Viewing entries tagged
EFAC Mentor Workshop

May 2015

LAUNCH OF THE ‘CAREER READINESS AND EMPOWERMENT TRAINING’

Blog post by Peter King'ori, a member of EFAC's Kenyan Team

Prof Leah Marangu welcomes Nancy and Rod Van Sciver to the CRET Launch

Prof Leah Marangu welcomes Nancy and Rod Van Sciver to the CRET Launch

On May 1, 2015 the collaboration between Africa Nazarene University (ANU) and Education for All Children (EFAC) advanced to a new level as Prof. Leah Marangu, Vice –Chancellor, ANU and Nancy Van Sciver, together with her husband Rod, founders of EFAC joined hands to launch Career Readiness and Empowerment Training (CRET) under the theme “nurturing character and career development.”  The launch was received with cheers of jubilations by over 130 scholars who are currently beneficiaries of EFAC scholarship and mentorship in post-secondary education. The CRET curriculum is a four year program that seeks to equip the scholars with skills and an education that leverages them to be competitive and assertive in modern day professions.

Speaking during the launch, Prof. Leah Marangu asserted that “this dream was not in vain. You are the candle that is going to ignite others wherever you go.” She challenged the scholars to “inculcate discipline, determination, hard work and a trust in God” in their journey of academic excellence as well as when preparing for work related responsibilities. Nancy Van Sciver recalled the genesis of EFAC asserting that the launch of CRET was one of the program’s milestones that will play a leading role in transforming lives as well as prepare the scholars to acquire the soft skills which are required in the modern job market.  “Since the conception of EFAC we have heard stories of difficulty being transformed to stories of great hope.” she said as she acknowledged her dream to change the lives of the less privileged in Kenyan society who will ultimately change the African continent.

The Guest Speaker, Arch. Lee Karuri, Director of Dimensions group and Chairman of Ethics and Practice, Board of Registration of Architects and Quantity Surveyors of Kenya shared his journey of success from his humble childhood to self-independence. He pointed out that “EFAC is just a bridge to your future of self- independence. It will spark your potential and give you a path to success.” He urged the scholars to “depend on God, invest in your education, career and character.”

Guest Speaker, Arch Lee Karuri sharing his keynote speech on Building Independence

Guest Speaker, Arch Lee Karuri sharing his keynote speech on Building Independence

The 21st Century employers desires to employ competent employees who can propel the vision and   mission of the organization or company to greater heights. This requires the caliber of an employer’s prospective employees to be competent academically, professionally and socially. Furthermore, they should possess a wide range of soft skills such as teamwork, leadership, communication skills, interpersonal skills, positive attitude, problem solving and a strong work ethic. The CRET program aims to enhance scholars skills and further develop relevant competencies including, self-awareness, financial literacy, reproductive health, career knowledge and preparation, employability skills, leadership, and survival skills which will enable them to be productive in the modern job market. The program also allows the scholars to participate in community transformation at a personal level and develop their servant leadership skills through philanthropic and community driven initiatives.

Prior to the launch, the workshop commenced on April 19, 2015 with a group of 48 scholars who completed their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in year 2014 and they are currently looking forward to joining universities/colleges in September. They were joined by a group of 86 Scholars on April 30, 2015 who are currently pursuing their Degree/Diploma courses in institutions of higher learning from across the country for a two days comprehensive CRET workshop. The scholars had an opportunity to listen, interact, and share their views/ideas with different professionals/career experts who works in both public and private sector.

Guest Speaker, Arch Lee Karuri sharing  his keynote speech on Building Independence

Guest Speaker, Arch Lee Karuri sharing
his keynote speech on Building Independence

The workshop was of great importance to the scholars as they testified about its impact in their personal and professional development. “The interaction with different individuals from various firms is so helpful in my professional development. I now know how to behave during an interview,” said Pauline Sinyok, a student at Kenyatta University. William Muchui, a student at Thika School of Medical Sciences testified that “I have learned how to negotiate for a job and what to cover when preparing a Curriculum Vitae.” Mercy Obiewa, a student at Rongo University said “it was a wonderful chance and I have learned how to market myself in order to be the most outstanding among the millions of job applicants.”  Joan Naeni, a student at Technical University of Kenya pointed out that the “elevator speech and speed mentoring session has made me really evaluate myself and learn how to brand myself.” EFAC’s Kenya team would like to thank all the EFAC sponsors, stakeholders and facilitators who dedicated their time and resources to ensure the success of this workshop.

