PERTHSHIRE pupils have raised £10,406 this year for the Strath Kenya Project, supporting 40 children in Kenya directly and hundreds of others through ongoing projects.
Students at Strathallan School have continued to support the 12-year-old project despite the pandemic restrictions, with concerts, variety shows, pop-up cafés, selling bacon rolls at school, and gathering donations.
Since 2008, the Strath Kenya Project has helped support orphans at the Kenya Childrens Home, Maasai girls at the Soila Rescue School in Suswa, and a further 40 children from the Mashimoni District of the Kibera Slum in Nairobi, Africa’s largest slum.
Strathallan pupil Tamanna Okhai said: “Fundraising in school has been continuing this year despite the restrictions caused by covid-19.
“Meanwhile, our young friends in Kenya have been coping with the daily struggle of extreme poverty, made even more challenging by the pandemic.
“We are proud to say that all donations go directly to our projects.
“Most recently we have supported a group of girls in Kilifi by providing sanitary products and educational input which allows them to stay in school and avoid further disadvantages.
“We are also supporting a 15-year-old boy called Javis to go back to school in January.
“His physical condition which means he walks on his knees, but he is desperate to be in class and to have the opportunity to spend time learning and socialising like all young people should.
“Thanks to this year’s donations Strath Kenya will make that happen.”
STEM in the Rift Valley
David Barnes, who has been involved with the Strath Kenya Project since it began, added: “It is not about charity but empowerment, it’s about providing the possibility of a pathway for our Kenyan friends to journey towards their aspirations and dreams.
“This is achieved in a number of ways, from our pupils working directly with the Maasai Girls on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) projects out in the Rift Valley, to funding schooling for destitute children in the Kibera Slum.
“By providing the opportunity for abandoned, orphaned children to attend Strathallan they become part of the family in Scotland and by providing a micro-business loan to an unemployed slum youth they can set up a business and become an independent, self-sustained potential employer.
“Although we have not been able to get out to Kenya this year, all this fundraising will make a tangible difference to our friends out there.”
Read more stories from Scotland’s schools on Scottsh Field’s education pages.