Although primary education is officially free in Kenya, it does not mean the standard of education is high due to overcrowded classrooms and poorly equipped schools. Money directed to schools by the Government is often ‘filtered off’ as it passes down the layers of corrupt management before it every reaches its intended source. Schools cannot pay enough teachers and so there is a scheme whereby they will employ so many teachers but the parents have all to contribute towards the pay of the extra teachers a school has to employ to cater for the number of children. For many parents, even this small sum is more than they can afford and so the children are sent home from school and not allowed to return until the fee is paid. Some children never return. Others have to try to earn money themselves. It took Sheilah three days to jambi (dig) a whole field to earn the tiny sum of 150KS (approx £1.50) so that she could return to school.
Abigail Ministries sponsors primary children so that they can pay this fee and not be sent home from school. It means their education is not interrupted or disrupted unnecessarily as well as enabling their parents to buy school uniforms and ensures the children get at least one substantial meal every day which is another thing all parents cannot provide without our help.
High School education has to be paid for in Kenya so Abigail Ministries helps needy children who reach a certain standard and who we think deserve the chance of High School education to do so. It has been our pleasure to be able to continue supporting a few of our exceptionally bright sponsored children to go on to University.
Andrew is one of these young men. He was brought up in a very poor family. His father looked after the sheep we keep on our land at Flyover. Andrew was excelling at school, averaging 97% in all his exams and so we were very happy when a sponsor came forward for him. He is now at Nairobi University studying Law.
Other children don’t have the capacity for higher academic education so Abigail Ministries helps fund these children to take apprenticeship courses in practical skills.