A Letter from Evans Haron

Evans is a beneficiary of Tana River Life Foundation. The foundation sponsored his secondary school education in the Tana Delta, followed by his undergraduate studies at UTAR in Malaysia. We are happy to report that he has graduated. To thank the foundation and his sponsors, Evans wrote the following letter. He hopes it’ll inspire other young people on their journey in life. We hope it’ll inspire you to lend a hand to others in need and hungry for the opportunities we take for granted.


It’s my hope that you are all doing well during this tough time. All is well with me. I am writing to inform you that I have completed my studies in Bachelor in Petrochemical engineering. Thank you for the sponsorship you offered me from the beginning of my secondary school days till the completion of my studies. Thanks to all the staff at TRLF for the time they invested in advising and coaching me throughout my studies, the time they spent in helping me budget for my living expenses both in Kenya and here in Malaysia, correcting me when I was on the wrong path and thanks to all the donors who have contributed to positive changes in my life directly or indirectly.

Just to give a brief background on how I joined TRLF. I completed my primary school education was placed among the top 3 in my class. Unfortunately my parents were not able to afford the school fees for my to continue on to secondary school. At the start of the term, my friend Komora Benedicto, who also graduated recently from UTAR, shared his notes from school with me so that I could study them on my own at home. He was being sponsored by TRLF then and he advised me to apply for a bursary at TRLF.

The first bursary that I received was worth KSH3000 which is equivalent to RM114 ( ~S$38 ). It did not cover my whole school fees for that semester but it instilled hope and determination in me. I pushed myself to the limit as I knew that with good results I could be awarded another bursary. And that is how my life with TRLF started and here I am today with my bachelor’s degree in Engineering.

RM114 may not be that much but it can change someone’s life as it did mine. There are many young people going through what I had experienced. Some won’t be strong enough, they may be discouraged at a young age and their efforts and life might completely go to waste. Thanks to sponsorships from TRLF through the kind donors and staff, young people receive an education and opportunities in life which were previously unavailable to them.

So thank you once again for the opportunity and I can’t wait to continue giving my services when I’m called upon.

Yours sincerely
Evans Haron

 

Constructing a Two Classroom Block at Miticharaka Primary School : Funded by Charis Singapore And Parents of the Students

In late 2018, a team from Tana River Life Foundation visited Mticharaka Primary School situated in a most remote part of the Tana Delta. The journey took 2 hours by road, an hour by car and another by motorcycle. During the wet season cars run the risk of getting stuck on the muddy roads. This is part of the delta borders Kilifi County, and is located near Kurawa village (mis-spelt Karawa on Google Earth), a short distance from the Indian Ocean.


The local school probably ranks as the most dilapidated school in the Delta. Despite its physical condition, the school enjoys a very high enrolment.
The students are extremely talented. That day they performed choral verses in three languages, Giriama, their mother tongue, Kiswahili, the National Language of Kenya and English, confidently, and flawlessly for the TRLF team.

We were determined to provide these children and their families the motivation to strive for a better future for themselves through education. In early 2020, Charis Singapore provided funds to TRLF to construct a two classroom block for Mticharaka Primary School. Like all other public school infrastructural assistance projects undertaken by TRLF, this project is a joint effort by the donor ( in this case Charis ) and the parents of the school children, in the ratio of 80:20

The TRLF team visited Miticharaka school at the start of March 2020 to meet with the parents and community leaders, together with the Headteacher and his staff. We explained and outlined the methodology for the assistance, and what was expected of the parents. Parents could contribute money, labour or locally available construction materials, e.g. building sand, water supply.

Work commenced immediately and progressed even after schools were closed in late March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, delays were experienced when movement restrictions were imposed in April, stalling purchase of building materials from the neighbouring Kilifi County. The rains in May led to road closures delaying their delivery. In the meantime, the metal doors and windows were being fabricated at the TRLF workshop. The classroom block was finally completed at the end of September in time to receive the Standard 8 examination candidates when schools in Kenya were partially reopened on Monday 12th October 2020. Parents contributed their share as agreed enabling the completion of the project.

