Education is everything in Kenya, especially in rural communities like The Mau Forest. We visited Tenkes School in May 2016, where we worked with the students and teachers to build 20 desks, plant 75 trees, built a new kitchen to feed the students, and donated soccer balls to the kids. It was a beautiful day in the highlands of The Mau.
5 Students Per Desk
With 300 students, a lot of desks are needed, and the kids at Tenkes School were sitting 5 students per desk. At our fundraiser, A Taste of Kenya, we were able to fundraise to build 20 new desks for the students, allowing them to spread out and learn better. The trees had to be cut down and the wood had to be planed in order to get the right sizes. It was quite the endeavor! Special thanks to Tenkes School for hosting us for the day and being so generous.
The Mau Forest is losing trees, so to replace the trees we used for the desks and the kitchen, our team planted 75 new trees with the students. Trees bring water to The Mau Forest, and this area of Kenya has experienced drought over the decades.
As I said, education is everything Kenya, and your contribution of $5 keeps 5 of our students in school for a day! We are currently sponsoring 27 students in Kenya from 8 different communities.
Our June team had the privilege of visiting a girl named Ndee. It was one of the highlights of the trip for many of us. The jeeps pulled through a large blue and white gate and entered a campus of clean grounds, school uniforms, and higher learning for girls in Kenya.
Inspirational messages posted around the grounds reminded the girls to work hard and take responsibility for their education.
“Do what is right, the right way at the right time.”
“I have no time to waste. I’m laying my own foundation.”
A sign stating the school’s mission, “to inculcate in the learners appropriate skills, knowledge, values, and positive attitudes befitting the competitive world” stood above the rest.
This was a place of growth. We could feel it as we entered the grounds.
As the team exited the jeeps, Moses had to remind us not to wander among the buildings. “You don’t want to distract them from class.”
He went to the office to ask whether we could see Ndee. The rest of us stood in the parking lot looking after Moses expectantly. When she came out to greet us, we were moved by her youth, her eyes the only things betraying her past.
What made this girl so important, you may ask?
Her story is one of success against the odds.
After going through the horrendous ritual of FGM, Ndee was given into marriage at age 13 to an older man. Like thousands before her, she was facing a life of hard work, living in a dung hut, with nearly nothing to call her own – the life of a woman devoid of education in Kenya.
But, like all brave heroes in any good story, our hero made the decision to take on a challenge even though the cost to herself would be great. Ndee made the bold decision that she was not going to live the life that had been outlined for her by other people.
Although, she had become pregnant shortly after her marriage, she ran away back to her family. This decision could have many cultural implications for herself, her family, and her child.
100 Humanitarians learned of Ndee and knew we could help. We provided the family with a Business Box, which is almost like a microfarm. They have been able to sustain a small income each week from the produce they grow so that they can support Ndee and her baby, but it was still not enough for Ndee to be able to attend school.
Through the efforts of 100 Humanitarians, and the donations we received for education in Kenya, we were able to pay for Ndee to start attending school. While her mother watched her child, Ndee resumed her studies. After being away from school for over a year, she caught up quickly and is currently maintaining a B average. Her goal is to become a surgeon.
Our November team had the opportunity to mentor Ndee in gardening. We were understandably excited to meet her and spend time with her. She is a quiet, kind, gentle girl who stole our hearts.
100 Humanitarians is committed to seeing Ndee succeed. She has shown that she is dedicated to her future, and is doing everything she can to better her own life.
100 Humanitarians Turned 3 years old in July, after making it through the “Terrible Twos!” Not really, we had an amazing year with three full expeditions and a great deal of love and accomplishments. Some highlights:
Building 3 Water Storage Systems (3000 liter tanks) in three areas of Kenya that have provided rainwater for families in the areas
Donated 5 Water Filters from The Waterbearers organization to provide clean water to families
Built 20 garden boxes and 8 garden towers for families in Bomet and Nkareta, Kenya
Distributed 1000+ Days for Girls Kits sewn by women in the Zariel and Bomet sewing centers
Supported 25 students in school from Kindergarten to Senior year with three graduates and one happening at the end of the year
Donated 3 goats, 5 chickens, and a cow to families in Bomet and Ntulele
Supported our first post-high school student to go to Teacher’s College
Planted 3500 trees
Built the Tabby Training Center in Bomet to serve the community with mentoring classes in economic development
So much more than that happened, but how do you explain all of the emotions and feelings and experiences that happen on these expeditions? You don’t, so we invite you to come with us!
Our expeditions are being built out for 2019. There are four opportunities to travel with 100 Humanitarians to Kenya, but these trips are filling up quickly!
February 2019 with Scott and Becky Mackintosh – 2 spots available
June 2019 with Heidi Totten – Currently accepting deposits
October 2019 with Renae Southworth – Creating the Wait List
November 2019 with Heidi Totten – Creating the Wait List
If Kenya is calling, now is the time to let us know what your plans are to join us!
On our first expedition to Kenya, 100 Humanitarians held a Days for Girls workshop at Eselenkai Girls Primary Boarding School in Kenya. The girls in attendance were girls who had run from Female Genital Mutilation and early marriage, and were mostly in Class 7 and 8, which is 7th and 8th grades in the U.S. We had become aware of the issue of feminine hygiene for girls, and contacted the school to talk to them about the Days for Girls Enterprise and program that we were helping to create in Kenya. At the time, we were supporting one Days for Girls Enterprise, run by Christine Sakali, a woman that we helped fundraise for the previous year to attend the Days for Girls University in Uganda.
After our training with Christine, we met with the girls in a large central hall. Part of the training included not just how to use the reusable feminine hygiene kit, but also hand washing and sanitation. Since then, our workshops have included things like self-defense and how to understand the female cycle. This was a very humbling experience for our team, because until we arrived at the school our expedition had mostly been the fun stuff like The Giraffe Centre and Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi. Realizing what these girls were facing, and how they were so brave to run towards a better life, we couldn’t help but experience a huge range of emotions.
As we distributed the kits, we had some time to spend with the girls, getting to know them and their stories. Many members of our team had the same names as the girls in the school. The girls, though in a very challenging situation, were all smiles and hugs and LOVED having their pictures taken with us. Each of us had a small group of girls swarming us, asking questions and playing with our hair. There aren’t the same physical boundaries in Kenya as there are in the U.S. and affection and love is everywhere. Even though we were the ones that showed up to serve them, all of us came away feeling like we were the ones who were served and taught by the girls.
Since then, we have made every effort to host a Days for Girls workshop on every expedition. We fundraise in the U.S. for kits, and then have Christine and her team sew the kits in Kenya. Her enterprise is able to then support many families with basic needs and school fees for their children. If you would like to donate to our Days for Girls program, click here.