from October 2009 Newsletter(Volume 4, Issue 2)
Getting students back to school is such an excitement to both the students and the AAF staff! The 2009 third term school session in Kenya started on 7th September. It was “fun” (a good experience on the ground) for the American team, headed by the President of the organization, Erna Grasz, to witness the Kenya Program staff pay school fees in the local banks (taking almost the entirety of a day!). As it always happens, every term start with purchasing students personal effects from a wholesaler in the region. This term, Rebecca Raymond, US Program Director participated in packing these supplies in respective bags for each student (one soap here, one shoe polish there, pens in each, etc.) and together with the rest of the US and Kenya teams distributed the over-flowing bags to the appreciative students at their schools. We also delivered the bank slips to schools for the fees payable by the students in our scholarship program in order to ensure clear documentation and that the accounts had been paid. To these students and their parents, reporting to school for a new term has become one of the most enjoyable moments in their life. They no longer have to worry that their children being sent home for lack of fees or that they will face the embarrassment of reporting to school without the necessary personal effects such as toothpaste, shoe polish, sanitary pads etc.
Another highlight of the beginning of Term 3, and anticipation of the new school year in January, was the book donations, school bags, T-shirts, and assortment of other items such as water bottles, lip balms, and stationery that the US Team brought from the States. Some of these things have already been given to the students and the books have been dispersed to some of our partner schools such as Nchaishi Primary School, Enkiteng Lepa Academy, Jeremy Academy and Olooroito Primary School. Furthermore, on this trip the US team had an opportunity to visit potential school partners such as Matonyok Primary school and Olooroito primary.
One of the most exciting part of the US visit were the interviews and meaningful discussions with some of our scholarship students, such as Rosemary Koitumet and Samson Nyongesa, who are perfect examples of how helpful interventions such as ours are to the academic achievement of children with financially challenged background. Samson has become a high scoring student, obtaining grade A in school’s exams. He also has become a very important leader to other students and in his school. Rosemary told us that she has defied all odds and now she is playing a very big role in influencing her fellow villagers to appreciate the need to take their daughters to school. These students and their stories illustrate the large impact Asante Africa is having on the ground in Kenya.