In November 2015, at age 15, Geoffrey Emali sat at his desk in his airy classroom under a green roof and prepared to start the Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE). He couldn’t believe he was there, sitting KCPE. Three years ago, this would have been impossible.
Three years ago, Geoffrey was living with his grandmother after escaping his abusive step-father. Most days, he would skip school to do odd jobs to make a few extra shillings. When his Uncle discovered him wasting away his life, he moved him across the country and sent him to a new low-cost private school he had heard about, called Bridge International Academies. It didn’t take long for everyone to realise how bright, inquisitive and hard working Geoffrey was, and now, with the unwavering support of his Academy Manager (who had become like a substitute mother to him), he was going to finish primary school.
One month later, Geoffrey’s KCPE results placed him in the top 1% of Kenya. In four months, Geoffrey will leave Kenya to attend the exclusive Saint Andrews School in Boca Rotan, Florida. His life changed forever.
When Naomi William Matuku was 5, her older sister finished primary school in Makuru Kwa Njenga slum in Nairobi and despite doing well, her parents were unable to send her to secondary school. Three years later, her sister was pregnant and then suddenly, she was dead, leaving behind an orphaned boy. When Naomi’s parents discovered Bridge’s first academy in 2009 and enrolled Naomi, she had one goal – she was going to go to secondary school.
A sweet, kind and confident girl, Naomi performed exceptionally in KCPE. She was accepted into an excellent secondary school and with the help of her Bridge teachers she applied for every scholarship available. But nothing came. With two weeks to go before term commenced, Naomi feared that her worst nightmare was going to come true. But she got a scholarship from the Kenyan Education Fund and is now happily at school.
Bridge International Academies had 2,900 pupils from across Kenya sit for KCPE in 2015. 776 of them scored within the top 22% of the country. For many of these confident young men and women, the cost secondary school is another radical obstacle to overcome. So far, we have secured scholarships for approximately 100 of these deserving children, but for hundreds of our pupils, secondary school is still an unaffordable dream.
They need our help.
Ultimately, we hope that our graduates can benefit from a long-term partnership that would guarantee scholarships for bright, committed graduates accepted to leading county and national schools, but who still cannot afford to attend.
In the meantime, we have put together the Bridge Scholars Fund to enable donations to directly fund these deserving children. Our top-scoring pupils can apply for a scholarship and all details of their secondary school. When fundraising concludes on 4 March we will equitably distribute all funds raise to applicants in time for term one enrolments. We will update our supporters on our website and Facebook account with the stories of our successful scholars.
The average cost of secondary school in Kenya is US$600 a year. For $2,400 a child can finish secondary school and change their lives, the lives of their families, and their communities forever.
We know not everyone can personally support a child financially, so we are asking you to share our goal. We are asking you to tell your contacts, share details on social media, and help us raise attention for this important fund. We have included below draft tweets and Facebook posts, a flyer, and a picture for Instagram.
Donations to the Bridge Scholars Fund can be made through PayPal (email@example.com, reference “Bridge Scholars Fund”) or Mpesa Paybill 123126.
Please help ensure that all the Geoffreys and Naomis, all the lovely children who have worked so hard and succeeded against all odds, can have dreams and can go on and change the world!