Over twenty three years ago whilst on Vacation in Kenya Maureen and her husband made a decision to visit a deprived area called Utange that would literally change not only their lives but the lives of their entire family and close friends! Hearing about POVERTY and HUNGER is totally different than seeing it first hand and needless to say they were incredibly moved by the Families they met who were living with little HOPE for the future, in Mud Huts that often got washed away in the Rainy Season…
EDUCATE THE KIDS was born (initially The Samson Chivatsi African Children’s Appeal) and since 1998 Maureen has worked passionately on a purely VOLUNTARY basis bringing about a complete TRANSFORMATION to the lives, aspirations and individual potential across 6 Villages. The core of Maureen’s work has been securing land and building a primary school which she named Jolaurabi after her three Grandchildren. The School now provides EDUCATION for 800 SPONSORED children Annually who without this would not ever have been able to receive any formal education. Maureen has also secured sponsorship currently for a further 100 secondary pupils. However, despite being an exceptional achievement in its own right, it is what Maureen has done through sheer hard work and inexhaustible drive to create, support and embed this education, which is even more exceptional. The Charity’s success in providing for the needs of these children and their community in a robust and sustainable way gives them a unique opportunity to make a better life for themselves
Maureen has developed a deep understanding and connection with the needs of this Community and her initial Goal was to Build a School and to ensure the children were able to focus on learning and not on their hunger, she established a feeding program- each child received a cup of porridge every morning. Kenyan vaccination officers recently praised the school for having the healthiest children in any of the schools they had visited.
Motivating many hundreds of supporters who continually fundraise on a voluntary basis has been a key to the Charities success, and Maureen and Educate the kids recognise that a little help from many can achieve a great deal. Many of these volunteers have visited the school to offer practical help with building work and develop a personal link with the community, all of course at their own expense.
The reason I started sponsoring a child in Kenya was because I wanted to give something back and after speaking to other sponsors I knew it would really make a difference. I have been sponsoring a lovely little boy for three years now and it’s the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I was lucky enough last year to be able to fly out to Kenya and meet him. I spent two weeks seeing him, teaching some classes, painting education pictures around the school, helping out at dinner times, taking them swimming for the first time and of course meeting his family, the teachers at the school and seeing where they live. The whole two weeks were inspirational and I am returning back to Kenya this November.
It truly is the best experience to see how so little I give has gone so far in helping not only my little boy to get an education but seeing all the other children benefit from all the hard work the sponsors put in when they visit. Seeing the child you sponsor for first time is beyond words, the feeling really is indescribable and when you see how grateful and happy all the children are its worth every penny!
Rachael Sellick, Quay West Holiday Park – Haven
With the tragic Death of several of our Students Parents we identified a need to build an orphanage in 2007 which allows children now be kept within their community who would once have been forced to leave the area when a surviving parent dies. Girls are given the equal opportunity of an education; Bonds are further strengthened within the community with many parents being employed in the school to perform jobs such as managing the project, teaching, cooking, cleaning and providing security.
We are grateful to our Sponsors for what we have been able to achieve to date but to give an indication of the need- at the last ‘intake’ day over 300 families brought their children with the HOPE of Enrolling but typically only 65 places are available.
The effect on the lives of these pupils and the Community as a whole cannot be underestimated; this long-term commitment allows them to believe in the future and not just the present. The 800 pupils at the primary school will continue through to secondary school and be nurtured through a system, which provides a unique opportunity for them to develop and make a FUTURE for themselves.
This Change for the Good has already impacted literally thousands of Children, such a remarkable achievement. Ian and Maureen’s family have worked along side her and have been there in a support capacity, often amazed at the drive and determination that they have witnessed from this old granny! The charity ethos will remain as volunteers and family members intend to continue her good work securing hope for the many children in Africa …even the Singing ones!
EDUCATE THE KIDS will continue to give a hand up to those most in need with Maureen’s desire and determination and the amazing generosity of our Sponsors. PLEASE Join Us!