2020 has been a year full of challenges when it comes to the COVID-19 disease. A lot of problems have been felt by families who are facing personal, social or economic instability. Many peoples lives have been greatly affected and we have sadly seen an increase in poverty, tension, fear and economic frustration due to loss of jobs. Over 10,000 households in Ndhiwa sub-county are facing the consequences of Coronavirus.
The Aspire Scholarship programme is a sponsorship program, started in 2008, that has the aim of helping vulnerable young people. The program has a keen focus on gender equality and provides much needed support to young students in the areas they need it most. Over 500 families have benefited from this program through;
Provision of full school fees to students in high school and colleges
Covering all school requirements for students, such as tuition fees, exam fees, school levies and training expenses.
Providing funds for e-learning, accessible to college and high school students, during the pandemic.
Providing financial support to students families to ensure their essential needs are met.
Aspire's COVID-19 Response
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, in mid March, schools were closed with immediate effect. The prolonged closure has affected learning programs to all students across the country. Vulnerable households that cannot access any media platform for e-learning have found keeping up with school work incredibly challenging during this time period.
Twende Pamoja implemented plans to help students continue with their learning, alongside the basic support that is already provided to students:
Provision of Essential Basic Support
Because many students have had to travel to our e-learning hub, we have been able to provide support with transport costs during the pandemic. Students and Twende Pamoja persons were also supported with basic living essentials such as maize, cooking oil, beans, milk and rice.
We were able to provide masks, hand sanitiser and soap to 35 households. 10 individuals who were found to have other health challenges including diabeties, chest problems, arthritis and HIV were given financial support to ensure their medical expenses were covered during this time.
Twende Pamoja has been able to offer e-learning to targeted students in both primary and secondary schools. Exam papers, revision books and other school related materials have been provided to 25 students who are taking part in our e-learning programme. Students have been provided with a transport allowance for easy access of the e-learning station at the Karibuni Eco Cottages.
Home Visit and Parents Meeting to Sponsored Students
The program has also put plans in place to visit students at their homes in order to;
Asses if their urgent and essential needs are being met.
Create case studies and assess family status.
Confirm they are receiving all the support that they are in need of.
Asses the welfare of our students both academically and personally.
We are incredible proud that we have been able to provide much needed support to our community during this difficult time. Many people in Ndhiwa have benefited from the measures that have been put in place.
Zuleah Awino, 17
"I am Zulea Awino from Arina Village and I am 17 years old. I am in form four learning at St. Julian Ugare and am the last born in a family of two siblings - sadly, our parents died some years ago. I had been staying with my aunt and was later transferred to Karibuni Eco Cottages safe space where I was provided with all the essentials I needed. I am good at football and I would like to be a successful lady in future. I thank Team Kenya for providing medication, e-learning, guidance and counseling during this though time, I really have benefited from them a lot and I would like them to support me further in the future.
Thank you so much Team Kenya because I am now able to settle mentally, academically, physically and morally through your support."
Michelle Cess, 14
"I am Michelle Cess from Rakoro village. I am 14 years old and in form one learning at Mirogi girls. I am third born in a family of five siblings with very vulnerable parents. I have arthritis and I thank Team Kenya for supporting me and my family with our basic needs and providing things like maize, beans, cooking oil, masks and soap. We have been able to put food on the table because of them. Thank you for providing e-learning to me - I found it interesting to learn with Twende Pamoja and Team Kenya. Once again, thank you so much."
Zalha Daudi, 17
"I am Zalha Daudi. I am 17 years old, from Ndhiwa village and in form four at Ojede Pala. My family has found this time very difficult. Finding something to eat is a bigger problem than every before and we originally had to work without mask. We have been assisted throughout with making sure our basic needs are met and have received agricultural support which has helped reduce a lot of stress for my family. Thanks to the e-learning programme I am able to continue with my education as usual. Thank you so much Twende Pamoja and Team Kenya."
Muriel Akinyi, 19
"I am Muriel Akinyi, I am 19 years old and from Sibuoche Village. I am in form four at Bishop Okoth Ojode School. I am last born in a family of five siblings and have lost one of my parents. I am talented in scouting. Life has been difficult for us at home since the outbreak of this disease, but I have to thank Team Kenya and Twende Pamoja for the support they have given us. They have provided the basic essentials that my family needs alongside the e-learning programme I have been taking part in. I appreciate your support so much. We have been able to eat, wash our hand and wear masks through your support. Please continue to support my family and other vulnerable individuals too."
Lavender Awuor, 16
"I am Lavender Awuor - I am 16 years old, from Nguku Village and in form at Ratanga Girls secondary. I am a partial orphan and the last born in a family of six siblings. My mother is a peasant farmer and the breadwinner in the family. We have faced many challenges during this pandemic period but I am thanking Team Kenya for supporting us. We have ate well, worn masks and had all of our basic needs met through your support. Thanks so much for enabling me access e-learning and ensuring my academic life continues to go well. I am very happy and interested to continue to be supported by the organisation."
Ann Adhiambo, 15
"I am Ann Adhiambo and I am learning at Bongu Primary in Class 8. I am the first born in a family of two siblings. My parents are alive but very vulnerable - my father mostly does casual work to support my family. I am talented in singing and in future I would like to be a teacher. I am very thankful for the support Twende Pamoja has offered my family. Basic essentials such as soap, cooking oil, sugar, green gram, masks and additional money to cater for other essential needs has brought such happiness to our family. The e-learning programme is really helping me stay on track academically. Thank you so much team Kenya and Twende Pamoja."
Stephany Adema, 14
"I am Stephany Adema and I am learning at Ndhiwa Hospital school in Class 8. I am second born in a family of five siblings. I am a member of Girls Support Group because my family are very poor. Mum is the breadwinner and does casual work to support my family. During COVID-19 life has been tough and there have been points where we have gone hungry because Mum could no longer get work. The support from Team Kenya has helped me so much. E-learning is really helpful and am thanking them for the support and may they continue supporting me and others in need."
Sharon Kinyi, 14
"I am Sharon Akinyi and I am learning at Pala Primary School in class 8. I am an orphan and live with my grandmother, who is providing the essentials I need. She has a small piece of land where she grows maize, beans and groundnut for our family. During the pandemic we have experienced little challenges but I thank Twende Pamoja for supporting us with maize, cooking oil, rice, soap, green gram and washing powder. Twende Pamoja, thank you for supporting me and may you continue supporting me and other vulnerable girls." We send our warmest gratitude to Team Kenya for their endless support that has made everything possible. We thank everyone at Twende Pamoja for their effort which has made the this programme a success - kudos to everyone who participated, directly or indirectly, to make this programme work for our community.