I have been involved with Kenya Self-Help Project nearly since its inception. As a seasoned donor to a wide variety of charities, I consider KSHP to be one of the best. I base this on several things. First, administrative costs are kept to a bare minimum. The vast majority of donated funds actually make it to the targeted recipients. Second, the personal involvement of KSHP's founders means this non-profit has stayed true to its mission. Third, communication with donors is superb, both with personal information on each student being supplied to sponsors on a regular/frequent basis and with direct communication between sponsor and student when desired. Fourth, the administrative work is difficult and sometimes involves making hard calls about a student's ultimate fit with the program, but I have never seen the staff take the easy way out. They make the tough calls and keep moving forward with students who work hard to stay in the program. On a personal note, the first student I sponsored was not able to dedicate himself to the level necessary to succeed and was released from the program. While this was disappointing, it was the right call. On the other hand, the second student I sponsored just completed her fifth and final year of medical school and has earned her white coat. I am incredibly happy and proud that she has achieved this goal (see photo). My third student will soon be sitting for her final exams in hopes of earning a university scholarship. KSHP has given me the opportunity to influence the direction of these young lives, and for that I am grateful.
We have been a supporter of this wonderful organization the past 7 years sponsoring students in Kenya to earn a high school education and qualify them to then go on to university. We communicate directly with our students via mail and are updated on their progress in school. It has been extremely gratifying to be part of an organization that grows responsible young adults that give back to their communities.
In addition to sponsoring students through high school KSHP also helps these students communities starting at the grade school level. Boys and girls clubs that raise awareness concerning health and safety issues have been established at many primary schools. In addition, KSHP has worked in conjunction with local widows in making "dignity kits" for menstruating girls. This has greatly decreased missed days from school.
We have been student sponsors for the past 5 years. The attention to detail KSHP gives their scholarship students is outstanding! Their academic progress is closely monitored as well as their psycho social needs. Correspondence between students and sponsors is 3-4 times a year and are handwritten .
The trickle down effect to the students family in having an educated family member is life changing.
In addition to the scholarship program; the boys and girls clubs KSHP sponsors in the primary schools has been very effective and they are very respected by the local people of Kendu Bay for their work in the community.
Steve, Quinter, Isaac, Nicholas, Zefenath. These are young people we have come to know from a distance through the Kenya Self-Help Project. Each is as different as his/her name. A couple were academic high flyers who now are launched in college and careers. One left school because of poor grades and answered the call of the big city, returning to education several years later. Another was guided through personal difficulties to finish his academic program with exceptional performance. Our current fellow is being nurtured attentively as he begins his high school years away from his family in a completely different setting with new people and rigorous responsibilities.
These unique youngsters "made it" in their own way because Kenya Self-Help is responsive to the needs and talents of each individual. The staff is not interested in a cookie-cutter approach or in the easiest way to achieve what may look good on paper. They are smart, effective, flexible, persistent, sensitive, always mindful of their mission. Their sustained dedication and the power of their results have kept us with KSHP for nine years and counting. And we have loved the long distance relationships that we have had with these young people over the years, some extending beyond the students leaving the program.
We see many needs in the world. How to support a few citizens of another country while preserving their integrity and the values of their land is not always clear. But what is clear to us is that education, done the KSHP way, is probably the best bet for producing happy and productive people. Anywhere in the world.
KSHP is both effective , they do the right things, and efficient, they do things right. Under the leadership of Kathleen Dodge, Executive Director, and board members like Sarah DeKoven , their results are A-OK, A1, awesome, blue-chip, fabulous, first-class, five-star,. Here
s the proof:
In 23 partner schools, KSHP Girls' program has . . .
• Eliminated pregnancy
• Reduced girls school dropout 98% [from 230/yr --> 4 girls]
• Improved high school eligibility to 100% [from 40%]
• Strengthened girls' health & life skills education in weekly classes
• Improved hygiene for 5,600 girls with new, gender-sensitive latrines
• Improved school attendance through Dignity Kit supplies for all adolescent girls.
• Improved class performance. GIRLS to now claim position #1 in 75% of all grade 1-8
Here's the key to their superb project, they follow this quote of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“Instruction Is much, but encouragement is everything." The staff' in Burlington and in inKenya simply 'throw themselves" into their work and inspire the Girls to "Do Your Best."
I'm proud to be a small, but regular donor to the KSHP.
The children at our church have supported Kenya Self-Help Project with mission projects for over 10 years: built 4 latrines, bought school books, provided funds for the clubs for Boys and Girls, etc. Also, I have personally supported Kenyan students to help them receive a High School education. All of my students qualified for free college tuition as they scored so well on the national exams. Kenya Self-Help project is a quality organization, and it has an incredible personal touch above and beyond: our church kids were excited to receive handwritten letters from girls that thanked us for building the latrines and shared what a difference they made in their lives, sponsored high school students write a personal letter every quarter, and pictures are provided for a personal connection. I was thrilled to recently be asked to become a board member, as I believe in the Kenya Self-Help project with its model of empowerment and encouragement for individuals and the whole community. Dorothea Christ
This is a wonderful, wonderful organization which helps educate young men and women in Kenya. I have supported several students over the years and they write letters about their accomplishments and I also hear about their families and sometimes the struggles they go through. But all of these young people are grateful for the education and opportunities that Kenya Self Help provides them.
