2018 Impact Report

Dear Friends,

Picture our 2018 eighth-grade graduation: Parents beaming with pride. Government officials recognizing the school’s accomplishments. Younger brothers and sisters (wearing their own school uniforms) dreaming of their future ceremonies.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the same scene at every local school. In the Kilgoris area, 60 percent of students at government primary schools fail to qualify for high school. I’m proud to share that not only did 100 percent of TKP graduates pass their high school entry exam, they are also all attending high school!

Your investment in these students shines like their bright red graduation gowns. From preschool crayons, to Kindles in primary school, to high school prep in eighth grade—you’ve come alongside these students the whole way. Your sacrificial giving, love and prayers continue to build the TKP community and the 1,300 children we serve. Here are a few highlights from 2018:

TOP GRADUATE EARNS FULL SCHOLARSHIP: TKP’s top eighth grade graduate, Joshua Kukutia, scored in the top one percent of all students in Kenya on the country’s high school entrance exam.
His exceptional performance earned him high school and university scholarships worth $8,800 USD. He now attends Nairobi’s elite Alliance High School, with plans to attend university upon graduation.

NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL: Many in Kilgoris struggle to provide adequate food and nutrition for their families, which often include orphans and extended family members. Students return from month-long school breaks sick and undernourished. In 2018, in addition to providing breakfast, lunch and clean water for all of our students, we’ve expanded our nutritional offering. Orphans and food-insecure students now receive food care packages over school holidays. This eases the burden on families, while also keeping children healthy and ready to return to class.

VISION-SAVING SURGERY FOR TWO STUDENTS: Thanks to well-medical checks for all students, Student Health Officer, Amos Leperes, identified severe vision problems in two siblings at Oltikampu Primary School. His early detection and case management led to vision-saving surgery for both students. They are now thriving in school.

INVESTMENT IN IN-COUNTRY INCOME SOURCE:
To ensure our long-term sustainability, we continue to invest in our social businesses and in-country revenue generating projects. Our Sere and Kumea Mizizi Farms continue to grow food and crop trees and our tractor plowing and hauling service contracts with local farmers. In 2018, we added a new seedling nursery for Eucalyptus trees, and we built a new home for our farmer, Douglas Khayara, on Sere Farm, where 30 acres of trees will be planted in the coming years.

Like our shining graduation celebration, all of this, and the hundreds of other life-changing moments that happen in our schools every year, would not be possible without you—our donors, volunteers, board members, advisors and staff. Read on to learn more about the exceptional impact of your generous gifts in 2018.

Thank you for continued support and faithful partnership. Read the full 2018 Impact Report to see how we stewarded your generous gifts in 2018.

Caren McNelly McCormack

President and Co-Founder The Kilgoris Project

Oloturot Expands With New Well and Classroom Building

Picture this… 30 preschoolers sitting below a giant tree signing joyful songs in Swahili, clapping to the ABCs, and of course some good old rowdiness. Behind this scene were parents who wanted a safe and nearby school for their children. The tree and a couple of teachers served them well.

 Five years ago this was Oloturot—a beautiful community within Kilgoris.

 Fast-forward to today and Oloturot has not only become part of the TKP community, but there is a thriving school, new buildings, and a well for this community. TKP began our partnership at Oloturot by hiring a few teachers and providing daily meals for the students, then added a church/multi-purpose building. Now, the 77 students and their teachers get to kick-off 2019 with a new classroom building and a fresh-water well equipped with a solar pump.

 “Despite Oloturot being only five years old, we have had thriving community support and great partners since the beginning,” said Suzie McNelly, TKP’s Director of Education. “Every day we see education being valued in this community. Parents now joyfully send their children to preschool and primary school at the right ages so they can continue to build a foundation for a strong education and future.”

 Special thanks to several generous donors who have help fund the expansion of Oloturot. The entire community now benefits from now only the educational resources for their children, but from the church building and reliable access to clean water.

Friends of TKP joined for the ceremonial opening of the well at Oloturot in February.

Friends of TKP joined for the ceremonial opening of the well at Oloturot in February.

100 Percent of TKP Graduates Attending High School

Freshly pressed high school uniforms…big smiles…proud families. These were all on display as TKP’s 66 2018 primary school graduates recently celebrated their teachers and their 100 percent high school acceptance rate.

In a community where 60 percent of students at government schools fail to qualify for high school, TKP once again sent all graduates to high school. The dedication of TKP’s eighth graders, the perseverance of their teachers, and the commitment of their parents is evident across TKP’s campuses. Over the last two years, 95 percent of all TKP students scored above the national average on the Kenyan high school entrance exam—including another standout this year.

Students and teachers gather to celebrate the new graduates.

Students and teachers gather to celebrate the new graduates.

Included in the 66 new graduates is Joshua Kukutia who scored in the top one percent of all Kenyan students and earned Equity Bank’s “Wings to Fly Scholarship”. The scholarship is awarded to the top 1,000 students in Kenya and will pay for his high school and university education. Joshua is now enrolled in Nairobi’s elite Alliance High School with plans to attend university.

