Education Issue 

April 2011  

In This Issue
Giving Wings to Fly
Top Scholars Head to School
Graduates Look Ahead
Loyal to His Purpose
Quick Links


topHand painted book bags motivate young Kendu Bay students - a gift from Texas school children that will keep giving and giving.  See Giving Wings to Fly   


Twelve new sponsored students began high school in February, thanks to our new KSHP/Nyashep Education Trust sponsors.   Top Scholars

Kendu Bay families saw 19 sponsored students graduated high school; seventeen have qualified for university.  Sponsors are making a huge difference to the students, their families and the community.   Additionally, 57 sponsored students are currently in high school thanks to sponsor support.  See  Looking Ahead


University placement is the gold ring. Four graduates are now enrolled in degree programs in law, IT, business commerce and media studies. Their personal stories are harrowing.  We have chosen one 'Journey' to represent the fortitude each of these young people gathered to be 'where they are today.'  Here is Isaac's story: Loyal to His Purpose  


Your partnership is the fuel that ignites these brilliant accomplishments.  We thank you and we hope you invite a friend to join us too.   


Kathleen Dodge, Executive Director


Giving Wings to Fly: Sparking the Love of Learning


new bags 2  

All eyes are on the colorful new school bags - and competition is intense as the end-of-term nears. 

at our 23 partner schools in Kendu Bay have their sights set on one goal: to hear their name announced among the top three students in their class, grades 1-8.  


Achievement awards begin with pencils, sharpeners, rulers and protractors - greatly treasured among students because Kendu Bay schools have none of these supplies. 

The plum of the awards - for which they all yearn - are the personalized school bags.  The gift of Texas school children, these hand-painted totes were a labor of love from all involved: children, parents and staff at White's Chapel United Methodist Church. 


From the hearts of Texas school children to their peers in rural Kenya - children reach out to make a difference.

cropped bags


  Asante Sana!

        Thank You! 


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Top Scholars Receive Sponsorships 

for High School   


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2011 Sponsored Students with KSHP Board Members, Rick & Sarah DeKoven

Sponsors from the U.S., Panama and Australia have sent twelve of Kendu Bay's finest scholars to high school this year. Nearly half were called to Kenya's prestigious national high schools. Not one could have accepted without sponsor support.  


Sponsors are a cornerstone of stability in these young students' lives. Of the children in this photo, seven have lost one or both parents.  


Local project founder, Peter Liech, stands at right.  



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2010 Graduates

Look Ahead & Give Back 


colphax   evans omolloaudrey   

                          Colphax Obiero           Evance Omollo        Audrey Awuor

                           Top Scholar 



Congratulations to nineteen sponsored students who graduated from high school in December!  This achievement is tribute to their hard work and to our dedicated sponsors, who supported their education these past four years. 


Seventeen have qualified for university studies. Government-backed university scholarships will be announced in July.       


These proud faces represent the dreams and the future of Kendu Bay, a community in western Kenya challenged by endemic poverty and rampant HIV/AIDS.  Nearly half of these young adults are orphaned or have a parent suffering from severe illness.  We have become their family. 


Now home, many are giving back by volunteering at local primary schools teaching science or math and mentoring students.  


Not one young person here could have completed high school without the support and encouragement of their amazing sponsors.  In the eyes of these graduates, their sponsors have given them the gift of 'amazing' grace: a future that holds possibility for them.  


On behalf of our graduates, we sincerely thank you.



     robert oburemaureenrobinsonnyadera


      linettobiasbonifacerobert ongati 


    rogerslawrencetobiasmillicent o  


     faithelisha akokosalimemmah grad 




     Robert Obure         Maureen Auma          Robinson Ouko           Rick Nyadera

     Linet Angalo          Evans Okeyo             Boniface Amollo         Robert Ongati

     Rogers Opiyo         Lawrence Ochieng      Tobias Mosi              Millicent Ojwang

     Faith Adogo           Elisha Akoko             Salim Onyango           Emma Tindi    



Learn How to Sponsor a Student 



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pantiesLoyal to His Purpose:
a Student's Journey


Two years after completing grade 8, Isaac Opar remained at home caring for his four siblings and ailing parents.  The impoverished family could not send their eldest son to high school; school fees were beyond their means.


In late 2005, a former teacher came to see Isaac, telling him of a new scholarship program opening to local students. The teacher invited Isaac to live with his family so that he could return to school and retake his grade 8 examinations, and thus improve his chances of winning one of the nine scholarships offered that year. 


Isaac's efforts were rewarded.  He scored first out of 600 candidates who sat for the zone's primary level exams - and joined our first group of KSHP sponsored students in January 2006. 


As a freshman, Isaac ranked first in his class of 143 boys at Oriwo Boys, a leading boarding school an hour's drive from Kendu Bay.  His mother succumbed to HIV/AIDS during his second year of high school.  His father's health continued to decline and soon he too died, leaving Isaac head of the family during his third year of high school.


At age seventeen, Isaac had to choose between staying in school - or returning home to care for his younger brother and three sisters.  His siblings urged him to return to school.  With a broken heart, Isaac saw his siblings scattered among distant relatives.  His sister ultimately conceived, dropped out of school and got married. 


Back at school, Isaac weathered on and in December 2009 he graduated from Oriwo Boys High School 5th in his class of 124 students.  Following graduation, Isaac volunteered at his brother's primary school, teaching Mathematics, English and Geography. Outside school hours, he worked helping his guardian, a street shoe shiner.


Last September, a letter from Kenya's Joint Admission Board invited Isaac to join Nairobi University School of Law - Isaac's first choice of career.  He had not one shilling in his pocket; no bus fare; no clothes but the t-shirt on his back. He was given one week to accept the opening or lose his chance for law studies.


oparKHSP friends and supporters rallied, and within the week, funding was cobbled together to fund Isaac's first year of tuition, room and board.  In wild celebration, he was hoisted on the shoulders of the 8th grade students he tutored and the next day boarded a bus to Nairobi.  


Alone and clutching a bag with his worldly belongings, the boy from Lake Victoria had but one goal: to find Nairobi University Law School campus and claim his spot in the freshman class.


Adjustment to campus life was harsh. His worn clothes were out of place. To cut food costs, he skipped meals. To keep warm at night, he slept in his clothes.  


He plugged on, immersing himself in contract law and civil jurisdiction.  By February, Isaac had found his niche.  A small project stipend allowed Isaac to upgrade his clothing.  He was eating three meals most days and had moved to a pension closer to campus that allowed him to study at the library late into the night.    


Still, he plans to remain in Nairobi this month during a two-week school break to conserve bus fare and occasionally skip lunches so he can send pocket money to his siblings back in Kendu Bay.


Isaac is loyal to his purpose.  As head of his family, he will forego every personal comfort to secure the well being of his siblings and to acquire an education that will support his loved ones in the future. 


I wish we could say he is out of the woods.  Isaac's tuition, room & board is funded for one year only.  His second year is not secure.  KSHP has no reserve funds from which to draw.  


If we who read this story share it with a friend, in one week we could again collect the resources to fuel Isaac's journey into his second year of law school.  I invite us to consider the blessings.   


Add your support to the Isaac Opar University Support Fund  


To forward to a friend, see link below.   Thank you!