Every year, about this time, Kenya Keys learns how many new students they will add to their sponsorship family. Each year, the Directors of Kenya Keys come up with a number—the total number of students we feel we can support. And each year, the team in Kenya convinces Brent and Rinda to take just a few more than that.
This past December, Kenya Keys had more graduates than ever before. Thirty of our students (14 girls, 16 boys) graduated from secondary school and are awaiting the results on their KCSE (final exam for secondary students) to determine if they qualify to go to college. Primary students graduated this month as well and took the exam to determine whether or not they will be permitted to go on to secondary school. Of the region’s students, 36 qualified for Kenya Keys’ sponsorships, with some of the highest scores we’ve ever seen.
Importantly, Kenya Keys hit a significant milestone this year. For the first time ever, we saw more female students qualify for sponsorship than male students (19 girls, 17 boys). Because of the increased burdens placed on girls in the region, this is no small achievement. We congratulate all the young women and young men who worked tirelessly to pass their exam with high enough marks to be accepted into the Kenya Keys sponsorship program!
Now it’s up to us. The Kenyan students have done the work to qualify for sponsorships, and now we must find the sponsors to provide for them. Here are just a few of the outstanding students who need sponsors.
Emma Mwenda is a bright and athletic girl. She has always been very engaged and enthusiastic about school and people. She was a volleyball and netball player in her primary school and also served as the assistant head girl in her school. She has a love for the environment and agriculture and joined the Botany Club at school. She is being raised by a single mother who makes a meager living as a waitress at a small café by the side of the highway. Emma did exceptionally well on the national exam and will soon be attending Kwale Girls School.
Hassan Ngalaa is the third child of eight, born to illiterate peasant farmers in the village of Dupharo. Even though his family is nearly always on the verge of starvation, Hassan has consistently shown a deep desire to remain in school. Because he often had to miss school to help provide for his family, Hassan completed primary school at the age of 20! It is a tribute to his determination that he not only graduated, but scored very high on the national exam. He knew that without a sponsorship, he would never be able to go on to secondary school.
James Juma comes from a remote village called Chengoni. There are many families that suffer from extreme poverty in this area due to the arid, harsh conditions. But life has been even harder for James and his six siblings because his father passed away and his mother is illiterate. She tries to feed her family by working as a peasant farmer. The children help all they can. James herds goats to try to make a small amount of money. He is an outstanding runner. He also loves to read and is a very eager student.
Maria Mwakupha was born in a small village in the Samburu region. Her family struggles with extreme poverty. Her father is an elderly man with diabetes and other he alth problems. Her mother suffers from a heart condition. Maria is the third of six children. The parents depend heavily on their children for help. Maria often had to leave school to help support her family. Despite her absences from school and the many hardships she faced at home, Maria outscored nearly everyone in her class, proving her to be a hard-working and dedicated learner.
If you are interested in sponsoring one of our new students, click here. If you know of someone who might be interested in becoming a sponsor, please share this blog post with them or have them contact Rinda (email@example.com).