We give special thanks to the following for their generous on-going support of our Kenya program:
One Child's Story
Calvin's story is unfortunately not uncommon. In 2007, he was born into poverty as the second child in his small family. While his mother was pregnant with a third child, the father left her, moving over four hours away to Nairobi and meeting another woman who he married. Calvin's pregnant mom and the two kids moved in with her parents. As the grandparents live only off of what they are able to grow on their small farm, she had to move about three hours away in order to find work at a tea plantation. With the distance and cost of travel, Calvin was hardly ever able to see his mom. Subsequently, Calvin's father was able to obtain legal custody, and take him to Nairobi. During the time little Calvin remained with his very loving grandparents, he was able to attend our school at no cost, laying a strong educational foundation and providing him hope for a better future.
The Abuga Memorial School & Orphan Center began as a small orphanage, evolving into a private primary school that now serves over 350 children. The center continues to focus on orphans, children with only one parent, and other impoverished children from the local area by offering as many full scholarships as possible. The center strives to provide a higher quality education option than is available in the public school system, thus helping to overcome the lack of advancement potential for vulnerable children so common in the smaller third world African villages and rural areas.
Funding from the foundation has helped cover teacher salaries and other school operating expenses and has allowed for various classroom additions and other improvements. The children are taught by highly qualified and loving teachers who also provide moral guidance. The children are served a wholesome lunch. The school receives high rankings in the local district.
Yet the school is located in a rural, mountainous area in western Kenya, far from the more modern conveniences available in Nairobi. The area defines third world. The children and the teachers walk to school on dirt paths and roads, many of them from miles away, rain or shine. As is common for schools in the area, facilities remain very small and rustic with no electricity, no running water, no indoor dining area, and the like.
As a result of the April 2012 site assessment by representatives of the foundation, we have embarked upon an accelerated improvements plan, with first phase upgrades to include classroom additions, a dining hall, kitchen improvements, a well, electricity, internet access, enhanced teaching tools, and the addition of other technology. A committed team effort will be necessary to bring the program up to desired standards.
The school operates year round under a three semester system loosely matching the public school system, with terms starting in January, May and September with month-long breaks in-between. The school offers nursery, pre-school and grades 1-8, with future plans to possibly expand to offer the high school grades. The goal is for children to graduate from the school fully prepared to attend higher levels of education.
The center also hopes to provide more continuity by offering programs during semester breaks, including the serving of meals. The longer range vision includes the construction of a completely new and modern school facility on neighboring land, as well as the creation of a university, with an emphasis on providing scholarships to orphaned children and other vulnerable children who would not otherwise have this kind of educational opportunity.
The Abuga Memorial School & Orphan Center became the inaugural program for the foundation when executives of SereniGy corporate became friends with Dr. Amos Abuga and his wife, Risper, both natives of Kenya. In 2004, the Abugas converted fifty acres of family land outside the town of Kisii near the small village of Ramasha with a view to giving back to their homeland. Their vision was to help the underprivileged children in the area who would otherwise have no hope of attending a quality school because of having lost one or both of their parents. The story touched the hearts of the SereniGy executives, and they decided to take on the ongoing financial support and help with the future expansion of the center.