Many girls are not able to go to school because their grandparents cannot pay their lunch fees at secondary school. Therefore many girls drop out of school and are married because of the poverty levels of their grandparents who are their guardians.
FOTO tries to solve this problem so that the girls can live full happy lives and reach their full potentials in life. The Director visited Sacramento, Califonia in 2015, when she attended the CSD15 Women’s Conference in NewYork, at the UN Head quartes. It is from this visit that the Director met with Friends of IWHA and gave a presentation highlighting the challenges that affect the girl child in realizing their basic educational dreams. Especially vulnerable orphans living with their grandparents.
Professor Robert Metcalf and Dr. Mary Beth Metcalf together with their friends in the U.S.A. initiated the sponsorship programme to be part of the ongoing project in FOTO Organization. From here, the sponsorship grew as more friends volunteered to help until now we have a total of 53 sponsored girls in the program. 7 of the girls are sponsored by FOTO board members.
Since then, great achievements have been realized Over 70 girls have been supported to go through Secondary education with some of the students now going through University and Colleges in Kenya. The sponsorship programme has made FOTO project to earn great respect and cooperation throughout Lower Nyakach among many families who had lost hope of going through secondary education. The sponsored girls have have been provided with all the basic needs required in schools including Text books, stationery, Uniforms, shoes, bags and many more that have enabled learning.
These programmes have touched and renewed hope to the hopeless grandparents and have empowered the girls to compete with other Kenyans in getting lifeline for the future. Community in Lower Nyakach applauds IWHA for transforming the lives of the orphans through secondary education. FOTO has continued to Link the sponsored girls with tertiary colleges to pursue their dreams for further education based on their grades after finishing their Fourth form.
The girls program includes paying for tution fees (now lunch fees) and having school programs where they learn computer skills, basket making, making ornaments like beads and flower vases, making fireless baskets and learning life skills. They also spend time reading story books from our small library. Most of the books in the library have been donated by Prof. Metcalf and Dr Mary Beth Metcalf. They also have sent the girls books which they can keep and share with their friends at home. The girls enjoy a lot of gifts from the sponsors including spending money, pens and notepads, sanitary towels. Recently, they have been given food rations from the sponsors during the COVID 19 pandemic when life became very difficult in most households. The girls are studying and they are happy for the opportunity to go to school. They are most grateful to the donors.
- Mbaruku a senior English teacher from Ragen Secondary (Central Nyakach Location) says “students are now attending classes 100% because nobody is getting sick of waterborne diseases in the school any more”. Most students have been trained on water testing using PML Kit and made aware of the dangers of drinking untreated water.
- Mr. Edward Onyalo Headteacher of Rarieda Kokech Primary School (Asao Location) says “school performance has improved because Pupils attend all lessons no absenteeism due waterborne related illnesses”. Pupils have embraced water treatment using Aqua guard and the importance of Hand washing using running water and soap through the training FOTO project has provided.
- Caleb Omondi a Senior Teacher Rae Mixed Primary School (North Nyakach Location) says Pupils are enjoying good health because of the continuous community education on WASH that has increased the level of awareness in the Villages. Pupils have adopted the culture of drinking treated water and upholding basic hygiene standards to prevent diarrhea.
- Rebbeca Omanyi Principal Pawtenge Secondary School (Agoro West Location) says “FOTO project has touched many students’ lives in a special way by sponsoring the vulnerable girl child for them to achieve their dream in educationand providing a life line water treatment alternative to every household in Lower Nyakach”.