Back to School Kenya Style: Education Helping Build Self-esteem for Elimu’s Children in Kenya

| September 12, 2014 | 10 Comments

upendo kids at desks writing n

It’s back to school in Canada and at ‘home’ in Kenya for Nina Chung, where the founder of Elimu (Canada) supports kids’ education projects. While you may be scrambling for last minute school supplies – Nina has to oversee getting together school fees, uniforms, back packs and school supplies for 15+ children in her charge at Elimu’s Nyumbani Kwetu Home for Children.

Nina didn’t set off for Kenya ten years ago with a grand plan to establish a charity.  As a Canadian from Ottawa, she arrived on a two-year volunteer posting.  She fell in love with the people and a belief that with knowledge all things become possible. With time she eventually founded Elimu, a charity whose name means education in Swahili, with the goal of helping brighten futures in Kenya through education.

At the vocational school where Nina first started volunteering, she witnessed many students dropping out when parents couldn’t pay tuition fees. With the help of friends and family, she was able to sponsor 30 students to complete their courses. During that time, she also met a grandmother left alone to care for several of her grandchildren. More and more kids were left with the grandmother who had no way to cope, and the kids were not in school. Nina got involved by helping two boys, aged 4 and 6 with kindergarten fees. Though she didn’t realize it at that time, this was the first of many important steps leading to the establishment of Elimu.

Kenya Safari 057 (Small)

In 2006, the grandmother with 7 children, was to be thrown out her rental home. Nina decided to take on the family as a whole. She began managing her sponsorship of the children and their grandmother as a children’s home. Just four years later in 2010 there were 14 children ranging in age from 4 -15. With the goal of making her support sustainable in the long term she began the process towards establishing a charitable organization.

In 2012, Elimu became an official charitable organization in Canada. PR Advisor to Elimu’s Board of Directors, Sue Stoltz explains, “Elimu has so many well thought out and tangible outcomes. It is such a thrill to see it all come together through an outpouring of local and global generosity.  Upendo School, built with Elimu support for a village community, is a bright learning space for over 100 kids (previously they had been in a leaky and cramped mud hut). The school was built by with funds raised via generous supporters especially partners Global Child Care Services.  From 2011 to 2013, there were bake sales, lemonade stands, car washes and literally hundreds of other activities to raise money for the project. Most recently Elimu’s 2nd annual Charity BBQ with M&M Meat Shop in Manotick (shout out to the gang on the grill!) raised over $2,000 on July 12th.

Nina and Suzanne

Nina and Suzanne

At Elimu everyone involved in management is a volunteer and donates their skills and energy. This way 100% of proceeds can currently go where they are needed most.  Elimu’s “office” is a virtual set up run from home offices where basic correspondence for tax receipts and thank you notes are handled. Administrative expenses are covered by the founder so that all donors’ dollars go direct to projects. It is a grassroots organization that works by building meaningful relationships the kids, their teachers, and parents in the community.

At Elimu we have watched children grow in self-esteem and confidence. Some who were failing at school when we first got involved are now setting their sights on college and university. Our challenge is to continue to fund these young people through their high school and post-secondary education”, says Nina Chung.

Today Elimu runs four education-based projects: a sponsored family home for children; a new school sponsorship project to help children at risk stay in school; a sewing project which helps young women start their own sewing business and, the newly completed Upendo Nursery School project (completed in 2013). For more details visit their website for the summer newsletter.

For more information, do make a donation or just help us tell others – please share the links below:  www.elimu.ca.

Follow Elimu on Facebook   Follow us @ElimuCanada on Twitter – we’ve doubled our followers in 2 months and want to do the same again! Tell your friends.

Check out this awesome write-up in the Ottawa City Metro online from July 2014 http://metronews.ca/news/ottawa/1089835/ottawa-development-organization-grilling-up-grub-to-help-kenyans-stay-in-school/

Tax receipts offered for donations of $20 or more in Canada.  Donations can be made with one click online via CanadaHelps or by cheque. 

For questions: Nina@elimu.ca  

 NEW CHILDREN’S BOOK TO BRING PUMPKIN PATCH TO KENYA!

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Canadian Author (Ottawa) Suzanne Stoltz (PR Advisor to Elimu) is publishing her second children’s book “Sophie the Pumpkin Patch Fairy” with Ottawa-based Baico this fall!  Her first book www.fiveloons.ca sold over 500 copies in Canada, England, Australia, and helped teach kids in Kenya to read!

Be one of the first in town to get your new copy (being printed end of Sept). Just in time for pumpkin season!  Please email orders to : stoltzcomm@gmail.com

$10 for 10: Ottawa Mommy Club promo only

The first 10 people to email orders will get a personally autographed copy for just $10 (it will retail for more on Chapters/Indigo online and in stores).  Bulk orders will also be accepted at same discounted rate.

Sophie the Pumpkin Patch Fairy Book Sale: Sept 1-10th *limited promotion $10/ book special.  *The more we sell at this rate the more I can send to Kenya for the children at the nursery school and the children’s home.  I anticipate shipping to be approx. 100 for 10 books.

Please Email pre-orders and # of books requested to: stoltzcomm@gmail.com   with Sophie Book for Kenya in title (indicate if want autograph to someone special)

Follow our new Sophie’s new Pumpkin Patch FB page  – kids are encouraged to draw their own ‘Sophie’ and submit it.

Written by Suzanne Stoltz

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Back to School, Education, Family, Kids, Living, Non-Profit, Themes

Comments (10)

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  1. Louise says:

    What a great success story – it sounds like a wonderful organization.

  2. Judy Cowan says:

    What a great story! What started out as something small has definitely turned into a major accomplishment. The book looks really cute.

    • Sue Stoltz says:

      Thanks for your kind words!

      I am the volunteer PR Advisor and also happen to be author of the new book 🙂 i

      if you would like more information on elimu’s great projects and how it works email me stoltzcomm@gmail.com.

      If you’d like to be one of the first to get the book email me for the $10 deal. It is being printed this week!

      Or email the founder Nina directly nina@elimu.ca

      Sue Stoltz 🙂

      • sue stoltz says:

        Thanks for your comments and compliments! If you’d be interested the book is now available for sale at $10 with $1 going to elimu projects.
        please send your email to stoltzcomm@gmail.com and I’ll autograph the book. To find out more about Elimu and be added to our email list for updates send a note to me and mention you saw it here! 🙂
        sue PR Advisor and author of Sophie the Pumpkin Patch fairy (google Sophie the Pumpkin Patch Fairy to see her FB page! )

        sue Stoltz –

    • sue stoltz says:

      Thanks for your comments and compliments! If you’d be interested the book is now available for sale at $10 with $1 going to elimu projects.
      please send your email to stoltzcomm@gmail.com and I’ll autograph the book. To find out more about Elimu and be added to our email list for updates send a note to me and mention you saw it here! 🙂
      sue PR Advisor and author of Sophie the Pumpkin Patch fairy (google Sophie the Pumpkin Patch Fairy to see her FB page! )

      sue Stoltz –

  3. Victoria Ess says:

    This sounds like a great organization that really helps empower individuals. I will definitely look more into it.

  4. kathy downey says:

    I am touched what an amazing organization.Thanks so much for sharing with us.

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