High school is not free in Kenya. The cost of school fees, supplies, and transportation is nearly four times the average Samburu family income, making it simply unaffordable for most families.
We take the top performing students and we look for people in the US and Europe who would like to donate a scholarship to to cover all the costs.
We have a very low drop out rate for this program and attribute it to our mentors who visit the students in school, discusse ethics and character with them, counsel them on any problems they have (both academic and personal), help them develop work plans for the following term and organize extra tuition for their weakest subjects during the holidays. They act like a modern father or mother to them and help them have one foot in Samburu culture and one in modern culture. Eventually they help them get their first job.
In 2006, not a single student graduated from high school, technical school or college. This year, we have 160 students in the scholarship program.
Our top students go to high school. If they do well, they can pursue further training in teaching, nursing, community development, or another field of their choosing. The high school lasts 4 years and has a curriculum very similar to ours. After the high school graduation top students attend either a two year college diploma course or a regular four year university.
$1250 / year for 4 years of Secondary School
$1,750 / year for 2 years of College or 4 years of University
Some of our students attend technical school for two years, which covers academics as well as a skill such as masonry, electrical wiring, plumbing, tailoring or mechanics. These are skills that are much sought after in Kenya because it is developing so rapidly. They can expect to be earning a wage and supporting themselves and even sending money home within 3 years.
$1250 / year for 2 years of Trade School + 1 year of apprenticeship