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EFAC Progress

May 2015


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.

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

July 2013

New Video: Help Us Share Our Story

We're excited to launch EFAC's new promotional video produced by Atlantic Media Productions in Portsmouth, NH. 

The video chronicles five years of success. Highlights of the video include EFAC mentors, board members and the voices of our first graduates who express their new ability to dream big and accomplish what they never even knew existed. 

Please celebrate with us the successes made possible by the sponsors and volunteers of the EFAC community. View our video here:

Please share this video with friends and family and spread the EFAC story. Currently we support 215 students. Help increase that number by sharing our successes.

Warmest regards,

EFAC Board