Today we launch our Happy House School scholarship scheme which will give young people in need a chance to complete their education. It will add a new dimension to our work taking the Happy House magic into the community.
All this week we will be focussing on on scholarship scheme, and telling the stories of some of our first students.
There is the boy who has to work so that he can eat, going to school when he can, but whose books go unmarked by teachers because he cannot pay for extra tuition, in a school where teachers are paid to teach for free.
He does his homework but has no idea whether it is right or wrong, because his teacher can’t be bothered to tell him.
Then there are those, equally eager to learn, whose education has ended abruptly and without warning when the organization or individual supporting them with sponsorship pulled out.
One little girl, exceptionally bright, wants to be a doctor. Her mum, the only parent she has ever known, is terminally ill in hospital. She is being cared for by relatives, being passed from pillar to post, as they try to get her an education. She is a clever girl, with hopes and dreams of helping others.
Two brothers whose dad died in post-election riots a few years ago, and who were orphaned when their mum died last year, face a bleak future, without a hope of achieving their ambitions, unless they get a helping hand to see them through school.
It is excruciatingly painful to lose a parent as an adult, so how must be for a child? With the death of a parent here in Kenya, a child not only loses the person they love the most, they also lose their lifeline. There is no welfare state to see they are safe and fed and in school.
One after another, Mama listens to harrowing stories, the pain of their suffering etched on her face.So many of these kids are left dependent on the kindness of others for their food and shelter or just to fend for themselves.
One after another, Mama Sue listens to harrowing stories, the pain of their suffering etched on her face.Mama has, since the very start of her work 14 years ago, invested her time and her energy into putting children into education. When she opened her Happy House School she wanted it to make a difference not only to those in our family, and the day pupils whose fees make the school viable, but also to destitute kids desperate to learn.
And this is now going forward, with your help, by offering Happy House scholarships to young people with an unquenchable thirst for learning.
If an orphaned teenage boy is prepared to toil on a building site to keep himself fed so he can go to school, doesn’t he deserve a chance?
He wants to be a pilot, with our support he can reach for the skies.
He will get a main meal at the Happy House, plus snacks, so will not have to worry about how he will eat. And there will be uniform, books and shoes.
Our scholarship scheme is for children whose need is proven and who show a commitment to learn.
School manager Madam Rose and social worker Uncle Billy have investigated fully their home and school backgrounds. In this country things are often not as they first appear and we need to be certain our help goes to those in genuine need.
There is, for example, the child who comes to the banda for interview without shoes, whose mum tells a story which just doesn’t hold up. When they leave, without a place, the girl is wearing sandals they’d kept hidden.
A well dressed man comes with his twin brother and sister hoping to get them a place. They are well dressed, well fed, and already going to school and achieving good grades. Where are their parents? Back home working the family land, says the man, which is why he has come.
Our scheme is not for them, Uncle Billy explains with a firm, but kind, voice. They have a family who can take care of them, we are not here to shoulder the responsibility of those who are able to look after their own.
We have our first 15 scholarship students. They start school officially today (although they have been in class every day since they were accepted last week).
They will be Happy House Kids – our extended family.
We need to find sponsorship for them to cover the cost of their education, books, uniform and meals. We have set it at 25pounds a month – 300 pounds a year.
We are setting up a Happy House Scholarship sponsor scheme, entirely separate from our Happy House child sponsor scheme.
Those who sponsor a scholarship student will receive a profile and picture of their child, plus school results and updates.
We hope that companies, organizations and individuals will want to sponsor a child’s education.
And put them on the road out of poverty.
To find out how you can sponsor a Happy House scholarship student please email firstname.lastname@example.org