Getting through high school is probably the greatest and most important challenge in the education career of a needy Kenyan student. The fee alone is daunting for the parents and many children are forced to drop out of school and lose the chance to change or improve their life.
PA-MOJA, through the Ol Pejeta Conservancy provides scholarships for over 50 students each year.The students, who are selected jointly by the conservancy and members of their community have all their school fees paid irrespective of the high school they qualify to join. In addition to supporting their fee payment, each year, a bursary day is held where all the students meet representatives of PA-MOJA and Ol Pejeta as well as other bursary students.
This year, the event was hosted in the Rift Valley Adventures camp located at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, which is a key partner in Ol Pejeta’s community development efforts and full sponsor to two of the Ol Pejeta Bursary Students.
The students took part in a series of team sports and later listened to motivational speeches by the 3 Kenyan boys who had been to Canada on a PA-MOJA exchange trip.The three boys who are graduates of Tigithi Secondary talked with them about the importance of channeling their energies into their academic performance. They also held a question and answer session allowing the students to interact on a less formal level. Also in attendance, were 5 Canadian volunteers who have been part of both PA-MOJA and the butterfly effect and are alumnae of Langley Fine Arts School. It was a great opportunity for them to meet the bursary students for whom a huge chunk of the fundraising in Canada is dedicated and to hear their stories.
The Keynote address was given by Cynthia Weldon, a vice principal in Johnston Heights in Surrey Canada. She gave a moving speech about humble beginnings using herself as an example. She encouraged the kids to use the chance they have been given for an education to validate their educational and life dreams.
The day also served as a get together of the entire Kenyan PA-MOJA family with the presence of Butterfly Effect students from Tigithi and Thome. It was a day for everyone to get together, share a meal, have fun and play as families rightfully should. The fact that this day only happens once a year makes it even more important for all of us and specially so for some of our bursary students who do not have families go home to.
At the close of the ceremony, several vote of thanks were given by the students led by Elizabeth from Saint Francis secondary. The student speakers expressed gratitude to PA-MOJA and the Ol Pejeta Conservancy for their partnership and willingness to give them a chance to acquire an education. Simon from Tigithi secondary urged the entire bursary student fraternity do more than express gratitude in words. “We must perform well in our exams and prove we deserved the support that was extended to us”.
After the event, the students were shuttled back to their respective schools and we believe the chance to be with their “family” will serve as impetus to do even better for themselves and renew their sense of purpose and self worth.
Special thanks go to Dipesh Pabari and the Rifty Valley Adventures for donating the venue and food absolutely free of charge.
You can join our team of donors by making a one time or monthly donation on here so we can increase the number of kids we educate. Thanks.
By Ian Mungai