LOOKING TO RAISE EUR 5,000
Hi, my name is Kennedy Onyango. I am the founding director of Hope School which is located in the HIV/AIDS and poverty-stricken community of Mbita at the shores of Lake Victoria, Kenya.
Why Hope School needs new hope?
Hope School has some key assets we would like to utilise further. We have come up with a couple of innovative ideas to generate income to improve our means of transportation, food supplies, lack of learning materials, play equipment and books to continue the delivery of quality education to the 102 children currently enrolled at Hope School.
It would be greatly appreciated if you could help us achieve the following:
1. Repairing the School Bus – Total Funding Required EUR 600
Our 14-seater school van that serves as the only means of transportation to our pupils in the rural villages has developed a mechanical problem and is in urgent need of repair. This would also enable us to rent the vehicle out for non-school activities during weekends. The potential rental income is EUR 400 p.m.
2. Paying the School Registration Fee – Total Funding Required EUR 400
Due to the highly volatile income situation in the area, our school fees are often paid irregularly, if at all. To make matters worse, those parents who have outstanding debts, simply withdraw their children and register them in a different school. To avoid this going forward, Hope School would like to obtain official Government registration, which is also a requirement for the newly introduced curriculum by the Kenyan Government. This would be a major milestone for Hope School to achieve.
3. Creation of “Hope Garden” – Total Funding Required EUR 900
The school has the potential to create an organic food garden. Prices for maize, beans and rice have tripled recently, thus dramatically increasing the cost to run the daily feeding program. Using our own produce could help us save over EUR 300 per month. The garden would also provide a great opportunity for the pupils to engage in extra curriculum activities and learn some life skills.
4. Provision of Outdoor Playing Equipment – Total Funding Required EUR 1,100
Imagine a playground without toys… A very sad picture, indeed. Playing is vital for learning and the development of young children. The 102 kids at Hope School would be thrilled to have goal posts, a ball, a climbing frame, a slide, to name but a few.
5. Establishing a Contingency Fund – Total Funding Required EUR 2,000
Hope School serves vulnerable children without access to medical care. We would like to create a EUR 2,000 contingency fund to pay for urgent medical cases.
Hope School – The Story
I ran a number of voluntary computer classes for school leavers when I realised that the kids were lacking the foundations to undertake these studies. It was then that I decided to provide quality Early Childhood Education (ECDE) with a holistic development approach and the idea to form "Hope School" was born in 2011.
I was fortunate enough to use my own ancestral land - a wonderfully spacious place away from the noisy and busy town - to provide a safe, conducive and child-friendly learning alternative to the overcrowded and distant public schools.
Back then, we just had a temporary structure to run one class. Today, I am proud to say that we have two additional brick buildings, toilet facilities, running water and electricity, all of which are necessary requirements to pass the registration process. Naturally, we’ll continue to make further improvements as and when funds become available.
Community matters - The Social Business Concept
In my 20 years of working with the underserved HIV/AIDS ravaged and poverty-stricken fisher-folk community of Mbita, I came to the realization that most of the Government and donor-funded institutions were not serving the plight of the poor. They were not adequately involving the local people with historical and social ties to the targeted population to help addressing their concerns.
On the contrary, most of these institutions tend to implement top down, hierarchical solutions to address inequality, illiteracy, diseases and economic problems in the developing world rather than incorporating ‘what works locally’. So, their solutions are not contextually – relevant to the local problems.
The local communities are the greatest losers as their circumstances is being used in an exploitative manner to benefit the few institutional leaders who earn thousands of dollars in salary, administrative and consultancy fees at the expense of quality service delivery to the poor.
With a modest western education, exposure to other cultures and local knowledge, I had no option but to champion a bottom-up approach to the funding and holistic community development of Hope School. I wanted to encourage and ensure the wider engagement and involvement of the local community who are the ultimate beneficiaries of the program.
We are focused on serving the poor with dignity and want to impart skills for livelihood enhancement by other means than charity and donations. In essence, this is an endless pit that never fills up. Hope School has concrete sustainability measures, whereby 70% of the students’ population are subsidised school fee payers and 30% are on scholarship from internally generated funds, which in essence gives the local community a voice and pride of ownership.
Thank you for your valuable time and support.
Hope School, Mbita Kenya