The TRLF team visited Miticharaka Primary School on Tuesday 13th October 2020 to officially hand over the building to the local community via the Headteacher.

On behalf of the students and parents of Miticharaka Primary School, we thank all our benefactors at Charis Singapore for improving the learning environment at Mticharaka Primary School, Tana Delta, Kenya.

Gabriel Teo Kian Chong
17th October 2020

REPORT ON EMERGENCY AID DISTRIBUTED TO INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS AFFECTED BY FLOODS IN TANA DELTA SUBCOUNTY DURING MAY-JUNE 2020

We are grateful to all Donors who assisted us with budgeting funding to buy food and blankets for the victims of the floods in Tana Delta during the month of May and June. For a detailed report on this emergency program, you may go to  https://tanariverlife.files.wordpress.com/2020/07/floods-donor-combined-report-public.pdf.  From your generous assistance, 296 families were assisted.

Thank you and God bless you all.

2020 Updates from TRLF

Dear Friends

Warm greetings from the Tana Delta in Kenya. I hope this message finds you and your families safe. It is a challenging time for all, and from here in Tana, we continue to be united with you in prayers. Kenya started reporting cases of Covid-19 recently, with closures and curfews nationwide, although there are no cases reported here in Tana Delta to date.

I was to leave for Asia by mid-April, but have postponed my trip indefinitely. As such, we will NOT be having a Mitumba collection this year. However, if we are able to travel later this year, we hope to proceed with our collection of school furniture and study aids.

Grade 6 pupils from Onwardei Primary School gladly transporting classroom chairs from Singapore to their school across the River Tana using a traditional dugout canoe.

Since we are not likely to meet anytime soon, I have prepared two reports to give an insight into what we were able to do with your support last year.
 
Please click here for the 2019 Tana River Life Foundation Annual Report
If you are reading this on a mobile phone or on any low bandwidth platform, you may access the compressed version here.
 
For details on the 2019 Tana River Life Foundation Activities and Achievements, please click here
If you are reading this on a mobile phone or on any low bandwidth platform, you may access the compressed version here.
 
On behalf of the many young people and their families, and entire communities here in Tana Delta, that have benefited in one way or another from your assistance last year, we thank you very much.

We hope you will continue to journey with us in 2020, as we strive to build lives of greater dignity, freedom and integrity for many.

May God bless and protect you and your families.

Gabriel Teo Kian Chong
15th April 2020

P/S : Please add gabrielteo@tanariverlifefoundation.org to your address book so that our emails will not be blocked by your Spam filter.

If you received this email from a friend who is a supporter of our foundation, and would like to receive emails directly from us, please sign up 
here.



Subject: Report on the Successful Completion of Studies and Return to Kenya

Mama Anita (LHS) and Aunty Karen (RHS) with Komora at his Graduation Ceremony

I hope this report finds everyone well. First and foremost, I would like to express my gratitude to TRLF and all its donors for journeying with me for nearly five years of my tertiary education at UTAR Malaysia. I have successfully completed my studies there, attaining a Bachelor’s degree with Honours in Financial Economics, having graduated on 18th August 2019. This would not have been achievable if it wasn’t for your generosity and help. I returned to Kenya on 30th September 2019, and am pleased to find everyone back home well and in good health. From here on, I will be seeking employment opportunities within Kenya whilst simultaneously volunteering with TRLF to help in the different roles that I will be assigned to.

Interacting with Delta Mustard Seed Academy Pupils along with TRLF youth- Justine Wario.

Despite the fact that I may secure an employment opportunity elsewhere in Kenya, I am committed to giving back to the community of Tana Delta through TRLF in whatever way I can and with the time that is available to me. On a personal level, I am ever grateful to Mama Anita Teo’s family in Malaysia, for the care and hospitality showered upon me. She opened her house to me, along with other TRLF UTAR Students, for us to reside in during our semester break, and all along after my Graduation in August 18, 2019. I am also grateful to Mama Anita and Aunty Karen Tan for attending my graduation ceremony held in Kampar Perak, Malaysia as my guardians. May God bless them abundantly.