November 2014

Gaining Wisdom from a Mentor

Blog post by Peter King'ori, a member of EFAC's Kenyan Team.

The traditional African proverb “it takes a village to raise a child,” depicts the expected collaboration in all levels of life while nurturing children. Research has shown us that children who are connected with numerous caring adults tend to do well in life. They are armed with resilience that enables them to step up and respond positively to life challenges.

As the students mature, they need connections with caring adults who ask them: What are your ideals? How is your self- esteem? Do you value yourself? What is your dream career? How often do you evaluate your journey of moral and academic excellence? These kinds of questions provide a road map for life.

Esther Wagaki sharing a word of advice to Valentine     Ngigi, an EFAC Scholar at Vanessa Grant Girls School.

Esther Wagaki sharing a word of advice to Valentine Ngigi, an EFAC Scholar at Vanessa Grant Girls School.

Education for all Children (EFAC) continues to incorporate mentoring in its program with the aim of empowering the students with survival and life skills which are essential for their success in life, higher education, career growth and community development. The mentors guide the students to make wise career choices as well as build their character throughout their moral and academic life. Students continue to share how mentorship has impacted their life. Recently Pauline Sinyok, an EFAC student at Kenyatta University said, "I would really wish to thank Africa Nazarene University and my mentor for the guidance that they gave us, it has really helped me to stand by my principles and focus on my studies and I'm really hoping that I will achieve my goals." Brian Okoth, a scholar at Multimedia University acknowledged that “I am so grateful to EFAC. I was totally lost but EFAC mentored me. Now I am a role model to the young ones.”

Prideluck Kabugane, a student at Moi University once said, “Thank you so much for your kindness. Your kind hearts have kept me going. Above all you are also a source of empowerment and inspiration to me.”  Esther Wagaki, a scholar at Masinde Muliro University and a passionate mentor of EFAC scholars in secondary schools shared that “I have been mentored by the EFAC mentors and this has greatly helped me and many of us to always know what to do and what is required of us.”The annual mentorship workshop has also played a role in shaping the moral compass of the students. Gildah, a form three scholar at Starehe Girls’ Centre who is looking forward to becoming a lawyer explained that, “I learnt on how to manage my time well. Now I equate my free time as an opportunity to achieve an A grade.”

Thank you to each of the EFAC mentors, as we continue to impact one life at a time!


Voice From the Field - Mona Kyle - Final Yoga Class

Mona Kyle, is a volunteer from California who is volunteering with EFAC in Kenya for three months. Mona is living and working at the Vanessa Grant Girls School (VGGS) in Rongai, Kenya, a partner school of EFAC. EFAC students attend secondary school at VGGS. Mona has been teaching Yoga classes during her time there, read Mona's description of their last class together.

Ann Sammy is on the left doing Tree Posture

Ann Sammy is on the left doing Tree Posture

Yesterday I taught my last Yoga class at VGGS.  Although I was a little skeptical when the idea to teach Yoga during my time in Kenya was first suggested, and getting the mats here proved to be more problematic than I anticipated, the entire experience was fantastic.  When we began, very few, if any, of the girls had the slightest idea of what the practice of Yoga involved.  Most of those who had heard the term were under the impression that it was just some type of meditation.  When we started moving (and breathing) into various postures, I think my students were pleasantly surprised to learn that our practice would not only improve their flexibility, but their overall level of fitness.  After a 90 minute class, the girls always embraced our final relaxation, and left for dinner ready to face another three hours of studying. 

Fraziah in Pigeon Posture

Fraziah in Pigeon Posture

I am happy to report that I have found two girls who are willing to take over my classes by forming a Yoga Club in January, and both of these girls happen to be EFAC scholars.  One of the girls is Fraziah. She is a natural, and has challenged me to come up with something new and exciting for each and every class. Unfortunately, Fraziah is a Form 3, so come next September, she will essentially be sequestered as she does her final preparation for the KCSEs.  Therefore, Ann Sammy (Form 1) will be working with Fraziah so she can step in when it is necessary for Fraziah to remove herself from the practice. 

