In 2009 we started to sponsor the children from a small Kenyan community which is called Blessed Camp by the locals. The latter is located at the Msambweni in South East Kenya, and involves 180 people. Practically, it can be said that all older residents of the community have suffered from leprosy. Although this disease is cured, the residents of the village still carry the stigma of leprosy. The children from the Blessed Camp do not have the opportunity to follow a decent education, which has great influences on their development and future prospects. Students for Children is committed to provide the financial support for the children of the Blessed Camp and thus giving them better chances for their future career. Additionally, these children are able to pass his or her skills and knowledge to the rest of their families and surroundings.
To accomplish a signifcant difference, Students for Children enables some of the children to go to the private school Msingi Bora Academy.where the classes are relatively small and the educational level is high. The children at the Msingi Bora Academy learn to speak English, which offers them more opportunities in the future. In 2009, we laid the foundation of a long-term and intensive project. We decided to finance the costs of education for various children, from their first school year to their graduation from primary school. Students for Children began this project by sponsoring five children, but this number increased over the years.
In recent years the impact on the community of the Blessed Camp has become evident. As we started supporting the community, the stigma of residents of the Blessed Camp was high. Additionally, there was no awareness for education and the importance of it was barely recognized by the local population. Interaction between residents and people from the area increased partly due to the fact that some of the children from the Blessed Camp were able to go to school. Despite this, efforts of other organisations has resulted in a decrease of the stigma. At the moment, there is more interest in education and recognition of its importance by an increasing number of residents.
Dozens of children have successfully graduated the primary school. Some of them have been able to go to high school thanks to the effort of our local partner. We believe it is important that we do not create a continuous dependence and we support that educational cost will become the responsibility of the local residents as soon as this is possible. Therefore, and due to the relatively high costs of this project, Students for Children does only sponsor the costs of the children going to primary school. At the moment, we support seven children of the Blessed Camp. Our local partner, Action Ministry, keeps us informed about the developments of the children going to high school. They are great role models for the present generation of kids we are supporting at the moment in Kenya.