The Secondary Sponsorship Programme was an initiative began in 2007 by the Youth Programme to address the need to afford the needy and bright students from the six villages of Pumwani (Majengo, Kiambiu, Kitui, Kanuku, Kinyago and Blue Estate) with an opportunity to access secondary education. Much of the sponsorship has been provided by Drammen School in Norway, Astrid and Bertil who are friends of St John’s. The programme has grown over the years and is today (2015) supporting approximately 120 students from Pumwani’s informal settlement.
In a concerted effort to ensure that students within the sponsorship program perform well throughout their sponsorship time, the Youth Program made an overhaul on its selection criteria mid last year (2014). This saw the selection of 30 students, (14 boys and 16 girls) into the Sponsorship Program this year (2015).
If the results posted by last year’s form four students and the current sponsored students in form one is anything to go by, then the Youth Program has all the right reasons to celebrate. For the very first time the Sponsorship Program was able to generate 5 students who will be able to acquire direct entry into the local universities upon sitting their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (K.C.S.E) last year (2014).Moreover, there is an overwhelming number that shall also be able to pursue other competitive courses both at the local universities as well as other mid-level colleges.
Below is a Bar Graph showing the performance of the Form Fours in the just announced K.C.S.E (2014)
From the above performance, it is evident that 67% representing 18 students (10 boys and 8 girls) out of 27 students of the total candidates scored grade C (plain) and above. Whereas only 33% representing 9 students (4 boys and 5 girls) scored grade C- (Minus) and below.
Generally speaking, unlike in the past when the boys performed better than girls in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (K.C.S.E), there is a sudden stiff competition that has been witnessed among the boys and girls; a clear indication that girls have made great strides in accessing education and a general appreciation of education as well as acquisition of quality grades.
The program has also witnessed a steady improvement in the performance of form ones over the last 2 years. For instance, in 2015 January – April term 77% of the 30 form ones students registered grade C+ and above. This is a better performance compared to 2014 when only 47 % of the 23 form one students scored C+ and above.
The following Bar Graph is a summary of the performance of the form one students (2015) basing on Grade and Gender
From the above, it is clear that the performance of both boys and girls is almost at par. This is a strong indication that there is a strong desire among the girls to not only be in school but also to acquire better grades.
The Youth Programme has also witnessed a change of heart especially towards girl-child education and Education as a key component to quality life insurance as, a total of 22 students (6 boys and 16 girls) not in the Sponsorship Programme willingly attended the Holiday Programme organized by the Youth Programme. This is after either the students themselves or through their parents approached the Youth Office to seek permission to be permitted to attend the Holiday Programme.
The Bar Graph below represents the distribution of non-sponsored students based on gender and form, who attended the Holiday Programme.
In addition to the promising performance among the current sponsored form ones, there is a sudden positive attitude development among the ex-form four students who went through the Sponsorship Program last year (2010-2014) as, 26% representing 6 students (4boys and 2girls) are actively engaged in the direct mentorship of the students in the various forms within the sponsorship program. Whereas the remaining 74% of them are also meaningfully engrossed in Business mentorship and other livelihood undertakings.
Below Ali Rashid a form four graduate, engaging the form two students during their revision.
This can be attributed to the solid leadership and Lifeskills trainings given to them during their duration in the Sponsorship Programme.
The startling performance among the sponsored students can be attributed to not only the revision on the sponsorship rules and regulation but also to a deeper appreciation of the value of education and its ability to transform lives. More to this, there is a great commitment among the parents to see their students perform well hence the constant monitoring while they are both at home and at school.
The Youth Programme remains very optimistic that should the students continue with this kind of dedication throughout their four years in secondary school, this would automatically mean that they shall secured a bright future for themselves either through wining direct sponsorship into the local public universities through the government Sponsorship Programme or shall have increased their chances of being admitted for competitive courses in the middle-level colleges.
A total of 119 youth had applied and had basic qualifications for the sponsorship but our limited resources could only support 25% of them. The other 75 % need support to pursue secondary education.
We therefore welcome you to join us in making the future of the needy but intelligent youth, brighter. Sponsor one or more needy youth by contributing Kshs. 40,000 per year for one student.