To assist them in their endeavors, I am leaving behind not only the mats, but a book on Yoga, an outline I have prepared describing the basic class I have been teaching, as well as some cleaning supplies to extend the life of the mats.  I am confident that Fraziah and Ann will do an excellent job of keeping Yoga alive and well at VGGS.

The final class doing Camel Posture

The final class doing Camel Posture

Namaste.


Voice From the Field - Mona Kyle - Kivu Retreat

Mona Kyle, is a volunteer from California who is volunteering with EFAC in Kenya for three months. Mona is living and working at the Vanessa Grant Girls School (VGGS) in Rongai, Kenya, a partner school of EFAC. EFAC students attend secondary school at VGGS. Read Mona's description of a recent retreat for students at the Vanessa Grant Girls School. 

On Thursday, November 6th, in order to reward those students who excelled during Term 2, and to provide an incentive for those who need to improve, VGGS took the top three (3) students in each section (there are three sections in each Form – “V,” “G,” and “S”) of Forms 1, 2, and 3 to Kivu Retreat, a hotel in Nakuru with two fantastic swimming pools. Unfortunately, the Form 4 Candidates were still taking the KCSEs.  

The “Most Improved” students in each section and the top three (3) performers of Forms 1, 2, and 3 in the Mathematics Contests were also included.  I am pleased to report that many EFAC scholars made the cut.  In fact, EFAC scholars swept section “G” of Form 1 with Irene Linah coming in first, Rehema Matua second, and Joyner Wambui third.  Irene also qualified for this outing as the “Most Improved,” and with the top Form 1 performance in the Mathematics Contest.  Stacy Murungi was also recognized as the #2 student in section ”S” of Form 1, Abigael Muia was the #1 student in the “V” section of Form 2, Pamela Achieng was the #3 student in the “G” section of Form 2, and Dorcas Mwango was the #1 student in the “V” section of Form 3.  Fraziah Njeri also qualified with the third best performance in the Form 3 Mathematics Contest.  It was quite an impressive showing for EFAC.

After swimming, the girls were also provided lunch, and, judging by their appetites, it was a welcome change from the food served in the dining hall. 


Exam Season: A Transition of School Life to an Adult Citizen

Blog post by Peter King'ori, a member of EFAC's Kenyan Team. 

A wise man once said “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Likewise, the long awaited day October 21, 2014 dawned a hopeful day for the 485,547 candidates of the 2014 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (K.C.S.E.). It’s a day that all the candidates across the country sit for their English paper in National Examination.

K.C.S.E. serves as a bridge between high school and college/university life where the students are able to specialize in a few subjects and pursue their careers. It also marks an important transition of the students from childhood to adulthood. The Kenyan education system is structured in a manner that by the time a candidate is ready to sit for his/her K.C.S.E. they are already or about to turn 18 years old. In Kenya an 18 years old person is eligible to apply for an identity card which acts as legal document in defining a person transition from childhood to adulthood. 

EFAC team with form four students at Stahrehe Girls School.

EFAC team with form four students at Stahrehe Girls School.

As the clock ticks on, Kenyans wish the candidates good luck and God’s blessing in their exam. Among them include the President and Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya who in a co-jointly signed card for the candidates articulated that, “This must be an exciting time for you. We encourage you to overcome your anxiety and write the exams with a calm, steady hand...This is therefore to wish you good health, confidence and success in all your papers.”

Among the 485,547 candidates, EFAC is glad to have sponsored 48 scholars. Prior to the exam period, the EFAC team participated in the prayers day in the respective school of each scholar to give them encouragement and moral support. The prayers day brought together the parents, friends, siblings and relatives who made their way to their daughters/sons schools to wish them the best and pray for them as they prepare to sit for their final exams. The prayers day is usually a solemn assembly where the entire school fraternity joins in unison to dedicate their candidates to God. This is because the success of one student means the success of the entire school. This is enshrined in the African spirit of “Ubuntu” where the joy or success of a person is attributed as the joy or success of the entire society.

EFAC team together with the EFAC scholars at Rongai Agri-Tech Boys High school during the prayers day for the form four candidates

EFAC team together with the EFAC scholars at Rongai Agri-Tech Boys High school during the prayers day for the form four candidates

As Berger pointed out that the “success of students largely depends on school culture, home culture and community culture,” EFAC appreciates the parents, siblings, friends and relatives of EFAC scholars who came in large numbers during prayers day to support their candidate. We also appreciate the support of the teachers in nurturing the dreams, character formation and talents of the candidates. Our sincere appreciation to all sponsors for their moral and financial support to these candidates. Together as a family we join our hands to wish the EFAC Class of 2015 ‘Best Wishes, good health, success and God’s blessings in their National Exam.’