 “It’s amazing to see our children grow from preschool to eighth grade,” said Sabina Lenkarie, Education Officer for TKP, “It brings great change to the community when our children pass well and join great high schools and universities all over Kenya.”

 Thanks to a new scholarship pool, all TKP students who are orphans are granted a scholarship for four years of high school, and most first year costs are covered for the rest of the graduating class. This new scholarship pool, along with a TKP graduation gift, creates a bridge for parents to continue saving for high school, while easing their financial burden.

TKP’s strong foundation of primary school education and getting students into school at the right age (many graduates have been with TKP since preschool) is setting a new standard of education in the Kilgoris community. Our expanded community of donors continues to make real impact through education and opportunities in Kilgoris and beyond.

Graduates line up outside of school wearing their new uniforms.

Graduates line up outside of school wearing their new uniforms.

2017 Impact Report

 Dear Friends,

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What a year! As we look back to 2017, it’s easy to see the many fruits of your generosity in the students and communities of The Kilgoris Project. Together we’ve planted seeds and tended the orchard over the last 15 years. Now we can enjoy the bumper crop.

Just look at our eighth-grade graduates excelling on their exams and looking toward a future filled with possibility. Take our preschoolers nourished, not only by two meals a day, but also by loving teachers who pour into them in the classroom. View our expanded campuses—adding grades for the youngest students to continue into a TKP primary school and adding a new rural campus to bring preschool to a community for the first time.

Your gifts, love and prayers continue to strengthen TKP and the 1,300 children we now serve. Here are a few highlights:

CAMPUS DEVELOPMENT: TKP opened teacher housing for up to 20 teachers on the Oltikampu campus. The ability to attract highly qualified teachers to this remote community changes the game for this growing campus. We also welcomed students to the new Oloilale Preschool—the first school in a remote area on the edge of Kilgoris.

SHINING GRADUATES: TKP’s graduating 8th grade class at Intimigom Primary School excelled on the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) Exam, the only ticket to enter high school in Kenya. While 61% of local area primary schools failed to prepare their students to pass the KCPE, all TKP students passed and qualified for high school. Intimigom’s top student, Damaris Kimoni scored in the top 1% of all of Kenyans. She earned both high school and college scholarships, opening many doors for her future.

EXPANDING OUR EXCEPTIONAL TEAM: Thanks to your generosity, we continue to invest in our staff. In 2017 we promoted two internal employees to the management level—one to manage our growing tree farms and plowing and hauling business, and the other to serve as the Assistant Education Officer, overseeing half of our campuses.

CREATING SUSTAINABLE, IN-COUNTRY INCOME SOURCES: TKP continues to invest in projects to generate sustainable, in-country income. In 2017, we purchased a tractor and trailer, launching a plow and hauling business in Kilgoris. The business not only earns money, it also saves TKP money for our construction projects. Along with our two tree farms, this revenue stream will increase year-on-year. We’ll reinvest all business profits directly back into the schools.

We could go on and on showing you more great fruit made possible by our donors, board members, staff, volunteers, advisors and the many others in the TKP family. This is just a small peek.

Click here to download a PDF of the 2017 Impact Report and read about the tremendous impact you've made.

Thank you for continued support and faithful partnership.

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Caren McNelly McCormack
President and Co-Founder
The Kilgoris Project

Bringing a Love of Learning to TKP Classrooms

From a young age, Jesca Kukutia Naeku knew she wanted to be a teacher and found a passion early on for working with children who needed a little extra help in the classroom. Since 2016, Jesca has brought that passion for children and learning to TKP’s Intimigom Primary School as the school’s first dedicated remediation teacher. 

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In her role, she guides primary school students in subjects like reading and math and also helps them build important classroom skills, including listening and following directions. Each day, Jesca pulls out small groups of students or individuals for the one-on-one attention they need to excel in the classroom. 

“Seeing all of our students grow, especially those who need extra help, is the best part of teaching,” says Jesca. “I love seeing my students get the attention they need, catch up to their classmates, and then rejoin their peers in the classroom.”

In 2017, 86 students began the school year getting extra help from Jesca and by the end of the year, just 12 remained in the remediation program. Jesca works with her students, but also the teachers to ensure that all students continue to improve at their own pace, while meeting grade-level expectations. Her ongoing collaboration with the classroom teachers helps them to implement teaching and learning strategies that can benefit all students in a classroom setting. 

“A dedicated remediation teacher is unique to Intimigom—it is not common in this community,” explains Sabina Lenkarie, Education Officer for TKP. “With Jesca’s guidance and patience, we are seeing our learners catch up with other students in their class. Having her on our team has reduced the number of students who repeat a grade, which is a common cause for children dropping out of school in Kilgoris.”

TKP seeks to get students into school the right age, and keep them there. Through Jesca’s dedication to students and partnership with Intimigom teachers, all students are growing and learning in a supportive classroom environment.