GoTeach in Kenya: A Child’s Happiness
For many children in Kenya, East Africa, access to education is a luxury their parents cannot afford. Average earnings amount to less than US$2 a day. This same amount equates to what it costs to cover a day’s education for a high school student, including, room and boarding. This begs the question for many if not most families in the country: To feed one’s family or spend on schooling? There is little room to choose. Present needs take priority over even the most important plans for the future. This is where “The Child’s Happiness Organization” (CHAPP) comes in. The program remains constant in its efforts to improve the situation of Kenya’s disadvantaged children by enriching their lives with education and opportunities for a brighter tomorrow.
The project was one of the winners of Deutsche Post DHL’s 2009 internal “Corporate Responsibility Award,” receiving co-funding from the Group for the project.* To get the project started, some 75 employees from across the Group collected money and material donations for CHAPP. Many also personally decided to sponsor a child.
“I’ve seen many magical moments,” says Claudia. “Seeing how happy the children are despite their poverty, and how proud they are to be able to go to school. They find joy in just about everything and really come into their own. Their parents value the commitment shown and are so very grateful for the support. But I have also seen the other side of the coin. Visits to family homes, seeing the conditions they live in. And knowing there are children who, despite everyone’s efforts, don’t return to school because their parents send them off to work. It’s heart wrenching.”
Preschools and parents
Overall, the project has brought huge improvements to the children, like new classroom furniture and teaching supplies. Right now 40 children attend CHAPP preschools. Locally-hired teachers and a social worker support both the children and their families. Once parents understand the importance of education they agree to send their kids to school. With education seen as a prerequisite for development, the project is set to run for many years to come. Kenyan children who would otherwise have little access to education are now learning to overcome poverty and make a better life for themselves.
- The eligibility requirements were that the project should be conducted with a partner organization and should address challenges associated with education, environmental protection or disaster management. And they needed to be sustainable, have a link to the company and involve as many employees as possible.