Kenya Education Endowment Fund

Thumbnail for 2018 Brenda Rides Again!

2018 Brenda Rides Again!

Dr. Brenda Trenholme, sister of KEEF Board member Janice, started off May 12, 2018 on a 13,000 km cycling trip from China to Turkey. The Tour d’Afrique team completed this incredible 5 month journey as scheduled on October 3. Brenda's fund raising goal is the same as her 2016 Tour d'Afrique trip - to raise $20,000 toward the education of KEEF students. Watch for announcements of Brenda’s slide presentations in the coming months.

Follow Brenda's blog

Watch the video

Thumbnail for 2017: GC4C project a big succcess

2017: GC4C project a big succcess

With GC4C's funding and KEEF management, the kitchen and latrines at Mukango Primary School were significantly upgraded, greatly improving health and sanitation.

Thumbnail for 2017 Virtual Concert links

2017 Virtual Concert links

This has been a major annual fund raising event. It is our direct appeal to donate to KEEF and to enjoy a “Virtual Concert” -- music of your own choosing, at a time that best suits you.

Here are our archived links for 2017:

Here are our archived links for the 2016 Virtual Concert:

Thank you for your interest and support of KEEF. We have postponed our 2018 virtual concert until 2019 - please stay tuned!

Thumbnail for 2016: A new KEEF Tust Fund - The Alinda Ware Post Secondary Bursary Fund

2016: A new KEEF Tust Fund - The Alinda Ware Post Secondary Bursary Fund

Alinda Ware has lived about half of the year in Kakamega, Kenya for the past 18 years, volunteering for several charitable organizations in support of secondary and post secondary Kenyan students. She helped to establish KEEF in 2004 and for many years, KEEF has benefitted from her efforts and expertise.

When visiting friends in Whistler recently, she was offered a donation of $10,000 to support her work in Africa. Alinda's first thought was to direct the donation to KEEF and to set up a trust fund to provide bursaries to bright students who could not attend post secondary without some assistance. The KEEF Board agreed, and we have set up the new fund under the umbrella of the Vancouver Foundation.

The new Alinda Ware Post Secondary Bursary Fund is expected to grow through donations and the earnings will provide bursaries for many years to come. Thank you Alinda, and thank you to this generous donor!

Thumbnail for 2016: Brenda's Ride - An Extraordinary Cycling Adventure in Support of KEEF - Cairo to Cape Town

2016: Brenda's Ride - An Extraordinary Cycling Adventure in Support of KEEF - Cairo to Cape Town

View poster   Read Brenda's Blog
 

From January 15 until May 14, 2016, Dr. Brenda Trenholme rode her bicycle over 12,000 km with Tour d’Afrique from Cairo, Egypt to Cape Town, South Africa.

In doing this, Brenda raised funds for KEEF, the Kenya Education Endowment Fund, and stated "Our support profoundly alters the lives of students, their families and often their communities. My goal for 2016 is to raise $20,000 for this worthy cause, and - 100% of money donated goes to the children."                        

Donations are still welcome!

Thumbnail for KEEF AGM 2016 - an invitation

KEEF AGM 2016 - an invitation

The 2016 KEEF Annual General Meeting was held on Sunday, Sept. 25 at Delbrook Community Recreation Centre in North Vancouver. We are pleased to report that all but one board member (Anisa Kassam) has returned for another year. Thank you, Anisa, for your contributions to KEEF!
Our board members are all volunteers and we welcome new members, particularly with skills such as marketing, fund raising and  social media. Please give us a call if you are interested.​​​

Photo at left: KEEF Board Sept 2016. From left: Dick Glassford, Janice Trenholme, Susan Peake, Alinda Ware, Don Reimer, Peg Klesner. (Shelagh Armour-Godbolt missing).

Thumbnail for 2015: Remembering Marie Mackay

2015: Remembering Marie Mackay

Marie's many years of volunteering in Kenya sadly came to an end in 2015, and she passed away on July 16. One of the many tributes to Marie was written by Victor Alutseshe, a third year nursing student who was the first recipient of a scholarship provided through KEEF by the Canadian Nurses for Africa.


Victor wrote:

I always look forward to this day and work hard every day knowing that my efforts will be rewarded during the Marie MacKay Prize Giving Day [at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology.] To this day, the name Marie MacKay means a lot to me as it reminds me of the two certificates I have that I have received for my first and second year performance. Though I never got a chance to meet Marie MacKay (R.I.P), her name has become a source of motivation to me. She is a nurse that I definitely want to emulate.  [See our Jan. 2016 newsletter for more]

Jambo Grill 2015 a Great Success
KEEF extends a big "thank you" to all our supporters and donors who helped to make our second Jambo Grill in July a financial and social success. Over $6000 was raised through this event. The support of several businesses was especially valuable, and we particularly thank Nash at JamboGrill for generously hosting this luncheon again.

