HSBC supports education in Kenya

07 February 2012

January 2012, Nairobi, Kenya: On 9 December 2011, HSBC demonstrated its continued support of the Kenyan community by donating GB€20 000 (3 000 000 Kenyan Shillings) to the Harambee Schools of Kenya (HSK) charity. The funds were used to electrify the Ngecho High School, located in Gilgil in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya.

About HSK

One of the many charities supported by HSBC, HSK is a volunteer-run education charity based in the UK, which works with Kenyan communities to improve educational opportunities by providing school building and teaching materials. It was founded in 1999 and so far, it has raised enough funds to build three schools from scratch and completely transform a further eight schools. Because it has no paid staff or offices, overheads are kept at a minimum so that 99% of donations are spent on project delivery.

The schools HSK supports

All the schools that are supported by HSK are community-based schools with very basic facilities. Most are desperately understaffed and rely on sporadic community fundraising initiatives to support their operations and infrastructure. The local communities are so poor that the funds raised are rarely sufficient to pay for the maintenance of the existing buildings, let alone to pay for any facility upgrades of any sort. Schools supported by HSK include: Kahuho, Ngecho, Komothai, Kekopey, Kamahia and Eburru Primary Schools, and Ngecho, Kekopey and Lereshwa Secondary Schools.

How HSBC’s donation helped the Ngecho Secondary School

Ngecho Secondary School was founded in 2006 as hundreds of children had nowhere to go after leaving the local primary school. The school sits on the main road between Gilgil and Nyahuhuru, and unsurprisingly, it is currently extremely oversubscribed. Even though Ngecho is not a selective school, in 2009 it was the top day secondary school in the district – Ngecho is proof that secondary education can be both of a high-quality and affordable.

Various donations have been spent upgrading the school – it now boasts on ultra modern classrooms, two science labs, an administration block, a toilet block, and a rain water harvesting tank that is used for watering trees and plants on the property. HSK has also set up a bursary fund to ensure that bright, but poor students who are unable to afford the school fees, are able to complete their secondary education. Ngecho is the cheapest secondary school in the area, and parents are allowed toto spread the cost over the year. Nonetheless, around 40% of its pupils are still unable to pay the fees. The bursary fund ensures that even the poorest families are able to send their academically gifted children to secondary school.

After discussion with the trustess, HSK opted to raise funds for the complete electrification of the school. HSBC’s donation of GB€20 000 on 9 December 2011 was used to complete this project – it is one that has made a significant difference to the running and function of both the school and its surrounding community.

Future plans for Ngecho Secondary School

As construction work at Ngecho Secondary School is almost finalised, there has been a renewed interest in the adjacent primary school. Ngecho Primary School is in desperate need of new classrooms and a major upgrade to its facilities in order to match its secondary school. Currently, the two schools are working on an integrated plan for the two schools to share resources, which should be achieved by 2013.

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