Collins Otieno is 14 and is the oldest in a family of 3 children. He lives with his parents in Magongo village and managed to attain an amazing score of 383 on his 2023 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education at Magongo-Ribe primary school.

Collins’ parents are small scale farmers and casual laborers in the neighboring communities, but their income is not enough to pay for Collins’ high school, junior school fees for his two siblings and other expenses at home.

So Collins and his family tried to stay hopeful, but thought he would be unable to go on to high school.

“No one in my village thought that I could go to high school regardless of how high my exam scores were.” Collins said. But he still kept hope that at some point his hard work would pay off and he could achieve his dream of becoming a doctor.

Because of a P4P scholarship all of Collins’ hard work and determination finally did pay off!

“Many thanks to P4P, for you have lit up my candle, I have an opportunity to join Mbita Boys’ High School, one of the best schools in Kenya.”

ASANTE SANA!

Van Ochieng is 15 and lives with his parents in Mubachi village, where he attended Magongo Ribe Primary school.
His father (Nicholas Okeyo) is a small-scale farmer with a big family, 5 children of his own and 4 other children. Van is the oldest with three sisters and a brother.

“Life has never been easy managing such a big family with the small income I earn” Van’s father said.

Throughout his school years, Van tried his best to get good marks all while balancing school work and challenges at home. Van was motivated by his teachers who assured him that his hard work will pay off regardless of his difficult background.

Pay off it did! Van had an excellent score of 362 on his final exams for his 2023 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education. When he applied for a P4P scholarship and got it, he couldn’t believe it, because he knew there were many other deserving students who applied for the same scholarship.

“I am extremely grateful to receive a P4P scholarship.” Van says. Today Van is attending his dream school Kanyawanga Boys High School knowing that his hard work and education will pay off with a better future. Van’s father is also very grateful, saying “Previous years have been really tough for my family. We are all so appreciative of a P4P scholarship for taking a huge burden off of our shoulders in this difficult moment.”

Fifteen year old Jackeline Vera, is the second born in a family of five. Fortunately, both of her parents are living, but her hopes of joining high school were nearly dashed due to the fact her family cannot afford school fees. You see, Obwato (Jackeline’s father) is a small- scale farmer and the family income is hardly enough to feed the family.

So, Jackeline’s hope for a secondary education was dim, and she was prepared to stay at home to give her parents time to accumulate enough money to pay for the secondary school tuition and fees.

Despite having such a slim chance to go on to secondary school, Jackeline never gave up, worked very hard at her studies, and managed to score 314 on her final Primary School test – a great score. So, with hard work and perseverance she graduated from Primary School and received the 2023 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education.

Then, P4P stepped in with a P4P scholarship and Jackeline is on her way to continuing her education.

“Hard work pays!”, Jackeline says. “Now I have the opportunity to join my dream school, Ogada Girls’ High School, through a Partnering for Progress scholarship! Asante Sana!”

Brian Davis is 15 years old and is the first born in a family of 5 children.  Brian lives with his parents in Giribe, a rural village near the mountains. Like many families in rural Kenya, Brian’s parents depend mostly on farming to support their family along with sometimes selling charcoal.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to make ends meet so the odds were stacked against Brian fulfilling his dream of going to high school, despite how hard he was working.

But Brian stayed motivated by the success stories he heard around his community about how P4P scholarships had helped needy students like him.

“I believed in myself and focused on my studies to win a scholarship too. Previously my head teacher Mr. Atha used to encourage the top scorers in my class to work hard for a P4P scholarship.” Brian Davis said. Because of his hard work, smarts and commitment, Brian ended up winning a P4P scholarship, becoming the first child from his immediate or extended family to attend a better secondary school.

“Many thanks to P4P for giving me the opportunity to join Kanyawanga Boys’ High School. What a joy and blessings! I have no words to express how grateful I am,” Davis said.  ASANTE SANA! (Thank you!)

Kennedy Otieno is 15 and is the 4th child in his family of five. Sadly, Kennedy’s father passed on when he was in the first grade. Even when his father was alive, life was not easy for the family, but after his father passed, the burden of caring for the family fell upon his mother, Jenifer Awino.

Even though Jenifer worked hard as a casual laborer, Kennedy and his siblings grew up in absolute poverty. Then, when Jenifer fell ill 4 years ago and could not work as she used to do, things became even worse for the family. They could barely survive let alone afford high school for Kennedy.

Knowing that education is what breaks the cycle of poverty, Kennedy worked incredibly hard in primary school, scoring an amazing 347 on his final exams.  Then he was faced with the same hard fact that kept his siblings from high school and a better life – the family simply could not afford the tuition and fees required for him to go on to high school – Kennedy felt doomed.

Imagine his joy when Kennedy was selected for a P4P scholarship!  As a result of the scholarship, today the bright boy Kennedy is attending his dream school, Migori Boys High School.  Notably, he Is the first child from his family to proceed to high school.

Kennedy vows to work extra hard in school not for himself, but to put smiles on the faces of his mother and for his family.  P4P restored Kennedy’s hopes and dreams, making his new journey to high school possible.  Asante Sana (Thank you)!

 

Otieno Naomi Cherry is 15 and is the fourth born in a family of 6. She is a total orphan who with her siblings, are under the care of her Aunt Hellen.

Aunt Hellen works hard as a farmer to ensure that her own 3 children, along with Naomi and her siblings, can access basic needs and receive an education.