Komora with his 89 year-old grandmother

In addition, I am thankful to all TRLF donors who have been journeying with the works of the foundation. I would like to assure you that your efforts have contributed vastly to the development of the villages here and have had a tremendous positive impact on the lives of many, bringing a positive change to our community at large.

Your TRLF Beneficiary,

Komora Benedicto

Reported by Benedicto Komora,

Edited by Alexander SR Pang

Looking into future collaborations with Kenya – UTAR

An article published by Universiti Tunku Abdulrahman (UTAR), Malaysia during a visit by Kenya’s High Commissioner to Malaysia. The article highlighted prominently the UTAR scholarships offered to students in Tana River through the Tana River Life Foundation (TRLF). Read the entire article on the URL link https://www.utar.edu.my/econtent_sub.jsp?fcatid=16&fcontentid=145886

Group photo of His Excellency Francis Ndegwa Muhoro (Middle), Head of Chancery Dorcas Rukunga (fifth from left), Prof Chuah (seventh from right), Deans and Deputy Deans of faculties with Kenyan Students.

PROJECT: DELTA EDUCATION ENHANCEMENT – SHIPMENT OF DONATED STUDY AIDS

Surmont, Educate, Empower, Diginify. Tana River Life Foundation
Logo Tana River LIfe Foundation

DELTA EDUCATION ENHANCEMENT

SHIPMENT OF DONATED STUDY AIDS

In the last 6 weeks, from 23rd April to 1st June 2019, Gabriel Teo together with Leption Israel (21 years) and Simon Katana (23 years) were busy coordinating the shipment of donated educational items from Singapore to the TRLF Emmaus Centre in Tana Delta, Kenya. They were assisted by Komora Benedicto and Evans Abaganda, two TRLF scholars studying in Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) in Kampar, Malaysia, who were on semester break for three weeks in May.

PIL Singapore Pte Ltd and Logwin Air + Ocean (S) Pte Ltd once again kindly sponsored all local logistics and shipping costs for 4 forty footer containers this year. Of the 4 containers, 3 contained school furniture from Canossa Convent, Methodist Girls School, CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent and CHIJ Kellock Convent. The fourth container contained goods for the Mitumba Project, along with other educational projects TRLF is running in Tana Delta Sub-County.

We are grateful to Fr. Henry and his staff at the Church of the Holy Cross, as well as the Golden Disciples led by Mary Gan. We are also grateful to the staff of St. Theresa’s Convent for the academic collaboration. Last but not least, we thank Sunway Construction for the extra set of hands for the loading of goods, as well as all volunteers who helped out in one way or another. May God bless you all.            

Reported by Benedicto Komora, 23rd June 2019

Edited by Alexander SR Pang

Project Report: May Update on Solar Lanterns for Tana Students

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May 21, 2018
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May Update on Solar Lanterns for Tana Students
By Oscar – Volunteer

Patricia studying at home

Patricia studying at home

Greetings all,

This quarter of the year we have been affected with floods where 70% of Tana River County is being covered with water due to the current floods problem in the Country. Being in the Delta, we have been the most affected county.

However, we managed to get testimonials from Patricia and Ali as quoted below.

"My name is Patricia from Vumbwe village. I am 15 years old. When I was still a student at Kulesa primary school last year I received a solar lamp from Tana River Life Foundation. I am taking this opportunity to say thank you to all of you for assisting me with the solar lamp.

Before I had the lamp, it was not easy for me to wake up in the morning for preps because there was no available source of light. It was difficult to use the lamp because of the cost of paraffin and it was a daily expense my family could not afford.

Besides providing more study hours, the solar lamp also helped my parents earn some income in charging our neighbours hand phones, which helped them pay for my exam fees. I did well in the primary school leaving exams last year and am now fully sponsored by Tana River Life Foundation in Form 1 (Year 9) in Sacred Heart Girls Secondary School in Mpeketoni, Kenya.

Thank you all again.

