Back-to-School With TKP

Check out our friends at Intimigom Primary School. This video gives a little glimpse into the teachers, students and parents who call this campus "home." As you can see and hear, they send their thanks and appreciation your way!

It's Back-to-School season in the U.S. and that means our amazing TKP partners are generously funding classrooms for 1,200 TKP students. RIGHT NOW every dollar you invest in this campaign is instantly doubled. Your impact on students in Kenya is doubled. Will you join us? $2,700 funds a classroom for an entire year! That's salary and benefits for a teacher, school supplies and books. Here's some more numbers:

  • Your $25 gift sends one preschooler and one primary school student to school for three months!
  • Your $100 investment pays a teacher's salary for one month in Kilgoris!
  • Your $250 donation pays for student leadership training (similar to student council) at one of our primary schools!

Join us today and your donation and IMPACT are instantly doubled.

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What an Impact You've Made!

From bricks to brighter futures... Introducing The Kilgoris Project's 2016 Impact Report. 

If you could zoom in tightly on this year’s Impact Report, you’d hover over the many gifts you’ve given: bags of ground maize for school lunches, test prep books for the national 8th-grade exam, monthly salaries for teacher Irene and janitor Joseph, jars of pediatric deworming pills, trailer loads of bricks for new classrooms, and rows of eucalyptus seedlings. Your donations continue to build transformative futures for children in Kenya.

When you zoomed out, you’d see how these gifts blossomed into a patchwork of growth areas. These efforts and many others will continue to nurture our students and their communities for years to come.

Campus development—TKP and the Ololturot community, partnered with Live Oak Community Church and the Van Elderen Family Foundation to build a multipurpose building that will be used as both a preschool and church. It’s the first building on the site. This community continues to impress me with their commitment to their children’s education. Look for more growth in late 2017 as we continue to develop the Ololturot campus.

• Sustainability investment—With a grant from The Paperseed Foundation and key donor gifts, we purchased 33 acres of land to expand our tree farming. Over the next ten years, we will grow and harvest eucalyptus trees, which are in high demand throughout Kenya. The proceeds will help fund TKP school operations, helping us realize a growing, sustainable, in-country income.

• Water infrastructure—Several California donor families pooled funds to bring a well to the Oltikampu community, where more than 300 children attend TKP’s preschool and primary school. Drought has severely hampered this isolated village, bringing with it the serious health problems that a lack of clean water creates.

• Model graduates—Perhaps the highlight of the year was seeing the success of our first class of 8th-grade graduates. These students exceeded our expectations and all other local performers on the national exam. They provided both a proof of concept for our holistic educational model and a shining example for all the classes below them.

We’ve highlighted just a few of the hundreds of 2016 accomplishments made possible by our many volunteers, donors, advisors, travelers and friends. Thank you for your faithful partnership in 2016. Scroll down or download a PDF of our 2016 Impact Report to learn more about your impact.

With gratitude,

Caren McNelly McCormack
President and Co-founder
The Kilgoris Project

 

 

Update: Life-Saving Heart Surgery for TKP Student

The connection started with a simple “hello” between exhausted travelers on a midnight flight from Nairobi.  It ended with big smiles, exchanging contact information, and the joy in knowing a five-year-old boy in rural Kenya received the medical treatment he needed.

In early 2016, Solomon Kishoyian, a five-year-old preschooler at The Kilgoris Project’s Nentekeny Preschool was diagnosed with a heart murmur caused by a hole in his heart. TKP’s Student Health Officer referred Solomon and his family to a well-respected regional hospital for further evaluation and treatment. (Read more about the first part of this story on TKP’s website.) Soon, the family began raising money (approximately $2,500 USD) and planning for the life-saving surgery.

Over the next year the surgery was delayed or rescheduled several times because of financial constraints and hospital and doctor scheduling. Thankfully, Solomon’s condition was serious, but not life-threating at the time, so the family had the time they needed to raise funds and find a hospital that could perform the surgery. During this uncertain time, the family was referred to M.P. Shah Hospital in Nairobi and the non-profit organization, MEAK (Medical and Educational Aid to Kenya.) They were able to schedule the surgery with visiting surgeons from MEAK who donate their time and talents, so that families in Kenya can receive the treatments they need at no cost.

Solomon and his family traveled to Nairobi in January 2017, and a group of doctors from MEAK successfully corrected the hole in his heart valve. His strong body and resilient heart rested and recovered for a few days in Nairobi, while the doctors from MEAK continued their two-week trip and round-the-clock procedures for families in need.

Solomon’s story, TKP and MEAK intersected again, this time on a late-night flight from Nairobi to London. Vera Thompson, TKP’s Director of Student Health and Christine Hartter, TKP’s Director of Communications were headed back to the U.S. from Kilgoris and Dr. James Wong, a Pediatric Cardiologist from MEAK was headed home to London. A quick hello and exchange soon revealed that Dr. Wong had been part of the team who operated on a young boy named Solomon from rural Kenya. A few details later, the group connected the fact that the patient named Solomon was the student from TKP’s Nentekeny Preschool!

  The surgery team from MEAK with Solomon prior to surgery to correct his heart valve. Dr. James Wong is 3rd from the right.

The surgery team from MEAK with Solomon prior to surgery to correct his heart valve. Dr. James Wong is 3rd from the right.

   Alexandra Savis from MEAK with Solomon and his family in Nairobi.

Alexandra Savis from MEAK with Solomon and his family in Nairobi.

“I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for all of the events leading up to Solomon’s successful surgery in Nairobi,” said Vera. “From our Student Health Officer diagnosing the problem, to his family getting him the care he needed in Nairobi, to MEAK’s role. We couldn’t have asked for better care for one of our kids.”

Solomon’s parents report that he has made a full recovery and is doing well. He has great energy and still loves school and playing with his friends. To learn more about MEAK and the life-changing work they do in Kenya, visit www.meak.org

 

  Amos Leperes, TKP's Student Health Officer and Solomon in March 2017.

Amos Leperes, TKP's Student Health Officer and Solomon in March 2017.

A Pot of Thanks

By Caren McCormack, President & Co-founder, The Kilgoris Project

At first the gift appeared to be a tub of lard. (I’ve been given stranger things.) The group urged me to open the container. Dark honey with pieces of honey comb floated inside. One of the Oloilale community leaders smiled; he had scooped this from his hives that morning. The group—three leaders and one teacher—had walked two hours to our Nentekeny campus to say thank you for their new school. 

“We are happy for your help, and our kids are happy to receive porridge,” the beekeeper said. 

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Over the last three years, I had sat in the same room with a similar group of Oloilale leaders three times. At each meeting they asked for a school. At each meeting I responded that we could all pray about the need. It’s hard not to be able to say “Yes” to each request. But it is wonderful to sit together when we have finally been able to bring a school to a new site.

Thanks from our communities always humbles me. First, I often get credit for the work of many. I hope I am always quick to point out that I’m not alone and pass the kudos along to those who deserve them.  Second, I see the results of our work on real lives—how a little money makes a big impact. 

This year, it will cost us about $5k to feed the 105 students of Oloilale Preschool two meals per day and about $4k to pay their teachers. This modest investment will create healthier kids who will be ready for primary school in a few years. 

Our work is like that beekeeper tending his hives with a little direction here and a little feeding there. In the end, he gets a pot of gold. So does the community and TKP.