It’s incredibly hard to envision a future for yourself that exceeds what you’ve been conditioned to believe is normal. If you grow up in a country like Kenya, where a quarter of all students fail to transition between primary and secondary school, while it might break your heart to leave school, you might also learn to accept it. If secondary school costs as much as twenty times your rural family’s income, you might be forced to understand that education is outside your family’s means. And if you are an orphan, while you may already have lost a great deal in your young life, circumstance may force you to accept that there’s simply no financially viable way for you to pay for school.
In Kenya, even youth who do manage to stay in school receive sub-par educations; by eighth grade, 11 percent can not perform second grade-level mathematics.
If you are a low-income young person in Kenya, it can be difficult to see how you might access a quality education.
Students who attend Highway Academy, supported by our field partner Wema Children’s Centre come from precisely these backgrounds. They are impoverished. They’ve lost parents to HIV/AIDS or political violence, and yet… defying all expectation, they find themselves supported—through The School Fund’s scholarships.
Wema students supported through The School Fund go to school with tuition and exam fees paid, uniforms to wear, and books provided. And they have a safe place to live with Wema, plus nutritious meals to eat. Theirs are lives that defy typical expectations, and at school, they learn to thrive.
If you’re just learning about the education system in Kenya, take a look at The School Fund’s issue brief, Dynamics of Education in Kenya: From School Access to Equity and Quality, and learn more about how our donors provide dozens of students each year with a safe, nurturing place to learn and grow.