Patricia John"

And Ali wrote

"I am Ali from Bubesa village in Mwina Location of Tana River County Kenya. My mother and brother are farmers. My father is mentally not well. I had many challenges when studying in primary school. We live in a small mud hut. Where we live, when it rains, our walls may be washed away and need to be repaired.

After school I have to help my mother look for firewood and fetch water and so have little time to do my homework until night time but there was no light at home. I continued with those challenges until by good fortune I received the solar lamp from Tana River Life Foundation. I was now able to do night preps and complete my homework. So even if I could not do my studies during the light time, but at night I was able to study without fail.

It also helped my parents as I was studying at night, the lamp allowed my mother to cook and do other things at home like weaving mats. After my primary school exams, I did not do as I expected, but the results was still good. I am now in Form 1 at Tarasaa High School and am partially sponsored by Tana River Life Foundation. I now know that in all hardship there will be relief. I want to be a lawyer to help my people know their right. Thank you all very much.

Ali"

Ali completing his homework using solar lantern

Ali completing his homework using solar lantern

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About this project:

Solar Lanterns for Tana Students Solar Lanterns for Tana Students

by Tana River Life Foundation

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Rural schools in the Tana Delta have been usually left out from development plans the communities live off the grid as the power infrastructure doesn’t reach their villages. Without light, students are unable to study nor do homework when the sun goes down. Providing solar lanterns will be enable students to do their homework in the evenings, providing them the opportunity to do better in national examinations. Beneficiaries are upper primary students in Class 7 & 8, aged between 12-15 yrs

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Project Report: Lighting Up the Furthest Corners of the Delta

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Nov 14, 2018
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Lighting Up the Furthest Corners of the Delta
By Oscar – VolunteerAssa Primary Night Studies

Assa Primary Night Studies

The months of September and October were busy months for TRLF staff who were criss crossing the Tana Delta, distributing solar lanterns to the most far flung and remote villages. First we did raise over US $ 2,000 during the month for the GlobalGiving Matching Campaign in 12th September. Thank you to all this who participated and the rest who are always supporting our projects. A total of 135 students from 8 different schools and villages have since benefited from this assistance during this period, the majority of them in Grade 7, and who will be sitting for their primary school leaving examinations in Nov 2019. See the table below for the breakdown of the solar lanterns distributed during the months of October and November this year.

  • Chamwanamuma Primary – 35
  • Serah Primary – 14
  • Odole Primary – 15
  • Shirikisho Primary – 25
  • Miticharaka Primary – 19
  • Assa Primary – 20
  • Kibokoni Primary – 7

All the schools are located in villages not connected to the National Power Grid, and unlikely to be connected in the forseeable future.

Some of the schools have arranged for these students to board at school from Mondays to Fridays to minimize the time students spend travelling from home to school daily. This allows them more time for participation in games, as well as night studies under the guidance of their teachers. This arrangement has been possible because of the solar lanterns. With their classrooms being lit up by the solar lanterns, students from these schools can now do night studies easily.

During the weekends when the students return to their homes, they carry their lanterns with them benefiting their entire families.

Assa Primary School is located 90 kms from our centre. The headteacher there, Mr. Anthony Nyagah , was very grateful and sent feedback that “students in Grade 7 are benefiting so much from the donation of the lanterns, and have started showing good improvement in their rate of learning”. Another primary school which benefited from this assistance, Miticharaka Prmary School, is located in a very remote part of the Tana Delta, with the only access being dirt roads across the many islets leading to the school. These islets are connected by hand constructed wooden bridges.

The Kenya primary schools academic year ended on 26th Oct 2018 and will restart in January 2019. TRLF will then continue distributing solar lanterns to students studying in schools in Ndera and Salama location by mid January.

Onkolde Primary Students with their solar lanterns

Onkolde Primary Students with their solar lanterns

Demonstrating for Shirikisho Primary

Demonstrating for Shirikisho Primary

Miticharaka Primary Students with their lanterns

Miticharaka Primary Students with their lanterns

Road to Miticharaka Primary

Road to Miticharaka Primary

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Updates are posted directly by Project Leaders, and to make your experience as authentic as possible, GlobalGiving does not alter these updates – they are the real deal.

