Education is one of the most crucial tools that can be used to break the cycle of extreme poverty in countries like Kenya. Most children who are born to the poorest slum families are unable to break out of that cycle. We believe that education should be available to every child to help them reach their potential in life but when school is only an option if you can afford the fees, then this becomes a privilege that many Kenyan school children can only dream of.

We have met so many gifted, bright children who are hungry to learn, and it is heartbreaking to see their potential stunted by lack of money. It is, therefore, one of Jengana’s greatest desires to help as many children as possible to access good quality education. Each child who is helped then has the potential, through their own determination and hard work, to lift themselves out of their circumstances. Jengana supports children and adults of various ages to achieve their goals through education. We are indebted to those who contribute regularly to make this a possibility.

The main areas in which we help include:

Primary school for the Kipepeo children

There are almost 20 children who now call Kipepeo their home. Jengana has enrolled the school aged children in a local primary school which is a walking distance from the Kipepeo Home. Levi, one of our house parents has had some teaching experience and is invaluable in helping the children with their homework and with extra tutoring for those who need it. If you would be interested in helping financially to send one of our Kipepeo children to school, please click here.

As part of the development of our projects and in an attempt to make the best use of funds, Jengana are considering starting a small primary school in the coming years. This would be to provide a good standard of education with boarding potential at the Jengana Centre, giving hope to children from the local area and attracting fee paying children to cover costs.

Primary school children in Kibera

Jengana assists various families in Kibera slum with the payment of school fees for their child. Their parents are unable to raise enough funds to bring their child to a government recognised primary school. This in turn means that they cannot sit the Kenyan primary school exams (KCPE) which is the route to secondary school. This is the reason why so many children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Kenya have to stop their education at the end of primary school regardless of ability. The Primary School is achieving a lot despite its location in the heart of Kibera. The children who attend can achieve their potential and are all registered to sit their KCPE.

Boarding school for children from disadvantaged backgrounds

We are delighted to partner with existing projects in both Kibera and Mukuru slums. Through these we have met children who have shown much potential and we have been able to enrol some of them in boarding secondary schools in various locations around Kenya. These are not elite, private schools that most of us in the UK imagine when we hear the term ‘boarding school’ but rather these are often in rural areas and provide a chance for a young person from a slum background to gain high quality education in an environment where they can study with electricity, good food and no pressure on them to earn an income. This is a vital escape for many of these young people and it is wonderful to see them flourish with the opportunity. One of the girls we supported came from a traumatic background in extreme poverty in Kibera slum. She was nominated for the role of Head Girl within a few months of enrolling in her new school. These girls simply need the opportunity!

Badili Project

A few years ago, when we had a Jengana summer team in Kenya, we were visiting a series of homes in Kibera slum as a normal part of the team itinerary. We couldn’t help noticing the number of young adults who were at home because they finished their secondary school education and couldn’t progress to college or a job. This was because they had debt with their school due to unpaid school fee bills and the school would not release their exam certificates. Many had dreams and good grades but were 'stuck', a word that can often describe people’s situations in a slum.

We felt led to help some of these young people. We were delighted to see that Nairobi Baptist Church, (Jengana partner), had a similar conviction, and were now running a year long discipleship course, preparing school leavers for life outside a slum in employment and mentoring them in their faith.

We partnered with this project, and through some generous supporters who ‘caught the vision’, we were able to start supporting some of the Badili students to go to college, university or an apprenticeship. It has been important to us that the young person and their family still takes some responsibility for the fees so we partner with them, rather than offering to pay for everything, though in some particularly difficult situations, this is not possible. This project has been hugely successful and has generated much interest, but so far only helps a relatively small number of young people due to the high cost involved. We would love to help more people who are so enthusiastic about gaining the next part of their education, if you think you could help us by giving monthly to this work, please click here.

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If you would like any more information on the work of Jengana, to ask any questions, or to get involved, we would love to hear from you.

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