Youth Education: Ivyn’s Story
Youth education is critical in Kenya, and in fact, they will tell you that education is everything. So, when we met Ivyn, a sweet 15 year old girl whose family was struggling to pay school fees, we knew that we had an opportunity to change her life, and the lives of her siblings, for the better.
Ivyn’s parents were diagnosed as HIV positive, and a few years earlier, her mom had left her children and the community because of the stigma. Their father, an alcoholic, was not in a good place to take care of his children, so an uncle stepped in. At age 15, girls are considered adults, and eligible for marriage. That was what Ivyn was facing, although her desire was to finish school.
As we stepped into the hut, the smell of smoke engulfed us. It was a round, open hut, and in poor condition. The thought of children living there was horrifying, but that is common across much of the rural and needy areas of Kenya. You can just imagine how a child would study, much less get the nutrition and support needed for an education.
The Cost of School Fees
In Kenya, school fees can be incredibly challenging for families with a lot of children. They range from $10 per term to $50 per term for Primary School, plus supplies and uniforms. For Secondary School, it’s another story. Typically Secondary School is boarding school, so the costs jump to anywhere from $550 to $750 each year. For a family making less than $1/day…well, that’s easy math. It’s impossible.
That is where 100 Humanitarians International comes in. We sponsor 27 students each year, both Primary and Secondary School, and fundraise for the school fees through our website, Facebook fundraisers, and expeditions. Our monthly donors contribute $25/month for school fees, and all combined, that can keep a child in school each year. We’ve had four graduates from our program, including Ivyn.
Shortly after we started sponsoring Ivyn, her father passed away, and her mother moved home. We helped her grow gardens, donated a goat to help her with income and nutrition, and continued to support Ivyn. Sadly, Ivyn’s mother passed away last year, but she has the education and the ability to help provide school fees for her younger siblings. She is now their caregiver.
You can see what the inside of Ivyn’s home looked like. It was dingy and full of soot and smoke. After her mom returned, the community helped build her a new home. In March 2018, we donated a goat to her family, and then in November 2020, our garden team built Ivyn Garden Tower Systems.
The latest news, is that Ivyn is getting married! We are so excited for her new adventures, and have been told that she is very happy.
100 Humanitarians International would love your help to provide school fees for students like Ivyn. As I mentioned, we have 27 students that we are supporting right now, and 6 of them are getting ready to graduate. If you would like to help, just donate below, or set up a monthly donation and help a student ongoing!