Having just retired in November from her medical practice in Trail, B.C., physician Dr. Brenda Trenholme is ramping up her volunteering. Brenda has committed to a 12,000 km bicycle journey from Cairo, Egypt to Cape Town, South Africa, starting January 15th, to raise funds for KEEF (Kenya Education Endowment Fund). KEEF is a Vancouver based charity that supports very poor but academically gifted high school students in Kenya.
“Secondary school education in Kenya is not free, and many gifted students are forced to drop out. My goal is to help raise funds for these bright youths so they can continue their studies and lift themselves and their communities out of poverty,” Brenda says. “I am impressed with KEEF in that 100% of donations designated for students goes to students’ education. Volunteers raise KEEF’s small administrative costs by selling Kenyan crafts. Canadian volunteers travel, at their own expense, to assist in the selection of students, organizing of their education, and setting up life skills workshops given by KEEF graduates and other local professionals.
Brenda will be cycling with Tour d’Afrique (www.tdaglobalcycling.com), experiencing the landscape, wildlife and cultures of ten African countries at close hand over four months of hard effort. “I anticipate a very challenging adventure” she states “and hope to further the cause of this well-established, volunteer-run educational charity whose excellent work in Africa I know firsthand.”
“KEEF is very fortunate to have this opportunity to fund raise through Brenda’s cycling efforts and truly appreciates her contribution to our students,” said KEEF Board Chairman Dick Glassford. “We can support a Kenyan student in school for just $600 a year, which includes room and board, school and exam fees, etc.
An individual or group can offer this amount ($600 annually or just $50 a month), or a smaller amount – which will be combined with other gifts to support students with such things as solar lamps, shoes, and bicycles. Each year many more students from very poor families apply for a KEEF scholarship than we can accept. The new school year begins in February in Kenya. We hope that the community response to Brenda’s ride across the African continent will mean we can say “yes” to many more applicants this year.
“I invite readers who wish to support Brenda’s efforts to send donations to KEEF at #904 -2135 Argyle Ave., West Vancouver B.C. V7V 1A5 – or via Interac through your bank, Pay Pal, or the Canada Helps website (see links on the KEEF website above). Please put “Brenda’s Ride” in the memo area of your cheque or electronic payment. All donations will receive a charitable donation tax receipt.”
For more information about Brenda’s ride across Africa and the work of KEEF, contact Shelagh at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (604)-415-9397, or visit www.kenyaeducation.org You can follow Brenda’s blog at brendainafrica.wordpress.com
By Shelagh Armour-Godbolt