KEEF students enjoyed excellent workshops in November
Workshops this year were lead by many local graduates and supporters, along with KEEF board members Dick Glassford and Alinda Ware, and Dick's sister, Beth Gilman. All agreed that this year's workshops were a roaring success. Most of the facilitators are KEEF graduates, KEEF post-secondary students or Kenyan Board Members. Clearly, without the volunteer facilitators who spent hours developing lesson plans and delivering excellent presentations, the workshops would not have been so worthwhile.

Thumbnail for 2014: Jambo Grill Fund Raiser Big Success

2014: Jambo Grill Fund Raiser Big Success

We are pleased to report that on May 31st the East African Brunch at the Jambo Grill on Kingsway in Vancouverwas a great success. Eighty three people attended, generously donating $7800 to KEEF! We are hugely indebted to Anisa Kassam who was the key organizer, along with the restaurant owner, Nash, who kindly offered his restaurant for our event. We also acknowledge everyone who helped make the event a success, including SIR Printing and Copying, Leonard Smeltzer, Moneca Gabriel, and several KEEF Board members lead by Janice Trenholme and Dick Glassford.

A highlight of the buffet lunch was the presentation of a plaque to KEEF Board member Marie MacKay, in recognition of her work in Kenya for KEEF, but also for many other organizations. Marie has spent six months of each year for many years in Kenya volunteering for KEEF, CHES (Canadian Harambee Education Society), ACCES (African Canadian Continuing Education Society) and CES (Community Education Services Canada). As a retired nurse, with first hand experience of the HIV/AIDS crisis in Vancouver in the 1980s, Marie has presented student workshops in Kenya for all of the above organizations, as well as having worked with many Kenyans in health related activities.

Don Reimer 

Thumbnail for 2014: Form 4 Leavers Certificate Ceremony

2014: Form 4 Leavers Certificate Ceremony

On March 8 we invited the form 4 leavers to Sheywe Guest House for the awarding of the KEEF certificates. The results of the national exams were out. There were 23 KEEF Canada and 2 KEEF Kenya graduates. Of these, 22 received B- and above. One student received a clean A of 80 points.

The government has not released the points required for direct entry to university so everyone has to wait to see if they will be called to university. In Kenya you are a direct entry student with lower course and housing fees, or a self-sponsored student with much higher fees and no guaranteed housing on campus.

Marie and Alinda

Thumbnail for 2013: KEEF Endowment Fund Established

2013: KEEF Endowment Fund Established

When KEEF began as a non-profit society in 2004, the name was chosen with the hope that one day there would be a trust fund in place that would generate annual funds to support our mission. In the summer of 2013 the KEEF Board of Directors took action to make "Endowment" a reality.

We made contact with the Vancouver Foundation and learned we could become part of that organization with a capital investment of $10,000. Board members Marie MacKay and Peg Klesner-both members of Blue Shore Financial, a North Vancouver based credit union-opened an account to start accumulating donations. Marie and Peg did not expect this would be easy but they didn't count on the fund raising abilities of Board members Dick Glassford and Janice Trenholme. Within six months we had our $10,000 and more, and we have now established an endowment fund under the Vancouver Foundation.

Thumbnail for 2013: Water Project at Mwikhomo School for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired

2013: Water Project at Mwikhomo School for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired

When KEEF Board member Shelagh Armour-Godbolt visited Mwikhomo School for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, the Head Teacher identified several projects on the school's "wish list." We are pleased to report that Global Change for Children [GC4C] will be making one of those wishes come true by funding a project to upgrade the school's water storage tanks.

GC4C has worked through KEEF on several previous occasions - a library project at Bondeni Primary, and a new classroom at Mwiyala Secondary. Their most recent project was a new kitchen at Bondeni Primary, completed earlier this year.


Don Reimer 

Thumbnail for 2012: Global Change for Children - A Key Partner with KEEF

2012: Global Change for Children - A Key Partner with KEEF

We extend sincere thanks to Global Change for Children for adding to our abilities to help Kenyan students help themselves and their families. It is a local belief that each Kenyan student who is supported helps at least 100 other family members in their lifetime. We hope that GC4c is the first of many corporate sponsors that will assist KEEF to grow in its development work in Kenya. 

