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May 28, 2013
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News from East Africa

Is there a busier time than spring? As is the case for many you I suspect, my month has been about work, recovering from tax season and planning travel. Thank heaven for the longer, warmer days and the flowers everywhere that remind us to take a few minutes to breathe now and then.

With all that is going on, I thought this would be a good time to catch you all up on the news from East Africa. First and most exciting is our newest student. Rebecca had applied for a scholarship to continue her schooling at Karoti Girls School in Kenya this past spring and was well qualified. Unfortunately, we had spent every dime of our scholarship budget, collected a bit more and spent that before we even got to Rebecca’s application. Nonetheless, I had tucked the application away in our waiting files just in case.

A couple of weeks ago, I got an urgent email from our coordinator, the  guidance counselor/English teacher at Karoti who had recommended Rebecca. Despite the best efforts of teachers, neighbors from Rebecca’s home village, and Rebecca’s parents, there simply was not enough money to keep her in school. Rebecca is the second born of five children in a family that fell in to poverty after one of her parents became disabled. For practical reasons, the family had decided to send her brothers to school instead. The decision having been made, Rebecca and her teachers were heartbroken.

Fortunately, you have all been sending in donations this month. And, in a notice that made me think of that little man on the Monopoly Chance cards, the Treasury announced that we have a surprise tax refund from two years ago. So we’ve collected my pastel paper money/Treasury bills and paid Rebecca’s tuition, room and board for the year in full. Now if we just locate those railroad stocks…

With Rebecca all set at Karoti, we got news of all sorts of success at Sega Girls in Western Kenya. It seems that the most sporting of our school has done it again. Congratulations to the Sega Girls Netball team for reaching the Provincial Championships (I’m still waiting to hear about the results of the game). No strangers to trophies, Sega Girls includes some of our very own scholars and netball stars, Nelly and Rose.

Also out of Kenya is official word on our fantastic coordinator, Caroline Lentupuru, who was recognized for her outstanding work in community organizing, women’s empowerment and health care access in Rift Valley with a national government appointment:

Caroline Lentupuru was appointed as The Honorary Treasurer for the Kenya Medical Training College Board of management in February 2013, by  His Excellency the President Mwai Kibaki. The board is mandated to oversee the activities of the management. It gives advice and support in the strategic, corporate governance, human resource and financial management of the college which is a middle level medical training college in Kenya.

We are so honored to be working with Caroline!

Last but certainly not least, I want to thank all of you who have been sending in donations and encouraging notes to Growth Through Learning this month and those who voted for Aid for Africa’s Girls Education Fund in the 5 for Fairness challenge last week. If you don’t already know, we are one of a few organizations that belongs to the Girls Education Fund, and our wonderful colleagues at Aid for Africa raise money and distribute 100% of the proceeds to us and our partners who are supporting girls’ education in Africa. Thanks to all of you, the Girls Education Fund won the challenge.

If you are in the Cambridge area this weekend, whether you are an ongoing supporter of GTL or not, stop by the Cambridge Public Library Community Room on Saturday, June 15 at 10:00 so that we can treat you to some breakfast snacks and coffee and show off some of our photos and materials from East Africa. Feel free to stay on for our annual board meeting at 11:00 AM, in which we get ready for another fantastic year of saying “yes” to some of the most determined young women on any continent.

Sega students jog at warm ups before practice

Warm up before the Sega Athletic Teams begin practice

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