The bell rings and there are noises as children run onto the open fields headed to the dining hall for lunch. The once empty compound we walked into minutes earlier is now buzzing with activity. The playground is full of color, chatter and laughter as children play; ride a tire, skip a rope or run among other games. Meanwhile others are seated having their meal: It brings back childhood memories and I cannot help but smile. We are at KAZAM Educational Center in Nakuru, a school run by Ongoza's partner, Kaza Mwendo.
A few months back when my colleague and I arrived at the school following a lead for a story,with the exception of a few students preparing for their senior exams, the school was empty and rundown; empty classrooms, broken windows, and potholed floors. Undeterred by this Kaza Mwendo intended to purchase the school. They saw an opportunity for them to increase their earning while supporting their passion to support orphans acquire an education.
In January 2017, after building a careful financial model and conducting a market survey they purchased the rundown school and rebranded it as KAZAM Educational Center. The school currently has 11 full-time employees, 78 pupils (4 of whom are orphans) and earns an average of $1,113/month, a 541% increase in revenue from average $173/month that they were earning when Ongoza engaged them in early 2016.
While commending Ongoza's work, Mrs. Elizabeth Onyala, the groups chairperson said the training received on business management, financial literacy, governance and leadership has become a pillar for their business growth, and a motivation to improve their operations.
Elizabeth is hopeful that the institution will grow from a day school to a boarding institution that houses hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children while still offering a space for education to other children in the region.
Our time is up and its time to leave, the children happily wave their goodbyes to the guests with a camera. Someday this will be the teachers, journalists, philanthropists and researchers; today they are the being modeled for their dreams by Kaza Mwendo's Women enterprise through KAZAM Educational Center.
Your Support to Ongoza makes this possible.
|Children during lunch break at KAZAM Educational Center, Nakuru. The school offers meals to the students as part of the school's package.||
Kindergarten class in session at KAZAM Educational Center, Nakuru. The school has kindergarten, junior and senior school level classes.