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Harambee Schools Kenya

Who we are

Harambee Schools Kenya was founded in 1999 by two recent gap-year volunteers. Since then we have raised over half a million pounds and have completely transformed a dozen schools, several from new. Ngecho Secondary, which we started from scratch in 2006, came top in its district in 2009.

Unlike most similar charities, we are run by volunteers and have no offices, so virtually every penny we receive goes straight to schools and students in some of the very poorest areas of rural Kenya.

Our six trustees together have more than forty years' personal experience in Kenya, most visiting twice-yearly. We personally know the staff of every school we support, and we continually meet and track the students we sponsor.

What We Do

We work with poor rural Kenyan schools and their local communities to develop their educational infrastructure and provision. We believe that education is vital to economic wellbeing, political stability and social integration because it creates knowledgeable, responsible and productive citizens. Above all, a good education can lift whole families out of the cycle of poverty.

Our projects focus on four main areas:

Physical infrastructure

We fund construction projects ranging from whole new schools to classroom blocks, hostels and laboratories. We build to the highest standards so that children can learn effectively and local communities can take pride in their schools.

Books and equipment

We provide schools with up-to-date textbooks and high-quality lab equipment. Ngecho Secondary School, our flagship secondary, sports one of the best science labs in Kenya. Lereshwa Secondary School is to our knowledge the first rural Kenyan school to boast a fully-equipped IT lab.

Water

Children waste time and energy fetching water for school. We build water tanks which provide a constant supply of clean water for washing and cooking. Healthy, well-fed children learn better.

Bursaries

We sponsor needy Kenyan students to attend our schools and in some cases progress to Further Education.

Where we work

We work in the central highlands of Kenya, in the hills around the town of Gilgil. The area remains deserving of assistance. Educational standards are generally extremely low. Most of the population are subsistence farmers. And following the unrest of 2008, the region saw a massive influx of internal migrants which has placed a huge strain on resources.

We pride ourselves on our intimate knowledge of the Gilgil area and our excellent local reputation, because we believe that only through community support and involvement can schools make a lasting impact. We also regularly employ local labour, boosting the regional economy. Our chief carpenter went to an HSK school and has since trained three Gilgil 'street boys'.

HSK was co-founded by Christ Church alumnus William Snell (Modern History, 1998).

To find out more, please visit: http://www.hsk.org.uk/

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