KSHP is truly a one of a kind organization. I have had ties to it since 2005 - first as the daughter of a sponsor, then as a volunteer serving in Kendu Bay itself, and now for years as a contributing Board Member. Living in Kenya, watching the program at work on a daily basis, I witnessed the tremendous weight with which every single contribution is received by the individuals it aims to serve - whether that be a single sanitary pad, a letter from a sponsor, a sponsorship itself, or the grand opening of a new latrine. Kenya Self-Help Project is lifting up an entire community of people across the globe who have so much to offer in return. It shines light into where, for generations, darkness has been the dominating force. With a small on-site staff in Kenya, and a volunteer-based cohort here in America, there is little to no overhead. It is all love and supplies. Kenya Self Help Project defies the odds of what grassroots organizations are thought to be capable of, and if you will surely witness that if you give; for it gives that, and more, right back.
My family has been involved with Kenya Self Help Project since 2008. We are so thrilled with the organization and the great work they are doing for 23 primary schools in Western Kenya. We have raised money to help the schools get girls' latrines build. The results have been outstanding. There is a direct correlation between the latrines/female dignity kits/Girls Club education and the drop in truancy and pregnancy. The girls are staying in school and graduating! It is incredible and we are happy to be a part of the success of the program.
Kenya Self-Help Project is one of the most rewarding non profits with whom I have ever engaged. I am personally making a difference in the life of a young woman, so I see the direct impact. My student has grown in academic ability and confidence over the years. This is personally so meaningful to me. Non of this would have been possible without Kenya Self-Help.
I learned of Kenya Self Help Project while traveling in Kenya. It provides education to young girls and aid through the adolescent years, a time when many young women drop out of school due to menstruation. Families were devastated by aids and many young people have little economic support. KSHP fills a huge void in these children’s lives. I particularly enjoy receiving reports of their successes. I believe in education and especially for women as they may well be the primary support for a family. This is an under served area of Kenya. I am delighted to support this projects do follow the lives of these young people as they become leaders in their Kenyan communities.
I have had the good fortune to be one of the original donors to the Kenya Self-Help Project beginning back in 2005. Let me say that if anyone is looking for a way to make a difference in the future of a young person living in the developing world, they need look no further than this organization. First of all, all monies go directly to the education of one's sponsored student. As the sponsor, you become an integral part of the life of your student. Letters to sponsors are required at least four times a year. You will also receive all grade reports of your student including photos from time to time. I truly have come to see my student as a friend. We've come to know one another's families and ways of life. I am proud to say that my dear Winny is now in her third year at Nairobi University studying for a degree in media studies/journalism. As part of her program of studies she is involved in community service work in her hometown. This continues to be a requirement of KSHP as long as the sponsored students are in school as a way of giving back for all they have received. No question but that your donation will be well used!
I have had the pleasure of knowing the Kenya Self Help Project(KSHP) for almost five years. KSHP truly stands out for its excellence above other Non-Profits. In my professional experiences, I have consulted with large US based Non-profits, raised funds for several organizations, managed the distribution of funds to approved non-profits, served on non-profit boards, volunteered for non-profits and donated to several causes.
In all of my experiences over 30 years, KSHP stands above the rest of the organizations in the following ways:
1. Direct accountability of funds received and expended.
2. Ongoing communication of projects, people and programs in Kenya.
3. Fostering an ongoing communication between sponsors/donors and the children they sponsor.
4. Detailed quarterly information by individual program and child regarding the progress of sponsored children including grade transcripts, awards and letters.
5. An approach of partnership with locals in Kenya to achieve results and implement programs as opposed to a capitalist based US model of investment from afar.
6. An active and accountable Board of Directors who are involved in day to day issues and have a true passion and love for the programs, the sponsored kids and families, the village of Kendu Bay and the donors.
Through KSHP I know the lives that are being touched in Kenya and my life if being changed in the US through the great work of this non-profit. I continue to be amazed at the level of professionalism, respect, detail and love that the board and the entire organization operates with. This organization deserves to be recognized for the lives it is touching and it should be bench marked against for how to manage, report and communicate between donors and sponsored children. KSHP is truly a leading Non-Profit in all aspects!
This charity has been very responsible with it's finances. More students have been helped because of their hard work, integrity, and passion. This is a charity that you will see multiple in the coming years. The needs are real. The people are dedicated and I am proud to be a supporter.