How many people does it take to prepare 96 kids to attend high school?

June 7, 2017 by Diana Coombs


And the answer is…

Two dedicated youth pastors, eight sets of loving parents, two directors, two assistant directors, one accountant and YOU.

In Kenya, the vast majority of high schools are boarding schools, so this is a big step for our kids! We asked ELI’s two youth pastors, Silas and Ezra, (who are dedicated to caring for our high schoolers) about the monumental task of preparing so many kids for school.

How do you prepare one child for boarding school?

When a child has been accepted to a high school, an admission letter comes with a list of school supplies. The house parents carefully study the list to make sure all the requirements are captured in the shopping list. When the shopping list is ready, parents or youth pastors are assigned to either purchase items or pay school fees. School fees are paid through each school’s bank account, so, we might have to visit 8-10 different banks over a course of a few days. As you can imagine, it is a lot of coordination to purchase supplies and pay school fees for 96 children.

What kind of supplies?

Eating bowl and utensils, blankets, bed sheets, mattresses, washing basins, padlocks, soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, shoe polish, sanitary towels, body lotion, uniforms, shoes, under garments, books, stationery, and a metallic trunk to store everything. This is just to name a few.

Where do you get them?

We purchase our supplies in town. For Kipkaren, we drive about 48km (about a 1-hour drive). These purchases may take more than one day because some of the items may not be available and you need to place an order and go back another day. We can spend days on end battling traffic and lines to get everything.

How often are the kids visited in school?

Follow-ups to schools are usually once a month or when the school has different functions like academic days, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Parent’s Day. During these visits we usually take gifts to the kids, like food and personal effects. Parents or youth pastors will have to do some consultation with teachers over the academic performance of the kid and general behavior. Then the parent or the youth pastor will have some time with the child for encouragement and discussion on matters of academics and general life in school.

You have seen a glimpse into what it takes to care for our 96 high school children. There are many more details that go into preparing our kids and following up with them while in school.

We are so grateful to Ezra and Silas and the rest of our staff for making it happen. And we are thankful for YOU and your partnership that provides these wonderful caregivers for our kids.

Thank you!

Empowering lives together,

Diana Coombs
Vulnerable Children Program Manager
Empowering Lives International
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