Many British Columbians understand that education offers a road out of poverty for bright youth in Africa but are not able to fully fund a student individually. Instead, they are creating links among their family, their circle of friends, or in their local community to share the $600 a year cost of supporting a student through high school with a group scholarship through KEEF – Kenya Education Endowment Fund, a volunteer-run B.C.-based educational charity (www.educationkenya.
Giving Tuesday (November 29 in 2016) is a time when KEEF reaches out to the B.C. community to encourage new donors and new group donors to commit to scholarship funds to cover the needs of a student in 2017.(Secondary school begins in late January in East Africa.) Giving Tuesday is a relatively new Canadian event created in reaction to the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Gifts can be made through KEEF’s page on the Canada Helps website, through Interac or by cheque to KEEF c/o 904 -2135 Argyle, W. Vancouver B.C. V7V 1A5. Tax-deductible receipts are available.
Canadian volunteers travel – at their own expense – to Kakamega in Western Kenya after Christmas to interview and assess new applicants. Working with our secretary there and with Kenyan volunteers, each student’s financial eligibility and marks in the national elementary school exams are confirmed. Many more applications are received than can be funded – “One of the most painful things is to eliminate eligible studentsonly because we do not have enough scholarships funds,” Ware said. The selected students and their guardians meet with KEEF volunteers and enter into a contract to keep up their marks in order to receive funds at the start of each high school year. A photo is taken and a letter written by each student to introduce them to their sponsor or sponsor group in Canada. Marks are brought in to the KEEF office at the end of each secondary school term. Reports are also sent to sponsors as the student completes each year of high school.
Will you and your friends or family “link up” to fund a $60 a month scholarship for a bright, very poor youth in Kenya? Not possible this year? Then will you consider a small donation to KEEF (such as $25 or $50) to Student Support? This could help out with emergency medical or dental costs for a sponsored student, help with office expenses in Kenya, orprovide books or a calculator to someone who has managed to raise tuition fees but needs “just a little more” to fully fund the school year. A Student Support donation makes a good birthday or Christmas gift and is a way to honour and celebrate other special occasions and achievements, such as gradua– tion, promotion, weddings or anniversaries. KEEF has gift cards available on request for such donations.
“Many small gifts can be combined to do powerful things for high school students in Kenya through KEEF”, volunteer Alinda Ware says. For more information about Giving Tuesday or KEEF’s students, contact 604-415-9397 or firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our website atwww.kenyaeducation.org.
Contact/photos: Shelagh Armour-Godbolt, volunteer, KEEF – Kenya Education Endowment Fund, 604-415- 9397 or email@example.com