To send Naomi to high school Aunt Hellen was faced with a cost of about $500 – way too much for her to pay on her own given her large family.  You can imagine she was at a loss for what to do.

Thankfully, when Naomi beat all the odds and achieved a remarkable score of 317 on her final primary school exam and received her 2023 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education at Giribe primary school, P4P stepped in to help with a scholarship.

Naomi and her Aunt Hellen are both so grateful for the P4P scholarship.  Now Naomi can pursue her dreams at Moi Suba Girls High School. They both say, “THANK YOU!”

While on their trip, Stacey and Sandy visited the farm of Sylvano, who is one of the original farmers P4P trained.

Sylvano is a retired teacher and was enrolled in a P4P poultry program.  In this program P4P makes an initial investment of 100 chicks, immunizations, and feed to help the participant get started.

Sylvano worked hard at the program, overcoming many challenges. Although he lost a substantial number of chicks in his first season he pressed on with guidance from Joshua, P4P’s Kenya Ag Program Coordinator.  Sylvano did not sell his chicks and now uses surrogate hens to tend the mature hens’ fertilized eggs.  His operation is very organized moving the chicks to different pens as they age.  He sells both chicken and eggs.

Eggs from Sylvano’s hens.

The cost of feed in Kenya has greatly increased resulting in several of the poultry farmers selling their birds rather continue breed them. However, Sylvano ingeniously overcame the cost of feed by using a rented crusher to mix his home-grown feed from his own crops.

Today, Sylvano not only raises poultry and sells eggs, but also raises a variety of other crops as well. His farm provides a model success story, and he gladly shares his knowledge with others.

A key to moving from a subsistence farmer, to one who can provide for family and have crops to sell and realize income, is learning new techniques that produce greater yields.  P4P’s farmer training program does just that and is seeing amazing results.

The program, called “Farming God’s Way”, (FGW) provides training and support for 20 farmers at a time. Participants are many different ages and situations. Some are couples, like the Masagas, others are single fathers, mothers or widowed older women. All one needs is a desire to learn and work hard.  The program teaches sustainable farming methods and includes key components such as proper land preparation, planting techniques, crop rotation, and mulching to preserve rainfall and add nutrients to the soil.

The program involves both classroom and hands-on training. The farmers must commit to the training program and have a portion of their farm plots available to use the new techniques, expanding more each year. As part of the program, each farmer is provided fertilizer and seed to get started.  Once the crops are harvested, each farmer returns some maize (corn) to P4P, which is then used in the P4P Power of Milk program.

As part of the program, P4P has a demonstration plot, where farmers can see the techniques in action. The results from the FGW methods are apparent, with significantly improved yields that increase every crop cycle. Farmers who are not enrolled see the improvement in the crops and have been asking to join FGW.  At this point, P4P is only able to enroll 20 farmers; we would like to expand the program as funding becomes available.

While in Kenya in February, Stacey and Sandy visited several farmers including Francis who was in the first group of FGW farmers.  He is now a lead farmer often sharing his knowledge with other farmers.  Sandy commented “It is so exciting to see neighbors helping neighbors.  It was remarkable to see how much healthier FGW maize plots were in comparison to conventional farmers.”

There was excitement all around as Stacey and Sandy met with five of P4P’s newest scholarship students and their parents on Day Two of their recent trip to Kenya.

Like youngsters everywhere the new students have dreams! One girl wants to be a doctor, another a teacher, another a lawyer and another young man also wants to be a doctor.

With their parents, they read the P4P code of conduct and signed the P4P contract. It was amazing to have Rose, a P4P scholarship recipient who graduated from college and is now a P4P intern, encourage the students to work hard, have dreams and to be disciplined.

Why does P4P provide scholarships? Because unfortunately, education in Kenya is not free after primary school. To go on to middle school and high school youngsters and their families must pay for fees, uniforms and more. If they live in a rural area, most must attend boarding school and pay for those room and board costs as well.

It’s expensive, so for many youngsters, education beyond primary school is out of reach, and their dreams might be as well.

P4P assists by providing scholarships for students who would otherwise not be able to attend school. Our Education Committee in Kenya, composed of the headmasters of the primary schools, reviews applications and makes recommendations on the students who should receive a scholarship. Once they are selected for a scholarship, the students and their parents are then asked to agree to P4P’s Code of Conduct. This straightforward document spells out expectations around maintaining attendance, being honest and truthful, demonstrating respect and following school rules, and maintaining good grades. The students and their parents sign they will abide by the Code of Conduct.

P4P provides 20 secondary school scholarships annually, plus an additional 7 for university students. Your support of P4P makes this possible!  Thank you!

Day One of Stacey and Sandy’s visit to Kenya included a meeting with the area’s new Sub County, Minister of Health, Samuel Oketch, along with several of department heads. His refreshing message was one of cooperation, sharing information, and building strong relationships to improve the health of the community.

Mr. Oketch shared great news about the P4P POM program. We are excited to learn that the Ministry of Health is so impressed by P4P’s POM program, they would like to implement it in other regions.

In addition, Mr. Oketch plans to have a nutritionist come monthly to the P4P Power of Milk (POM) meetings and hopes to have the resources to provide a continuing supply of Plumpy Nut/flour for the POM babies. Plumpy Nut is a very nutritious food supplement that P4P provides POM babies weekly.

Mr. Oketch proposed P4P can help efforts by supporting trainings for Community Health Volunteers and helping with childhood immunization outreach. As a welcome and thank you to P4P, Stacey and Sandy were each presented with a typical Masai Mara blanket.

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