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The best Good Friday 2024

Good Friday was the most extraordinary day in the history of Hand to Hand. It was dedicated to the launch of the two classrooms. According to our senior staff around 800 people attended. I watched the progress of the day in awe.
I am still reeling from the reality of this program. Here we are in a no-mans-land with all these people cheering, clapping and singing. All of our school children were present together with their teachers and staff. They sat quietly through about 30 speeches and much activity for more than 4 hours. Many outside children also came out of curiosity and stood in silence.
Attending were three current chiefs of nearby areas, our retired chief, secretary to the area member of parliament, MP's representative, education officer of Kilgoris region, and chairman of the Constituency Development Fund. Many others could also be listed but space/time limits me.
Dr Joe Mwangi Symmon and his assistant came all the way from Nairobi. Dr Joe lives in California, but is presently visiting Kenya. He stood for CA governor a few years ago and reached 5th position out of 25 contestants. He wrote an inspiring book: Dare to Dream. Was raised in a tiny village in Kenya. His message at the meeting was "never give up".
10-20 people helped in the cooking, which went on all day. Included were 50kgs of rice. There was enough food to go around for everyone, nothing was left at the end.
This program has cemented the name of Hand to Hand Education Centre as well as HHCK on the map of Kenya. We can't help but bow to all of the people who contributed to our cause.
Attendees and special guests were bespelled by the childrens' ability to speak in English.  The chiefs themselves asked us what the secret was in the teaching that enabled the kids to speak so well. When the school began in Feb 2023, not one kid could speak the language. I myself could hardly believe the kids. It felt like there was a ventroloquist behind the scenes.
We are all of course elated with the results of the program, which has given us lots of hope for the future.

Challenges to get to school

This picture shows some of the difficulties many of our school children face almost daily just to get into the classroom

Stories from our school

STORIES FROM OUR SCHOOL

1. ‘Mary’ (not her real name) is a grandmother of two adorable children, a girl (7) and a boy (5). She is blind from birth and never got married. Her son (the father of the two children) turned out to be an armed robber and threatened to harm his wife. The wife, realizing that her life was in danger ran away from home and disappeared into thin air. Nobody knows her whereabouts. At the time of her disappearance, the boy was just three months. The grandmother had to contend with the reality of raising the children on her own even with her disability. The little girl slowly became her guide. As time went by, the children were of school-going age but could not be enrolled into any school due to immense poverty, but also due to the fact that the nearest school was far away and they needed to be at home to take care of the grandmother.

Hand to Hand Education Centre came as a relief to these children. In her own words, Mary said, “this school is the light that I never saw”. This statement warmed our hearts. The children are now able to come to school every day. They can have two hot meals each school day. They have a bright future ahead of them. We have offered them a full scholarship.

2. ‘Jackson’ and ‘Ann’ (not their real names) are parents to four adorable children, one of whom died at age one due to hot porridge burns while crawling ….. Two of these children, a boy (6) and a girl (5), are fully sponsored pupils at our school. Jackson is disabled due to injuries he sustained in 2022 due to a brutal attack, rendering him incapacitated, while Ann is a jobless housewife responsible for the welfare of the family. Due to malnutrition the childrens’ growth was stunted. Weirdly, on many occasions, the children were tied to a rope to prevent them from wandering around while the mother searched for menial jobs. This exposed the children to serious trauma at a tender age. In addition to this, there was little food at home and the children relied on well-wishers to bring something home.

Now with our school around, there is hope for the two adorable angels to shape their future while being assured of at least two hot meals a day. In their own words, the parents said, “thanks to Hand to Hand Education Centre, our children can see the inside of a classroom. We never imagined this, even in our wildest dreams. Thank you Hand to Hand Education Centre”. We have fully sponsored the education of the two children and we always admire the smiles on their little faces each morning they report to school.

3. ‘Alfred’ (not his real name), is a child who was born with a disability. His legs are deformed and a result he has gone through a lot of stigma. He was never enrolled to any school even at the age of 8. We have enrolled him in our school and in the process we have realized he is one of the happiest children in the area. He is optimistic that his situation will change now that he can get an education. ‘Alfred’ is still hoping that his disabled condition can be corrected. In this regard we are exploring options for his treatment and are awaiting a doctor’s recommendation on possible surgery. The school is helping to foot the bills through well-wishers. In the words of a local opinion leader, “this school has brought hope to this community. We didn’t imagine any future for this child. Thank you for reaching out.”

4. ‘Margret’ (not her real name), a widow and jobless, is grandmother of four of our school children. Her two daughters are both deaf and dumb. Her priority is to look for food for the family, implying that the grandchildrens’ education is not really her main focus. With the school in the area, the children can access fully sponsored education and their future is bright. With our feeding program in the school, the children are assured of at least two hot meals each day. This has brought a lot of joy to this family. In the words of one of the mothers, “we can feel that the world has not abandoned us after all. Thank you very much Hand to Hand Education Centre.”

These stories are just but a few testimonies from the community. They represent the feeling of the people on the ground. They make us see the impact the school has had on their lives. We are happy to put a smile on the faces of these innocent children. With your support, we can achieve more.

Hand to Hand Education Centre

Hand to Hand Education Centre
We are excited to announce that Hand to Hand Community Kenya has opened a school for the children of Transmara West Sub County in Narok county of Kenya, at our farm. We have a Board of Directors that oversees the management of the school.

The children of Transmara West are utterly marginalized due to poor economic and education conditions in this area. The community, on the other hand, is watching helplessly and due to poverty and illiteracy, it is gradually accepting this as a reality in the lives of their children. HHCK envisions supporting 350 children of ages 3 to 9 years to acquire quality education. We further intend to improve the infrastructure, build more classrooms, employ more trained teachers and expose the community to an environment of quality learning.

The catchment area has approximately 4,600 children of ages 3 to 9 years. This is within a radius of about 5 kilometers from our school and is served by only 4 public schools spread through the hills of the sub county.

The rural area is very hilly, becomes muddy during rainy seasons and dusty during dry seasons. As a result many small children do not attend school. The situation is made worse by the cultural traditions of the local Maasai community, who do not value education highly. This has seen many children diverted to different trades such as livestock rearing, with young girls getting married off at a very tender age. These issues make it a burden for the young children.

We registered 87 children within the first 3 weeks of opening despite a minimum of advertising. We feel the community has
confidence and trust in us. The school has provided a sense of convenience.

Our first post

Kenya is a fascinating place to visit. Lying right on the equator it has no seasons as we know in other parts of the world. This means the grass is always green and fallen leaves are few. Our farm is nestled among the surrounding hills and is, as one visitor put it as he entered the compound, a paradise. Come and join us if you wish to have a different kind of holiday.