Posted by: David Omondi
Hope this finds you well. I would like to inform you that we are going on well at the school. We welcomed 16 girls from Obunga slum to the boarding school In January. We also hired 2 new teachers to assist at the boarding school in Obambo and Day school in Obunga.
Raising funds to pay techers still remain a challenge for us. So far, we have only raised $25 on this platform despite sharing the campaign widely with our networks.
We remain hopeful that through concerted efforts, we will raise the funds needed to remunerate our teachers and keep our girls in school.
We can't thank you enough for your support.
God bless you,
Posted by: David Omondi
If you have a dream, you are not poor. Akili girls come from different backgrounds. Some are orphans living with guardians, others live with their single mothers, fathers & some their grandparents in Obunga slum. Some of the tiny iron-sheet structures they live in lack electricity, water supply and sewage systems. Their parents and guardians have no education to secure decent jobs. Meeting their families basic needs with their meager earnings from odd jobs and small businesses in the slum is a daily battle. Most of the families here can hardly afford three meals a day. Against such a backdrop & compounded with the inhibitory costs of paying tuition fees, buying school uniforms, books and school lunch programs, sending children to school is beyond many families' reach. Despite this, Akili Girls have dreams, and BIG dreams they are! Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants, Teachers, Nurses, Politicians, Business Women, Entrepreneurs and Engineers are some of the next generation of women leaders we are nurturing at Akili School.
Growing up in Obunga slum, going to boarding school at 3rd grade is unheard of. Students work hard at an elementary school level and hope that when they turn 14 years and graduate from 8th grade, they could secure their real chance of joining boarding school. This mostly depends on their parent's or guardian's ability to pay school fees, or if they are lucky, get a well-wisher to sponsor their education.
For 16 girls from Obunga slum, January 14th was a huge day of celebration. For the first time in their lives, and at only 9 to 10 years old, they were admitted to boarding school at the Akili Girls Boarding School, Obambo campus. Their excitement was palpable as they briskly walked in their new school accompanied with their equally elated parents.
They couldn't help grinning from ear to ear as they admired the splendid classrooms and boarding house that would be their next home for the upcoming months.
Their older counterparts in 4th and 5th grade were here to welcome them and show them around.
One month down the line, life is so different for these girls. They live in a beautiful boarding house, eat 3 meals a day, wear immaculate uniforms, have the best teachers and access free quality education in a unique model where class sizes are capped at 15 girls per class which allows our able teachers to attend to the needs of individual girls in a secure child friendly environment. Partnering with different stakeholders, the girls are mentored and taught their rights as girls and children, life skills, critical thinking and how to rely on themselves and make informed decisions to survive the daily challenges they face as girls.
At Akili School, we know that it is not enough to just build classrooms for our girls. It is our duty to ensure that our girls get a quality education that adequately prepares them to face the world as empowered women who have discovered their own strengths, can advocate for themselves and are capable of creating a new and different path from that which might be forced upon them. We enjoy seeing them grow and improve in knowledge and confidence everyday, learn how to take care of themselves and be independent and gradually transition into the next generation of women leaders.
They may be little girls now, but one day, their BIG dreams will become true. And we know just too well how even a little dream can make a BIG difference in your life and the lives of those you love. How precious are their parents smiles as they look at these little girls every time they come to visit them at school! The great Hope they have in their girls' dreams to transform their lives and that of their families is written all over their faces!
With new classrooms, motivated teachers, incredible partners, parents and a supportive community, OUR POTENTIAL IS UNLIMITED and our girls will RUN THE WORLD!!!
Posted by: Annette Achieng, edited by David Omondi
I’m Annette Achieng a teacher at Akili preparatory School .This is my third year working at Akili school.
I started my work at the Obunga slum campus teaching grade one. I came to learn that my pupils had lots of problems at home that were affecting them academically, so my class was believed to be the worst grade in school.
I had to learn the problem of each child and its cause, meet their parents and talk them into supporting the education of their children. I came to learn that most of my pupils came from single families; some live with their grandmothers and others with well-wishers. Some pupils were to do extra work to put food on the table like selling alcohol, charcoal, and green groceries. Others looked after their younger siblings as their parents went out in search of odd jobs to make ends meet. As a result, many of the girls had little or no time with their books, thus registering dismal performance in their termly tests.
Everyday, I would deal with cases of girls coming to school unkempt; some with no books and others sleeping right from the time they set their foot in class because they were either too tired or hungry to concentrate in class. At one point, one girl fainted in class when I gave her painkillers after complaining of a headache. I later learned that she had gone for the entire weekend without food, her last meal being porridge she had taken at Akili School.
Having lost my parents at a tender age and surviving under the care of my grandmother, I was motivated to do all I could to support the girls in my class. I got to know them and their parents, understood where they came from and their living conditions at home. Understanding every girl and their needs allowed me to appreciate where they were and how to meet their individual needs in and outside of class.
Many of the girls in my class didn't know how to read. I started teaching them the phonics, encouraging them to keep trying every time they tried and failed to read. The good rapport and teacher-student relationship I encouraged created trust between us and the girls become so free with me that they didn't shy away from trying or asking questions. Each progress they made brought a smile to my face. Gradually, they started being self confident and their soaring grades brought me so much happiness.
When the construction of the boarding school at the Obambo Campus started, my greatest dream was to see my girls in boarding school where they would have ample time with their books, a safe place to live and would be assured of getting a meal without working for it due to their young age.
I couldn't be happier when my girls joined the boarding school in January this year and I was promoted to continue serving them at the boarding school in Obambo. My greatest achievement is seeing girls like Lillian Akoth, Kate Debra Mercyline Mwajuma, Laura Akinyi and Harriet Achieng amongst others now in boarding school and able to read English fluently.
Every time I see them play freely, with an aura of confidence during recess, my heart sings out with immense joy. Knowing that I am helping them realize their dreams makes me so happy!
They have promised to give me their best. I can’t wait to see how they are going on to change the world!
Thanks to everybody who had a hand in this. Let’s make the girls reach their full potential!!
Posted by: David Omondi
Students in class
Hope this finds you well.
I'm happy to report that we successfully resumed classes for the start of 1st term in January 2017. We also admitted 16 more girls to the boarding school.
There has been severe drought here and it has really affected our farming activities. We used most of the water from our roof catchment to water our sustainable farms at the Obambo Campus during the months of November and December as the students were home for Christmas Holidays. We however had to stop watering the farms when we noticed persistent drought. we had thought it would rain occassionally and replenish the water we use in the farms.
Our boarding school now has about 40 students and this means they are now using a lot of water every week unlike last year. After a long dry spell, it recently rained heavily for a day and our tanks got filled up saving us from buying water from kisumu town.
We will continue to reach out to our friends and raise the funds we need to drill this well by the end of the year 2017.
We thank you for all your contributions and support that has enabled us to provide clean water through our underground water tanks and thereby keeping all the 40 girls in School.
God bless you.
Water from underground water tanks
Akili girls at school
Riley Orton Foundation
Riley Orton Foundation (ROF) provides holistic education and promotes gender equality in STEM education to ensure girls and a community with the agency to realize their full potential