100 a year per person, you can join 7 of your family and friends to form a group to sponsor a child through high school. To help you form a group, you can download a sample letter from our website to send to friends to ask them to join you in sponsorship.

As an EFAC sponsor, you will have the chance to get to know your sponsored student through the regular exchange of letters. Imagine the impact you would make on the life of a girl who would otherwise be forced into early marriage or become a victim of human trafficking.

To sign up for a sponsorship, visit our Donate webpage, send an email to info@educationforallchildren.org or call 603-436-3826. 

Thank you.


Kelvin Continues To Shine

Kelvin has been busy during his Gap Period with both his community service project and his computer studies. For his community service outreach he chose to teach math and science at a nearby primary school for several hours each morning. He then attends his computer course later each day. "The teaching stuff is a whole lot more fun than I ever imagined. The pupils there are so cooperative and always ready to learn," Kelvin says. He tells EFAC he chose this government (public) school because they traditionally offer a lower quality education and so he felt he could make a difference for the students.

"Since joining the school I have acquired self-esteem and boldness to face people. Before I was very shy. The only challenge I face is waking up every day at 5 in the morning, but I am getting used to it."

Kelvin has just learned his KCSE score and we want to congratulate him on his great grade. We are very proud of you, Kelvin!


KCSE Results Are In and Our Students Did Very Well

Source: http://blog.theonlinekenyan.com/kcse-2011-results-analysis

Source: http://blog.theonlinekenyan.com/kcse-2011-results-analysis

We don't have 2012 overall results yet but in 2011, 412,000 graduating students took the KCSE exam. Only 120,000, or about 30%, scored C+ and above. This year, 96% of the EFAC students scored C+ or above. That is impressive!

In 2011, only 7% of the students scored B+ or above, qualifying them for a university scholarship. This year 42% of the EFAC students qualified.

While I know that some of our students are disappointed that they didn’t do better, I think the class of EFAC class of 2013 has distinguished itself as an outstanding group of young adults ready to move to the next level.

Congratulations to all.


“Educate Girls. Change the World.”

Please join us on March 20 for the Portsmouth, NH premiere of Girl Rising at The Music Hall.

Girl Rising, directed by Academy Award-nominated director Richard E. Robbins, spotlights the stories of nine unforgettable girls born into unforgiving circumstances. Girls like Sokha, an orphan who rises from a life in the garbage dump in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to become a star student and an accomplished dancer; Suma, who writes songs that help her endure forced servitude in Nepal and today crusades to free others; and Ruksana, an Indian “pavement-dweller” whose father sacrifices his own basic needs for his daughter’s dreams.

The Music Hall's screening of Girl Rising will be followed by a panel discussing moderated by Cynthia Fenneman, President and CEO of American Public Television and will include: Tom Yellin, Executive Producer at 10x10; Karin Barndollar, EFAC Board Member; Hope Mbabazi, a student from Uganda who benefited from an education scholarship; and Bess Palmisciano, Founding Director of Rain for the Sahel & Sahara.

There will be a special pre-screening reception at The Music Hall Loft for holders of VIP tickets.

Tickets: $10.50/general admission; $75 for VIP reception at The Loft at 5 PM
Time: 7 PM- 9 PM
Location: The Music Hall, 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth NH 03801
PURCHASE TICKETS: http://www.themusichall.org/calendar/event/girl_rising

February 2013

Lynnet Enjoys Teaching

For her community service project Lynnet N. chose to teach eight and nine year old children at the Christian Door of Home School in Narok. She volunteers there Monday through Friday and is enjoying her time with the students. While looking for a volunteer project, she learned the school did not have enough teachers and thought it would be a good experience. "I am learning that we are all different so I am obliged to be patient with slow learners, and it feels good when all the pupils do well".

Lynnet enjoys socializing with the children and playing with the kids during gym and recess. "What I found hard in teaching is that you keep repeating the same thing again and again and the kids still don't get it. One can really feel bad so I have to have a lot of patience with them." She is living with her uncle and his family near the city of Narok.


Samuel recently graduated from Rongai Boys School. He currently volunteers at his former primary school where he teaches math and helps in the office while he awaits his KCSE results. He recently marched for Peace in Kenya with 1000 other youths.

TO YOU WHO CARED: a poem to EFAC

If I were to sing,
I would sing for those who think of the needy before themselves.

If I were to recite,
I would recite for those who saw me as someone while others saw me as something.

If I were to dance,
I would dance for our Lord God who sent you to me.

And if I were to pray,
I would pray that He bless you forever and abundantly. 


Evans Volunteers at the Vanessa Grant School for Children with Special Needs

We have heard from many of our post secondary students about their community service programs and are proud of all the work they are doing in their communities.

"Being in Vanessa Grant  School is very, very enjoyable."

"Being in Vanessa Grant
School is very, very enjoyable."

Evans L. is working six hours a day assisting physically challenged children at the Vanessa Grant School for Children with Special Needs. Evans explains that he doesn't follow a syllabus but teaches the children through their daily activities including sports, singing, games like Merry-Go-Round and playing on the swings. He also enjoys the time he gets to socialize with the students and finds he gets some exercise while playing with them. Although at times challenging Evan writes, "Being in the Vanessa Grant School is very, very enjoyable. The interesting part of it is the fun that the children have."

Evans is currently living with his guardian and rides a bike to the school each morning and home in the afternoon. His guardian, Martin, tells us that the management of the school is really proud of him and the work he does. Evans says he even stays after some days to help with cleaning the compound and splitting firewood. 

Nice work, Evans... your students are lucky to have you!


EFAC Graduates Begin Community Service Projects

"It has been an exhilirating experience teaching and I hope to give my best and make a difference in the lives of these pupils." Prideluck

"It has been an exhilirating experience teaching and I hope to give my best and make a difference in the lives of these
pupils." Prideluck

As the first EFAC graduating high school class begins the next phase of their education journey we find them waiting patiently for their KCSE test score which they will learn in April. In the meantime, during the eight month "gap" period between high school graduation and the beginning of university in Kenya, our EFAC graduates are required to take this time to volunteer in their various communities as a way to "give back" to others in need. They are asked to volunteer ten hours a week for three months and are encouraged to go into their communities to find a suitable position. EFAC believes that by requiring our Post Graduate students to give back to their communities it will help them develop independence and foster a sense of giving.

The students have found a variety of meaningful volunteer opportunities ranging from teaching and gardening to an internship. We are going to feature a student's story each week this month so please check back in with us. 

Prideluck chose to do her community service project at her village primary school by helping teach math, English, Swahili, and religion. She works six days a week and walks half an hour each way to get to the school. She chose teaching because she wants to "empower the girl child as most of them drop out of school" (at a very young age). She enjoys working with the pupils and "encourages them to develop to their potential." 

Prideluck is living with her grandmother and she has to wake up very early to help with chores before she leaves for the school. "It has been an exhilarating experience (teaching) and I hope to give my best and make a difference in the lives of these pupils."