The generous support of Global Change for Children has included:

During 2010:

  • $12,325 for 2010 and a further donation of $6,000 which provided for the continuation of scholarships in 2011, 2012 and 2013;
  • Scholarships for four secondary school boys at $500 per year, totaling $2,000;
  • Textbooks for 11 courses for 50 students totaling $3,300;
  • A dictionary, atlas, math set and scientific calculator for each sponsored student totaling $1500;
  • Student workshops presented by past KEEF sponsored graduates to enhance life and study skills,
  • HIV/AIDS training and finances totaling $1500; andFurnishings and new storybooks for a library at Bondeni Primary School totaling $4,000.


During 2011:

  • Sponsored four new boys for their 4 years of secondary education;
  • Picked up partial sponsorship of four additional boys who lost their family funding due to the economic downturn;
  • Built a number of new tables, desks & chairs for Rosterman Primary School;
  • Purchased photo copier, computers & videos for Mwikhoma School for the hard of hearing;
  • Sponsored a 3-day life skills workshop for 90 boys; and
  • Purchased books, calculators and dictionaries for all boys taking the workshops and restocked the KEEF borrowing library.
     

For 2012: GC4C will provide additional funds in 2012, including sponsoring the Life Skills Workshops to be held in April.

Find out more about GC4c at www.gc4c.org

Don
Reimer

Thumbnail for 2012: Alinda Ware and Marie MacKay busy with student selection

2012: Alinda Ware and Marie MacKay busy with student selection

December and January are very hectic months in Kakamega. Fortunately KEEF Board members Alinda and Marie have been carrying on this work for many years, but they will tell you that each year is different. New students are interviewed and selected based on academic criteria and financial need. Then local Kenyans validate each student before scholarships or support funding is confirmed. Photos are taken, students write biographies, and sponsors are assigned.

The most distressing aspect of allocating scholarships is never having enough sponsors to assist all the deserving students who come for interviews. Over the past couple of years, but especially in 2011, inflation has been skyrocketing, so the need is greater than ever. The fees in many boarding schools now exceed the $500 annual KEEF scholarship. Our Student Support Fund is called upon more frequently now to supplement the differences.

Following their usual pattern, Alinda will return home in April, and Marie in June. Then, six months later they will return to Kenya again for another six months of volunteering (all at their own expense).

Don Reimer, from conversations with Alinda and Marie

Thumbnail for 2011: KEEF Annual General Meeting

2011: KEEF Annual General Meeting

Our AGM was held on September 25th in North Vancouver, with a slide show and updates from our President Alinda Ware and Kenya Liaison Marie MacKay. Details of their reports and more articles are included in our Newsletter #7 of November 2011.

We are pleased to report that four new members were elected to the board, and all previous directors have remained. We are confident that the skills and commitment of the new board will enable KEEF to continue to fulfil its work in Kenya. At the AGM members passed an updated constitution and a set of bylaws. The new documents clarify the purposes of our society, update the society's operation and closely match the type of work that the volunteers have been doing in Kenya over the past few years.

A new membership policy was also approved that we hope will encourage growth in members and supporters. With an annual donation of $100 or more, donors will be regarded as MEMBERS with the usual voting rights set out in the BC Society Act. We also created a new category of SUPPORTERS, based on a minimum $25 annual donation, to encourage small donations, including gifts to KEEF on behalf of others. Supporters will also receive, by email, most communications sent to members.

Don Reimer

Thumbnail for 2011: Brothers Ronny & Ross study by solar lamp

2011: Brothers Ronny & Ross study by solar lamp

Solar lighting is becoming common in Kenya and small solar lamps for studying can make a dramatic impact on a student's progress. Eye strain and vision problems have been widespread because students spend long evening hours studying by small kerosene lamps. KEEF has provided solar lamps to a number of students.

Alinda's blog entry, Oct. 3/11: Went out in a matatu to visit a couple of KEEF students who attend a day school. I wanted to see how their solar lamp was working. The brothers live in a one room rental unit that costs about $5 a month. This allows them to be closer to their school. The solar battery is on the roof as they can't leave it unattended in the yard when they are at school. They get tea at 10 am and lunch at school. Supper they cook on their jiko. The young man on the right is an A student.

Alinda Ware

Thumbnail for 2011: Life Skills Workshop a big success

2011: Life Skills Workshop a big success

The workshops were held at Mukumu Boys High School on April 8, 9 & 10. Over 80 students attended from Form 1 (Grade 9) to Form 4 (Grade 12). Kenyans facilitated with Marie and I assisting and organizing. Students arrived Friday afternoon and left Sunday after lunch.

It was significant that students who had graduated from high school in previous years assisted as co-facilitators with the teachers. My hope is to train KEEF graduates to become the facilitators, stay connected with KEEF and form an alumni group.

