Kenya Education Endowment Fund
Kakamega County and its major town of Kakamega are in western Kenya, only a few kilometres from the Equator. This area of Kenya is beautiful, fertile, and much of the population is desperately poor. A majority of people live by subsistence farming which often does not provide enough food for the average family.
Much of Kenya's territory is arid or semi-arid, making it difficult to become self-sufficient in food production. Cycles of severe floods and droughts also impact its food security.
Approximately half of Kenya's population is under 19 years of age. This high dependency ratio puts tremendous strain on the country's health care and educational programs.
The expenses of secondary school are beyond the means of many families, but with education and confidence the bright young people that KEEF supports tend to become leaders in their communities.
Secondary schools in Kenya include Forms 1 to 4, equivalent to our Grades 9 to 12. Tuition fees must be paid and all supplies must be provided. Most KEEF students attend boarding schools to maximize their educational opportunities, so school supplies include uniforms as well as a mattress, bedding, washing equipment and more. Students also need to buy text books and calculators.
Without financial assistance, most of the students selected for KEEF scholarships would not continue to attend school.
Our criteria for student selection are residency in Kakamega County, student need, and a sufficiently high academic record. The KEEF board regularly reviews the minimum exam scores required to be considered for a scholarship.
Secondary school students in Kenya write a country-wide examination in November at the end of Standard 8 (Grade 8), and their marks are available in December. Students bring their marks to the KEEF office to complete an application for a KEEF scholarship.
If students meet our criteria, they have a personal interview with KEEF Canada representatives. Also, visits are made to the students' villages to verify economic need.
The number of students selected will depend on the number of sponsors available in any given year. In 2018 we supported 126 secondary and 37 post secondary students.
Students must maintain good grades to retain their scholarships.
Meet the KEEF board
Board ChairAlinda is a retired teacher who was also active in her Belcarra community. She was a member of the Sasamat Volunteer Fire Department where she served as training officer and first responder instructor. She moved to Vancouver Island after retiring and since 1998 has spent 6 months a year in Kenya. This has enabled her to witness the difference that scholarships have made in the lives of students, their families and their communities.
Past chairDick was a Vice President of Human Resources for a national paint manufacturer. He is passionate about education, and has taught at a number of colleges. He has volunteered his time to many organizations over the years, including a non-profit day care and non-profit recycling organization. Growing up, his family sponsored a number of children overseas and now Dick is proud to sponsor students and encourages family and friends to do the same through KEEF.
Director at LargeShelagh is a retired social worker and community college instructor living in Burnaby B.C. She has been involved as a sponsor of high school and post-secondary students in Western Kenya since 1998. In 2006, she spent a memorable three weeks in Kenya and had the opportunity to meet sponsored students, including one she had assisted. This made her even more aware of the value of the work of educational charities such as KEEF.
Director at LargeSally has lived rurally in Merville, Vancouver Island, BC, on and off for the past 36 years. She retired from teaching as an Adult Basic Education instructor at Vancouver Community College and North Island College several years ago, and now works seasonally as a gardener and pruner. Sally is active as a member of the Merville Grand Mothers, Grandmother to Grandmother Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. She is also on the board of the Watershed Sentinel magazine. Sally has volunteered 4 times in Kakamega, with CHES (Canadian Harambee Education Society) in 2006, and KEEF in 2010, 2012 and 2016. Sally joined the KEEF Board in 2018 and is delighted to support this important work of educating young women and men in the Kakamega region of Kenya.
Director at LargePeg is a retired teacher and Consultant in Native Student Education. She was a resource teacher and author of Language Arts for Native Students, BC Ministry of Education 1980. She served as a volunteer in Kakamega Kenya, for the Canadian Harambee Education Society in 1990, and for the African Canadian Continuing Education Society in 1994 and 1997.
Director at LargeSusan taught at Capilano University in the ESL and Communications Departments. She also taught business courses in several cities in mainland China for eight years. She is a BC Teachers of English as an Additional Language (TEAL) board member and a member of Review Vancouver, a group that writes reviews for events around Vancouver. Susan is pleased to be a part of KEEF and looks forward to working with the other members in providing assistance to students in Kenya.
Director at LargeDon was a teacher and principal in several elementary schools in Prince George, all with a focus on community education and community schools. In 1989 he moved to Denman Island and was the principal of Hornby Island Community School until retirement. After retiring, Don and Wendy fulfilled a lifelong interest in working overseas, with volunteer work in the Caribbean over two summers and in Kenya as CHES agents in 2006 and 2011. Don has served on the KEEF board since 2010.
Director at LargeJanice worked as the Head of Human Resources for the Governor General in Ottawa for many years, and then partnered with her brother Blair to provide Financial and Estate Planning services in Vancouver. She is now retired and enjoys having much more time to devote to Fundraising for KEEF, including encouraging her sister (Dr. Brenda Trenholme) to do a bicycle “Ride for KEEF” from Cairo to Cape Town! Having benefitted much as a young person from scholarship programs (France and Turkey), Janice is passionate about giving back to our students in Kenya.
KEEF Office Administrator in Kakamega, Kenya
Director at LargeSarah is a recent graduate from UBC’s Sauder School of Business and is passionate about social justice and access to education. After spending four months traveling throughout Asia in 2018, she was inspired to maintain her connection with the global community and thus became involved with KEEF. Moving forward, Sarah hopes to attend law school where she can continue to advocate for vulnerable populations locally and worldwide. Sarah fundamentally believes in KEEF’s purpose and is grateful to be involved with the organization.