The Baobab Kindergarten was opened in September 2014 and has been a huge success in taking the poorest local children and laying the foundation stones of their education and instilling a love of school that they can hopefully continue.
When they leave us at six years of age, they have the opportunity of going into the Kenyan state system where Primary school is mandatory. Unfortunately, most if not all Kenyan public schools are incredibly overcrowded and understaffed.
Although in essence the primary public schools are free, the families must supply uniforms, workbooks, supplies and transportation - a cost that is often too high for many of those leaving us. Without support, many of our children eventually drop out of the system and will miss out on their education for this reason.
Over the years we have been trying to address this problem by attempting to find sponsors for the brightest and most hard-working pupils. This has enabled us to find them a place in The St Phillips Academy which is a very good local fee-paying primary. A well run school where the fees are reasonable and the classes are smaller, allowing our students to receive a quality education.
By early 2022 our efforts have resulted in us having fourteen brilliant, hard working sponsored children ranging from 6 to 18 years of age and all flourishing and excelling.
We have continuously monitored their progress and attempted to keep them connected to ensure they help and mentor each other as much as possible on their journey. With that in mind we had the idea that we would create an identity and really focus on this collective effort to ensure this education could come full circle and improve the situation moving forwards for these wonderful families.
And so ‘The Baobab Seniors’ is born – An identity for the sponsored children who will be led by our two eldest Simon and Julianne. Both of whom are currently studying at Starehe boys and girls schools in Nairobi.
Simon and Julianne produce a newsletter three times per year and this gives an update on the progress of the group. They also meet regularly and assist each other as much as possible.
All of the Baobab Seniors are thriving at school, with most achieving the top position in their class term after term. They all have high aspirations for the future and we hope that the Baobab Senior group will act as a support network for one another.
The importance of education to the future of these children cannot be overstated. Equipped with an education, these children have the potential to make a real difference within their community and change the direction of their future. Ultimately, they are provided with the tools to give back.
We have included a short introduction of each sponsored child below. We hope that their numbers will grow and their stories will develop as this next chapter of the Baobab evolves. If sponsorship is something that you might be interested in please do get in touch.
Simon began at The Baobab School when we were still in the cowshed. We sponsored his education at St Philips School, where he worked very hard and performed outstandingly in his KCSE exams, earning him a place at Starehe School for Boys. After he completes his schooling there he hopes to go to university to study engineering.
Julianne was at The Baobab School with us before joining the sponsorship programme at St Philips. After doing extremely well in her KCSE exams she gained a place at Starehe Schol for Girls - a boarding school for underprivileged children.
Mercy finished 3 years with us at The Baobab and is now at St Philips School. She is always happy and very friendly. She works hard and always tries to achieve great marks in her studies.
Janet joined St Philips School in 2015. She works very hard at school and also loves her extra-curricula activities.
Travis started at The Baobab at the age of 3 and immediately we started noticing that he was special in terms of his understanding and the way he was behaving. He is quite shy and does not say much but he is doing exceedingly well at St Phillips school.
Ann also started with us at the age of 3 in the same year as Travis but unlike Travis she is very talkative! She smiles a lot and is very friendly. She is brilliant and very competitive, always aiming to be the number 1 in her class. She loves perfection and that’s what she acheives. She is the younger sister of Julianne and hopes to follow in her footsteps by going to Starehe School.
Josephine started at St Philips School in 2020 and she is very happy there. She loves all of her teachers and new friends that she has made. She is full of energy and works hard at her studies.
Graham joined St Philips in 2020. He loves English and Maths and playing football in his break time. He told us that when he is older he would like to be a pilot.
Blessing joined St Philips in 2021. She is really intelligent and always eager to learn. Her grandmother tells us that she teaches the other children in the neighbourhood what she learns at school.
James started at St Philips in 2021, alongside Blessing. He is very kind, jovial and hard working at school.