Workshop topics included: Financial Literacy, Cooperative Challenges, Practical Math, Writing a CV, Successful Interviews, Study Skills, Careers and Improving Comprehension. Read more in our November 2011 Newsletter #7.

Alinda Ware

Thumbnail for 2010: Bondeni Library Opening

2010: Bondeni Library Opening

As the first major project in an ongoing relationship with KEEF, Global Change for Children (www.GC4C.org) provided funds to build shelving and supply books to Bondeni Primary School.

The opening of the Bondeni Primary School library and tree planting day took place on March 9, 2010 at the school. Attending were the District Education Officer, the Area Education Officer, the chief of the area, two Kakamega Town Councillors as well as other invited guests, the Principal, teachers, parents and 800 pupils.

The day started with entertainment - poems, skits and dancing and singing by the students. This was followed by many speeches, including mine which was given partly in Kiswahili - much to the amusement of Lynda Turner and Alinda Ware who were invited guests. Professor Lynda Turner is a Salt Spring Island resident who works with Masinde Muliru University in Kakamega. She got some money from a group called SOLID who are based on Salt Spring.

After I spoke Lynda Turner announced that she would provide uniforms for up to 40 students who were unable to attend school for lack of same. She also pledged to provide maize and beans for the school feeding program. Gifts were exchanged and thanks given to all who helped make the project a success.

Following the speeches, the ribbon to officially open the library was cut by the District Education Officer, Alinda and myself. Then three of the dignitaries and I planted trees to mark the occasion. The students then planted their small trees in the school compound - there was one for each of them but at that point the kids had been sitting for three hours and there was organized chaos in the tree planting area!

All the books were stamped with the Global Change for Children stamp and a sign was made for the outside of the building acknowledging the donations. A very tiring but rewarding day and many thanks to Global Change for Children for making it possible.

Marie MacKay

Thumbnail for 2010: Felix Okello & The Bicycles For Boys Program

2010: Felix Okello & The Bicycles For Boys Program

Felix Okello is an 18 year old boy just starting high school, a little old for Form One (Grade 9). He has waited four years to find some way of paying his school fees after writing his KCPE exams (end of primary school) in 2005. He did well in those exams and was called to attend a high school near his home. 

When he came to KEEF he was very shy and did not really believe he would find help from us but he had to try. His letter says "I wish to go to school and become a somebody in the future". His first job was to get to Musingu High School where the workshops were to be held. I don't think he had ever been that far away from home. He is much older than the boys just fresh out of primary school but he attended all the sessions.He was thrilled to learn that, because he was going to a day school, he was eligible for a bike from the "Bicycles for Boys" program promoted by Maureen Howard, one of KEEF's board members.

I think it must be against the law in Kenya to smile when having a picture taken. The seriousness he shows in the photos does not in any way reflect how pleased he was to have the bike. He has gone off to school complete with textbooks and all the other items demanded, atlas, dictionary, calculator etc, all provided by donations from Global Change for Children. We will know in April how he will do academically after being out of school for so long but I am betting he will be a "somebody" in the near future.

We still have several deserving boys who are looking for sponsorship. We currently have 50 boys in different schools, both boarding and day, and this year for the first time we held a three day life skills workshop for all our students.The original Kenya Education Endowment Fund (KEEF Kenys) still exists and is currently funding 5 boys from accumulated interest. It is completely separate from the Canadian sponsorship program and features a Kenyan and Canadian Board of Directors with their own bank account etc. This group holds an annual AGM and fund raising lunch at Sheywe Guest House in Kakamega.

Marie MacKay, Kenya Liaison Feb. 28, 2010

Thumbnail for 2010: Life Skills Work Shop

2010: Life Skills Work Shop

The first annual life skills workshops were held January 29, 30, 31 at Musingu High School for our 50 secondary students. Topics presented by Kenyan facilitators with assistance from Marie and Alinda, included assertiveness, financial literacy, HIV Aids Awareness, solar sterilization of water, making cow dung fuel, stewardship, study skills, and challenges.

Challenges are activities that require cooperative problem solving. The Kenyan school system is examination-based and students compete for the highest marks. Cooperative problem solving is not stressed; these activities are fun, challenging, and a learning experience for the Kenyan students and facilitators. They are also fun to plan. All KEEF students come from poor families. The stewardship session was training the boys to look at the assets they have (chicken, land, cow, etc,) and how they can utilize them more effectively to improvethe family financial position.

The workshops were successful and enjoyable. Marie and I were exhausted by the end of the weekend but already planning for next year.

Funding for 2011 workshops has been provided byGlobal Change for Children, www.gc4c.org

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