Ten years ago, FUM began sponsoring girls in Turkana to attend secondary school. A few years later, Samburu girls were added to the program. In both those communities – nomadic people groups in arid regions of Kenya – girls face enormous obstacles to attending school. They are forced into early marriages, their families lack the funds to pay school fees (and often prioritize educating their boy children, if funds are scarce), and they are needed to support the family’s daily living (often by walking very long distances to fetch water).
Since Eden Grace first met “Esther” and launched the scholarship program, Friends have sponsored 117 girls. At the end of 2016, sixteen sponsored girls graduated from high school, and we have selected 16 new girls who began Form I in January. Each scholarship costs just $400 per year. Here are just a few quotes from the girls’ recent letters to their sponsors:
“… Really, Friend, I thank you for the great continuous support and cooperation that you have provided to me throughout the year. Actually, friend, you have also noticed a change in my English language that it is now building to be a polished one due to this support that you are providing to me. I am now different from my friend who lacked school fees and some neglected in the village who are now struggling for life through hardships of their younger ages. I really appreciate for this support because I could have been a village girl due to lack of support. I assure you that I am very thankful and happy for what you have done to me. Wishing you and your family members a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2017. God Bless You.” – Ruth Kuya
“I kindly say thank you for the far you have brought me since Form One until I have finished Form Four. Remember it is for your kindness and love that you decided to help me in my academic until the end. You have been paying my school fees in time and I have never been sent home for school fees. I have been in peace in school. Since I have never been disturbed in school, for this reasons, it is truly what your name says about you ‘Friends’, surely you have been good friends to me. May God bless you and the work of your hands forever.” – Esinyon Kaituko Daisy