Voice from the Field - Mona Kyle – Rongai Boys School Prayer Day

Mona Kyle, is a volunteer from California who is volunteering with EFAC in Kenya for three months. Mona is living and working at the Vanessa Grant Girls School (VGGS) in Rongai, Kenya, a partner school of EFAC. EFAC students attend secondary school at VGGS. Read Mona's description of Prayer Day at Rongai Boys School.

Prayer Day at Rongai Boys’ School was held in early October.  Since this is a Christian Brothers School, there was quite a bit more emphasis on prayer than on entertainment.  The program consisted primarily of a Mass, which was held in the dining hall.  It was a treat to hear the powerful voices of the Rongai Boys’ choir singing throughout the service. 

After the Mass, the congregation of students, family and friends was addressed by the Headmaster, Bro. James Thiongo. Bro. James commended the candidates on their ability to work together, and assured them that as a result of their teamwork he is certain that this class will do particularly well on the upcoming exams.  

The Head boy, Ismael Ngei, an EFAC scholar, was the next speaker.  Ismael gave a very moving speech in which he noted that these candidates were essentially in the same position in 2010 as they are in now because they were preparing to take their KCPEs (Kenya’s 8th grade exam).  At that time, they were only boys, but in the past four years they have become men, and Ismael believes they have, in fact, become men of substance.  He credits their progress to putting God first, and respecting not only their parents and teachers, but also themselves.  He thanked the parents for their love and support throughout primary and secondary school, and the teachers for their assistance and persistence in imparting the knowledge necessary to complete the syllabus before the end of the term.  Ismael also acknowledged his gratitude to the faculty for their advice and guidance over the past four years.  Finally, Ismael expressed his appreciation to his fellow candidates for exhibiting character, discipline, focus, and cooperation.

Before the students were dismissed, the mother of one of the Form 4 boys spoke on behalf of all of the candidates’ families.  She stated that because much is expected of their sons, all of the families need to pray for their success.  She thanked the teachers for their support and guidance, and for imparting the knowledge necessary for their sons to be successful not only on the KCSEs, but in life.  She concluded by asking the candidates to take care of themselves, to ask God for assistance, and to remember that they are brothers and need to work together.

After the service all of the students were permitted to spend the afternoon with their families.  The EFAC scholars were gathered in the library by Carol Ngetich, Samwel Mwiko and George Mwangi.  When asked to share their impressions of the Mentorship Workshop, almost every student commented on the significance of something said either by the Principal of Alliance Boys’ School or by Johnson Mwakazi, and each stressed the importance of time management in handling their busy schedules.  Samwel, is not only a Rongai Boys' graduate, but was also a mentor at the workshop in August, and it was obvious the boys could relate to him as they listened attentively to his words of wisdom.  George Mwangi, who had been a teacher at Rongai Boys’ School and is now an EFAC mentor, advised the boys to soften their hearts so they can be molded, and stressed the importance of giving back to their society. 

September 2013

Yiamoi and the Phillips Exeter Summer School Interview

Here is a wonderful interview by Nancy Van Sciver of Yiamoi Branice Karia, EFAC class of 2013. Yiamoi was awarded a full scholarship to the Phillips Exeter Summer School and was accepted into the Charles Hamm Leadership Program this past summer.  

Philip Exeter Academy, located in Exeter, New Hampshire, opens their campus every summer to more than 780 students for five weeks of academic study, athletics, and exploration that carry participants far beyond the classrooms and the playing fields. These students come from more than 40 states, Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., and 45 foreign nations.

Yiamoi has recently started a four-year medical degree at Maseno University, one of seven public universities in Kenya. 

"It was a long journey, meeting every student from all over the country, that was 48 countries and 46 states in the US of America, meeting with them, interacting with them, the diversity of culture which was blended into one family, sharing ideas and being exposed to the new world was such a wonderful experience for me. It has molded me, molded my views and I can see myself looking at things at a different point of view. And as I plan to go back to my country, not only go and sit back on what I've acquired, I'm looking forward to use my leadership skills that I've acquired, to the community and to assure that I've made something out of what I've acquired." - Yiamoi

Another Lemonade Stand for Lucy

Molly is a 10-year old girl whose family is sponsoring Lucy, an EFAC student from Bahati Girls School in Form 2.