About this project:

Solar Lanterns for Tana Students Solar Lanterns for Tana Students

by Tana River Life Foundation

ke.gifKenya, edu.gifEducation

Rural schools in the Tana Delta have been usually left out from development plans the communities live off the grid as the power infrastructure doesn’t reach their villages. Without light, students are unable to study nor do homework when the sun goes down. Providing solar lanterns will be enable students to do their homework in the evenings, providing them the opportunity to do better in national examinations. Beneficiaries are upper primary students in Class 7 & 8, aged between 12-15 yrs

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Project Report: New Year, New Solar Lanterns

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Feb 11, 2019
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New Year, New Solar Lanterns
By Oscar Raha – VolunteerOzi Primary Students with Solar Lanterns

Ozi Primary Students with Solar Lanterns

Happy 2019 to our donors over the world and Gong Xi Fa Cai to our donors in Asia as you usher in the year of the pig. Your donations on this project is making a huge impact to many students in our community as so far over 200 households in Tana Delta Sub County have benefited since 2017. This year we were at Ozi Primary which is one of the most rural parts of the county as the nearby village is only accessible by boat and by motorbike during the dry seasons. Ozi village is situated at the mouth of the Tana River where it flows into the Indian Ocean. The school has a population of 461, with the highest enrolment being from the lower primary level.

The Government has installed solar in one of the classrooms to support its Digital Learning Programme to the lower grades during the day but parents are not willing to send their students to school during the night due to security concerns as well as worries about safety of the female students. It’s for this reason that the Foundation has donated 52 solar lanterns to the students of class 7 and 8 to ensure that they can conduct their night preps. This particular type of Solar Lanterns have a component that enables parents to charge phones during the day hence serve as an income generating resource to cover some basic necessities.

This year’s class 8 comprises 17 students, with 15 of them being girls and boys being only 2. It is a unique scenario in the area as mostly the number of boys in classes is usually higher than that of girls. This had a negative impact towards studying at the school at night as their class teacher Mr. Ngoka was quoted, “The community don’t want to bring students to school especially the female pupils. I have a hard task of convincing the parents on the benefits of letting their students do night preps. It wasn’t making sense to give students homework over the week as I was sure they can’t do it at home. Now I can give them assignments that I am confident they can do.”

After donating the solar lanterns, Bakari a class 7 student had this to say, “Although I scored 200 /500 for the last exams, I am very confident that I can improve my performance to at least 300. This is mainly because at home usually I don’t study at night but now I have the resources to. I have a sister also in this primary school and we will help each other study.” While Aisha a class 8 student said “I am grateful to all donors who had a hand in this project, as my results are somehow poor and I do hope that this year I can do a lot of personal studies at home to ensure that I improve significantly come the end of the year.

Oscar conducting an interview with Aisha

Oscar conducting an interview with Aisha

Demo on how the solar lantern works by TRLF Youth

Demo on how the solar lantern works by TRLF Youth

Bakari receiving his Solar Lantern

Bakari receiving his Solar Lantern

Road to Ozi Primary

Road to Ozi Primary

On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this project to a friend, family member, or colleague?

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Updates are posted directly by Project Leaders, and to make your experience as authentic as possible, GlobalGiving does not alter these updates – they are the real deal.

About this project:

Solar Lanterns for Tana Students Solar Lanterns for Tana Students

by Tana River Life Foundation

ke.gifKenya, edu.gifEducation

Rural schools in the Tana Delta have been usually left out from development plans the communities live off the grid as the power infrastructure doesn’t reach their villages. Without light, students are unable to study nor do homework when the sun goes down. Providing solar lanterns will be enable students to do their homework in the evenings, providing them the opportunity to do better in national examinations. Beneficiaries are upper primary students in Class 7 & 8, aged between 12-15 yrs

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GlobalGiving UK – 6 Great James Street – London, WC1N 3DA, UKContact Us

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