Each year, the eighth grade students at New Hope Academy (NHA) anxiously await the results of the “Kenya Certificate of Primary Education” (KCPE) tests. In Kenya, the government provides an education only through eighth grade. If a student wishes to continue to Secondary School (what we would call High School), s/he must finance his/her own education. Virtually all the students from NHA can’t afford the school fees and other expenses associated with Secondary School. That is where Kibera Penda Project (KPP) comes in. KPP works to find sponsors in the U.S. to pay the school fees for qualifying NHA students. To be accepted into the KPP program, students must meet certain criteria. For girls, a KCPE score of 250 to 275 qualifies her to attend day school. A score above 275 qualifies her for Boarding School. For boys, a KCPE score between 275 and 300 qualifies him for day school and a score above 300 qualifies him for boarding school. Because boarding school offers the opportunity for a student to escape from the poverty of the Kibera slum, the students (and their parents/guardians) hope for a boarding school opportunity.
The day school to which KPP sends qualifying students is Olympic School on the outskirts of the Kibera slum. Students walk to and from school each day. The boarding schools are located in the town of Masinga (about three hours from Nairobi) – Masinga Boys and Masinga Girls Schools.
KPP currently has 133 students in the program. Thirty-six students are in “Form 1” (what we would call 9th grade), thirty-three students are in “Form 2” (10th grade), forty students in “Form 3” (11th grade) and twenty-four in Form 4 (12th grade). Forty-eight students attend day school; forty-seven are at Masinga Girls School and thirty-eight in Masinga Boys School.
Forty-one students still need sponsors. For only $360 per year (or $30 per month), a person can sponsor a student in day school. Only $600 per year (or $50 per month) sponsors a student in boarding school. We strive to facilitate communications between a student and his/her sponsor. When we visit our students, we ask them to write their sponsors a letter and we often carry letters and pictures from our sponsors to their students. Sponsors especially enjoy meeting their students in person if the sponsor joins NHI on one of its many mission trips to the Kibera slum.
So far, KPP has seen sixteen of its sponsored students go on to college. We are very proud of our students for working so hard to break the cycle of poverty. If you find called to do so, we would love to add you to our KPP family.