This spring we decided to ask our sponsors and donors for help raising funds to purchase and fill school trunks for our secondary boarding students. In Kenya it is common for secondary students go away to live at school. This may seem odd for those of us in the U.S. who are used to teenagers living at home until they finish high school but for these students and their families it is a huge benefit. At school the students are cared for, fed, have beds of their own and are able to focus on their studies instead of worrying about life in the slums.
Each year we equip our secondary students with trunks filled with everything they need for the term. The students receive refills of these items each term when they come home to visit their families and stop by the office to meet with their case workers. The trunks are filled with a restricted list of the necessities of life such as shampoo and body wash, laundry supplies to hand wash clothing, toilet paper, feminine products, toothbrush and toothpaste, body moisturizer, pens and other school supplies. All students are required to bring the listed supplies and nothing else – no cell phone, no extra clothing – nothing that would separate one child from another. In this way, all the children are equal as far as life at school is concerned.
Only about half of our costs each year are covered by sponsorship payments. The rest comes from our Annual Appeal in the fall, individual donations, grants, and fundraising efforts throughout the year. This year, we hoped that giving our donors the opportunity to help us pay for the trunks and supplies to fill them for our boarding school students would give some insight into these efforts. And it was a success! Our goal was to raise $10,000 for this expense this year. With your generosity, we were able to raise just over $11,100. (The extra donations will go towards helping us to fund student expenses like lunch at Saturday Program, holiday food packets, and others.)
Thank you for helping us make the first annual Spring Appeal a success! Your donations will make a significant impact on our fundraising efforts for the year, and therefore will make a significant impact on the hundreds of students in our program.