More than a grade
More than a grade
Ajiri Tea Company donates 100% of its profits to the Ajiri Foundation. The Ajiri Foundation pays school fees for orphans in western Kenya. This year, we are sponsoring 29 students in school. Seven students have graduated from our program.
While primary school is free in Kenya, students must purchase books, uniforms, and school supplies, and pay exam fees. We make sure that our primary school students have all the materials they need to attend school. Furthermore, we closely monitor and mentor them to help them to succeed in school. Our Kenyan employees, Duncan and Regina, form relationships with the student, their families, and their schools to do whatever we can to help them succeed academically.
Our secondary school students attend boarding schools throughout western Kenya. We pay their school fees, as well as buy their books, uniforms, school supplies, and toiletries. School fees range from about $1000 a year to $1500 a year, depending on the school.
We also pay additional fees for field trips, required school fundraising activities (to buy books for the library, purchase a new generator, etc) and contribute to prize giving days at the school.
At Ajiri Tea we believe students are more than their test scores. Here we focus on the whole child. We believe that emotional development is just as important as academic achievement. In addition to paying school fees, the Ajiri TEAm also provides mentorship, field trips, and works hard to create an extended community. Below are just some of our ongoing activities:
Monitoring and Mentorship
Paying school fees is only a part of what the Ajiri Foundation does to ensure academic success for our students. Duncan and Regina (our two Kenyan field coordinators) attend parent-teacher conferences, prize giving days, and school conferences, as well as coming by the school whenever there is any type of issue (academic, disciplinary, or health wise) with a student. They work hard to create a good relationship with the school, and to make sure the students feel that there is someone attending these types of events on their behalf. At each school holiday, the students stop by the Ajiri office to meet with Duncan and Regina. They review their report cards and discuss ways to improve their scores. Many of the students feel very comfortable in the office, and choose to visit Duncan and Regina there whenever they pass through Kisii Town.
Once per year, Ajiri hosts a group meeting with all students and their guardians in Kisii Town. The primary purpose of this meeting is to build a community around the Ajiri Foundation. The parents/guardians enjoy getting to speak with each other and the students get to know each other in a relaxed setting.
Exposure to Career Opportunities
Eery 3-4 years, we hold a mentorship trip to Nairobi for all secondary school students. The goal of this trip is to expose students to career opportunities within their country, to meet inspiring individuals, to bond as a group, and to encourage them to study and succeed in school. On the trip this year, we visited a number of offices and sites in Kenya.
Meet the TEAm
Meet the TEAm
Regina is a field-coordinator for Ajiri Tea and the Ajiri Foundation. In addition to her work with Ajiri, Regina is a home science teacher. Regina is an active advocate for the girl child and works closely with church groups, community leaders, and teachers to ensure vulnerable children are identified and cared for. She also volunteers her time ensuring women of domestic abuse know their rights and know what services are out there.
Regina is a steady and caring figure to all of our children. She is quick to action and gets things done faster than anyone around.
Duncan, or "Dan" as the kids call him, is the field-coordinator for Ajiri Tea and the Ajiri Foundation. Duncan holds his Masters in Social Work and is passionate about helping children. Whether it is a class meeting, or a lost calculator, Duncan is there. Our kids often stop by the office on their way home from school to chat with him or receive some extra tutoring. But you can't find him in the office for very long. He is constantly on the go--visiting students' homes or schools. Checking in on 29 students and attending their class conferences and award ceremonies is a big task! Duncan seems to be everywhere at once.