COVID-19: The Impact on Education in Kenya
In July, the Kenyan government announced that all primary and secondary schools in Kenya will remain closed until January 2021 due to rising cases of COVID-19 in the country. This is very sad news for the girls in our programs and for us to hear but of course we understand that this is a necessary step in order to keep the teachers, students and their families safe. We continue to check on all girls in our Enkisoma and Githomo programs – all of them are home with their families and doing well. They continue learning with the help of public radio and revision books.
All girls in our Enkisoma and Githomo programs are home and doing well. Recently, thanks to our supporters’ generous donations to Seeds to Sew COVID-19 Resilience Fund, our volunteers in Kenya distributed the most needed supplies such as soap, toothpaste & brush, sanitary napkins, and other hygienic products, as well as notebooks for practicing and revisions.
The girls are grateful and would like to thank all of our supporters for their donations and for buying the Enkisoma bracelets and Githomo crafts.
ENKISOMA BEADING PROGRAM
In our Enkisoma beading program, women in Transmara District make traditional Maasai bracelets like these, using repurposed rubber and glass beads, incorporating beautiful designs and color combinations as they have for many generations.
The bracelets come in 3 sizes, they’re great for dressing up or dressing down, can worn single or they can be stacked, but the most important thing about them is the message they come with – they fund school fees for girls in rural Kenya who would otherwise not be able to attend school, so they’re popular with students, teachers and all those who want to support girls’ education.
“Enkisoma” means “education” in Maasai language, which is spoken in Transmara District, where the artisans and girls benefiting from the program live.
GITHOMO CRAFTING PROGRAM
In our Githomo crafting program, women of the Kikuyu tribe in Kenya make beaded jewelry and functional beaded items such as beaded bowls, as well as unique gifts made out of banana tree bark, sisal, olive tree wood and other natural materials, such as animal figurines, angels, bicycles, spoons, boxes and nativity sets. All net proceeds from sale of the crafting and beading programs pay for school fees and other school-related expenses of girls in rural Kenya who would otherwise not be able to go to school.
“Githomo” means “education” in Kikuyu language, which is spoken in the Mt. Kenya region, where the artisans and girls benefiting from the program live.
Check out our selection of Enkisoma bracelets and Githomo crafts at our shop in Hopewell, NJ, or on our website.
In addition to the Enkisoma and Githomo programs that fund school fees of underprivileged girls up to high school through product sales, on occasion donors would like to directly sponsor students.
AGNES NETAYA KIMPUK
Agnes is the inspiration behind, and the first participant of our Enkisoma beading program. We met Agnes on our first trip to Kenya in 2011 and since then, she entered and graduated high school, with proceeds of her beading being the only source of income to support her education.
Now, thanks to a generous sponsor, she is studying to be a teacher at Kenyatta University in Nairobi. She was due to graduate in December 2020, but Kenyatta University leadership decided they will also cancel the school year and there will be no graduations this year. Her graduation is now postponed to December 2021. We couldn’t be prouder of her accomplishments.
SUSAN & SUSAN
Susan N. and Susan W. come from a very impoverished background, and they missed school in 2018 because their mother – the sole provider for her 6 children – couldn’t afford the school fees. Thanks to a generous Seeds to Sew donor, the girls went back to school in September 2019, only to be sent back home with all the other students in March 2020 as the COVID-19 started spreading in Kenya. As to catch up to their peers and make up for the time out of school, the sponsor is paying for private lessons from a local teacher and the girls have a new radio to learn with, as well as all needed supplies to help them study.
Most recently, the whole family enrolled in NHIF (National Hospital Insurance Fund), which means they will now be able to go to doctor when needed and will not incur any medical expenses. This is a major relief for the mother of 6, and they are eternally grateful for the sponsor’s assistance.