Through our work with educators around the world, we understand the importance of education for our children. The sad reality is that is that not all Kenyan children attend school, or stay in school. Statistics vary as to the data; however, conservative estimates indicate that only 30% achieve the KCPE that shows completion of a primary school education and of these only 50 % complete the KCSE for secondary school. Essentially that means that less than one in five youth will graduate with a secondary school diploma. With 1.2 million children orphaned by the HIV/Aids pandemic, it is clear that only a small percentage will rise above their poor living conditions to obtain the support they need to attend school.
One of the biggest challenges parents face are the tuition costs. A part of it was eliminated in 2003 when Kenya re-introduced free Primary education. However the basic fees of a school uniform, text books, PTA fees, and extracurricular activities remain the family’s obligation. The primary needs of food, nutrition, health and care for younger siblings keep many away from school.
Another challenge for parents is the transportation of their children. Good schools are often a long distance from home. Those with the means send their children to private schools. National, Provincial and District school all have different fee structures. They also vary in the quality of education and overall school environment. High achieving students are often unable to attend schools of choice due to lack of school fees and distances that require residency. In order to attend school many children wake up long before sunrise, returning home late in the evening. After this they still have to do their household chores and if there is a source of light they complete their “school preps”. This leaves no time for children to play and develop in a natural way.
Co-founders Ngimat Mikelena (pictured above) and Eric L Jones, Sr. began their efforts to open the school in Maisha Bora Community situated in Odha, of Isiolo County three years ago. During an anniversary celebration last year, Maisha Bora Leadership rededicated the school and added TGIM to the school name, as a reflection of our Program Developer’s relentless commitment to African children and families.
Our school currently serves 65 students, 8 of which are HIV positive. and struggles to meet their basics needs every day. Currently the school has provisions to provide only one meal of porridge in the morning. Ngimat and his staff rely on the source funding generated by Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program and book sales help them to meet their monthly budget of 300 US Dollars. Your purchase of Pieces of Me would really help. Click here to buy the book or download the eBook to your favorite device or Dropbox® and enjoy it from anywhere!
Pieces of Me series is a powerful, cathartic glimpse into the struggles and victories of the authors. Writing for the Soul Workshop gives participants, many at-risk, a platform to find a healthy form of expression in the written word. Pieces of Me contains stories from students in Kenya the accessed Writing for the Soul Workshop™ and their peers from around the world. Bonus! Also includes a story by Ngimat Mikelina.
My name is Ben, and I live in Embu in Kenya. I have been a member of writing for the soul workshops for one year now. I have written several stories of my own experience when I was 10 years, and I believe it helped me to look ahead and forget what I had suffered. Other boys write stories which I read and I enjoy to learn I ‘m not alone in this world. Sometimes we share our problems and then think about them. I ask my teacher questions about life, and he guide me in every issue. I believe writing for souls has helped many youth who could have been drug addicts or even worse. I thank you the people who thought about it. -Ben age 14, Author (Workshop in Africa)