In Kenya, education is considered a major key to success. Youth desire opportunities in education, and parents work hard to provide them. However, public education does not come free here. School fees are a lofty expenditure, often unattainable for middle to low class families, particularly in slum communities. This creates a huge barrier between youth and access to education. This is especially true for girls in economically disadvantaged situations who face additional barriers such as household obligations. Therefore, here at Servant Forge we feel that it is critical to support girls’ education, not only for the wellbeing of individual girls, but for progress as an entire society.
The Girls Scholarship Program provides school fees to female high school students from economically disadvantaged communities. Students selected have demonstrated exceptional academic and leadership potential, financial need, and community engagement. This program was born out of a partnership with the Kariobangi North Girls Secondary School, in which Servant Forge plays two roles:
- Through donor support, Servant Forge covers the cost of a computer and technology teacher, with the goal of providing access to STEM (science, technology, mathematics) learning and skills training for young Kenyan females.
- Through donor support, Servant Forge provides school fees for female students who meet the above stated criteria, as identified by the school administration and faculty, as well as through an application process to Servant Forge.
To date, through this partnership and with the help of several committed donors, Servant Forge has provided 3 years of salary to the computer and technology teacher, ensuring the sustainability of her position. Further, an average of 20 girls per year has been fully supported through the provision of school fees by exceptional donors. In 2016, four final year girls were supported by sponsors, and all four of them successfully cleared secondary school. In addition, two of those students received direct admittance into university, a huge and difficult achievement here in Kenya. Direct admittance is based solely on students’ academic performance, and it guarantees government support for university fees. The success of the partnership with the Kariobangi North Girls Secondary School has encouraged us to expand our outreach by instating the scholarship program to schools in other economically disadvantaged neighborhoods around Nairobi.
- Full-Time Sponsor: As a full-time sponsor, you will be personally supporting a student throughout her four years of secondary education. This entails paying her school fees in full, one time each year, for four years. School Fees in Nairobi cost $350 per year. This means a total donation of $1400, broken into four payments, until the completion of your student’s academic career. In return, you will receive personal letters from your student, photos, and performance result at the end of each term, three times per year. This option is ideal for people who are looking to connect personally with their student. You will see firsthand how your investment is impacting the life of a student, watching her academic performance flourish, along with her character and future aspirations.
- One Time Donor: We know that committing to four years of support, a total of $1400, can seem daunting and may be impossible for some people who would love to support this program. Therefore, we have established a second option in which you may give a one-time donation. One-time donations will be placed into a pool of funds. This pool of funds will be used to support additional educational needs for our program participants, including uniform costs, school supplies, and other critical needs that may arise to ensure academic success and holistic support. At the end of the year, funds remaining in the pool will be put towards paying the school fees for additional students, dependent on available funds. This option is ideal for individuals passionate about supporting girls education, but unable to commit to $350 per year. In return for your donation, you will receive program updates regarding how the pool of funds was utilized throughout the year and the success of our sponsored students.
Words from a Few of Our Sponsored Students:“I gratefully thank you for paying my school fees. I cannot thank you enough, but accept my gratitude. If it were not for you, I would be at home now. I am learning a lot and working hard…I promise not to let your efforts be in vain. May God bless you abundantly!” –Charity Faith, Year 2, 2016
“I remember the kind of joy that overwhelmed me when I heard of your willingness to fund my education. I knew this would be the end of my school fee problem. I am working as hard as I can to ensure that my dream of becoming a journalist becomes reality someday. I attend library lessons and I have also made frequent consultations on how to improve my weak subjects. I promise not to disappoint you. May God shower His blessings on you.” –Elizabeth, Year 3, 2016
“I am glad to have to opportunity to be in school. It is the greatest gift. You have been an angel sent from above. Since you began paying my school fees, I have not missed any lessons. I am grateful for your gesture and I promise not to fail you. I am working towards achieving my target grades so as to be able to go to the university of my choice. I will also be able to give back to the society by assisting those students who will be in need, just as you have been doing for me. May the Almighty God bless you and your entire family for this deed.” –Esther, Year 3, 2016
If you are interested in supporting this program and need more information, please contact Mary-Jo Robinson at email@example.com.