A non-profit organisation in Isiolo is scaling up its efforts to sponsor education for orphans and build self-reliant communities through provision of humanitarian aid and empowerment programmes.
The sponsorship programme by American Relief Agency for the Horn of Africa (Araha) provides economic support to children who have lost one or both parents and caters for their school fees, food and clothing.
The programme, which strives to alleviate human suffering, allows the orphans, like other children in stable families, to pursue their education up to college level besides dealing with the high illiteracy levels in the region.
A total of 272 students, both in primary and secondary schools, were on Monday awarded scholarships which will allow them complete their education without a hitch.
“The money will cater for your school fees and basic needs, including food and clothing. The guardians can use the money [which remains] after paying fees to improve living conditions in your homes,” Araha Kenyan Director Jimale Wama said during disbursement of the funds in Isiolo town.
The agency has also been training single mothers to start and develop their businesses in order to support their families and alleviate poverty.
SCHOOL FEES RELIEF
Ms Leila Gojobe from Tuluroba recounted how she struggled to pay school fees for her son after her husband died three years ago.
“It was so challenging considering that I had no source of income but since Araha considered my son for the scholarship, I have had nothing to worry about. He gets Sh70,000 each term,” Ms Gojobe told the Nation.
Mr Jimale and Araha Programmes Director Mohammed Sheikh Omer warned that beneficiaries whose parents or guardians use the funds for unintended purposes will be disqualified.
“The money should only be used on education, health and food and those diverting it to other avenues risk removal from the list of beneficiaries,” said Mr Omer.
Mr Jimale said his officers will be visiting homes to track how the funds are being used which will guide subsequent considerations.
The NGO also undertakes drought mitigation and agriculture programmes such as sinking of boreholes and distribution of relief food in the county.