Retired teacher Clara Penner knows how important gaining an education is in providing a hand up to people living in poverty.
That’s why she is hitting the streets later this month for the Kenya Education Endowment Fund (KEEF).
“KEEF scholarships open doors to bright, poor youth in western Kenya – where high school is not free!” explained the Tsawwassen senior. “Families living on tiny farms in rural areas often have cash incomes of only $2 to $3 a day. This does not allow them to pay the tuition, uniform, shoes and books required to attend secondary school in Kenya.”
As well as offering secondary and post-secondary scholarships in Kenya, KEEF provides an annual Life Skills Workshop for 130 students assisted by the all-volunteer Canadian charity, their sister organization in Kenya, and the KEEF Alumni Association.
To help fund the workshop, Penner is doing the 10km Vancouver Sun Run. This year’s event is being done virtually and Clara plans her walk in the Tsawwassen Beach area in mid-April.
The multi-day workshops offer topics such as first aid, assertiveness, entrepreneurial skills, teamwork, and more.
The sessions are planned and delivered by volunteers from Canada and Kenya. As well, some students who have developed an appropriate business plan at the workshop are given micro-loans to begin a small business during the school vacation.
Many of these are businesses that a family member can take over when the student returns to school, benefitting the parents and siblings longer term.
Some of the plans include buying ground nuts to sell in a local market, buying and raising chickens for eggs to sell, purchasing seeds to plant and raise vegetables for sale and to improve the family’s diet. The loans are repayable, with a modest interest, which allows more students to receive micro-loans at the next Life Skills workshop.
Please consider supporting Penner’s efforts with a donation to KEEF.
“No amount is too small to be of help. Tax-deductible donations are available for all gifts,” she says.
Cheques, payable to KEEF, can be mailed to KEEF c/o #904 -2135 Argyle Ave. West Vancouver V7V 1A5; e-transfers may be sent to email@example.com or visit www.kenyaeducation.org for other options. Please note on your gift that it is for Penner’s Sun Run.