She wrote a blog last year explaining her lemonade stand idea http://blog.educationforallchildren.org/2012_09_01_archive.html

From Molly:

a new lemonade stand fundraiser for Lucy's second year.

a new lemonade stand fundraiser for Lucy's second year.

On September 13th a few of my friends helped my brother and me run a Lemonade and Cookie stand to raise money for Lucy, the student my family helps to sponsor. It was so much fun and we raised so much money! I liked when people asked me who Lucy is and I got to tell them all about her and the EFAC program. They were so impressed that we were doing this and it made me feel really good.  I can’t believe how much money we raised for Lucy.  I also can’t believe how many of my friends wanted to come help me so we can send Lucy to school.  It feels so good to help her continue school because I am a big supporter of girl’s rights…because, of course, I am a girl and girls are awesome!

A BIG thank you to Molly and her friends for their efforts in helping Lucy continue her education and provide a brighter future for not only her, but those around her!


Student Tribute to the Mentor Workshop

By Joseph W. -- St. Mary's Boys School, Form 3

They call it luck, others call it life, but I call joining EFAC a golden opportunity. It is a rare chance -- a precious chance to join the EFAC family. To crown it all we have the annual Mentor Workshop. We get to meet once a year to interact with all the EFAC scholars. How amazing is this!

At the Mentor Workshop we cultivate our brotherhood and sisterhood which keeps us united and strong. There is an amazing bond among EFAC scholars that keeps us going. Each scholar becomes the keeper of the other no matter what our family backgrounds, ethnic backgrounds or schools.

At the Mentor Workshop we get to meet amazing people. There are teachers, professors, pastors and counselors who enrich our lives. What's more we get to learn new things each day for 'education' is a process. The workshop is a unique class to us, born out of minds of people in the EFAC boardroom.

We get to know and go places we never thought of. We get to go to different venues where each time we experience something new. This gives us exposure to the world and to people, and we thank the organizers for their brilliance and intelligence. They come up with new ideas each year and they need to be patted on the back.

In addition some of us meet our sponsors who work to support us in our studies and it is really amazing. We share our experiences and get a chance to personally thank them for their continued support. The EFAC Mentor Workshop unites and binds all scholars together and we all continue to grow. Kudos to the organizers! 

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Joseph W. is an EFAC student at St. Mary's High School. He enjoys writing and recently won a writing contest at his school. He participates in the journalism club in his school and with encouragement from his peers, he wants to continue writing and pursue journalism. 


2013 EFAC Mentor Workshop

"I hereby pass regards on behalf of all the EFAC students to all the Sponsors and Board members (both Kenya and abroad)  and each and every one who made an effort to make the 2013 workshop a success and take a minute to pass a word of gratitude because without all the efforts joined together this would not have been a success, please accept an humble acknowledgement of thanks giving." Carol Ngetich, EFAC University Graduate

Professor Marangu Gives Opening Remarks

Professor Marangu Gives Opening Remarks

The highlight of our secondary mentoring program is the annual Mentor Workshop, organized and developed by the Africa Nazarene University (ANU) staff, and it was held from August 28 through September 2 this year. 

Over 160 EFAC secondary students from 8 different schools came together to share experiences, inspire each other and meet with their university mentors at ANU. During the workshop, the students attended presentations on leadership, career exploration, reproductive
health, and sponsor letter writing. 

EFAC Graduates Help Run Student Registration

EFAC Graduates Help Run Student Registration

The workshop is also a time to reinforce the EFAC commitment to values and giving back to community. During the workshop this year, several students worked with the ANU environmental club to help plant trees around the campus, and we were so pleased that six recent EFAC graduates were able to attend the workshop this year in their new role as mentors to the secondary students.  

Thanks to Mr. Mbugua from the ANU Mass Communication Department as well as Modics Ayiero a student at ANU for the photographs. View more photos>
 

Caroline plants a tree at ANU

Caroline plants a tree at ANU

At the end of the day, there was time for fun

At the end of the day, there was time for fun