When we began the scholarship programme we made a tough decision. We decided to not offer one-to-one child sponsorship. It’s a great marketing and fundraising approach, but it’s not the the best way to empower young people, or communities. We had to consider what we would do if a supporter or student dropped out, and how would we manage the extra administration? Most significantly, we realised that everything we do should strengthen the communities with whom we work, and that means focusing on local relationships. For that reason, People takes a deliberately low profile in Kenya and instead operates under the banner of our partner organisation, Uzimatele.
A huge thank you to all who give so generously despite not receiving regular updates from a young person. What we can offer is news from all (or a small selection) of the young people that you make it possible to support.
We recently received a report from our team in Kenya, which highlighted some of our students' news. We always ask for their favourite stories from the past term, sometimes this is misunderstood and we receive book reviews(!), though always amusing, it's also hugely encouraging - none of the young people we work with grew up with books yet now have access to a library! AMAZING.
We would like to share two stories (not book reviews). The first is from Stacy, who is captain of her school football team, The Plateau Soccer Queens. She takes the role very seriously and organises training sessions and coaches the other players. That in itself is remarkable. Her news was that they won the National Schools Trophy and have now been invited to compete in the East Africa Schools Cup! It would be a highlight of any students time at school but the really exciting thing is that she has a platform to develop leadership skills, to travel and is learning that she can compete and succeed with the best. These are the opportunities we exist to create.
The second story is from Matthew, who shared about a visit to the Nairobi Sewage Company. Not an obvious highlight, it stood out to me. His excitement and interest in the various stages of water treatment quickly came across in brief precis. He also mentioned 'how important clean water and the rivers are for our future and our food'. Who knows where this experience will lead? And that, again, is the whole point. Opportunities create tangents that allow each of us fulfil our unique and quirky potential.