Help Sharesight support a great investment

by Tony Ryburn, Executive Chairman, Sharesight | Nov 29th 2017

I’m Tony Ryburn, Executive Chairman and co-founder of Sharesight. Around this time last year, I shared my most rewarding investment: helping to build KES, a school for disadvantaged children in Kenya. If you’re not familiar with the story, here’s last year’s video:

KES - Sharesight co-founder’s most rewarding investment

My wife Merle and I recently completed a visit to Kenya to visit KES. We really enjoyed interacting with the students, as well as their headmaster (and our good friend), Noah. Here are are few highlights of our time in Kenya:

Beach trip

We took the 40 poorest children that are kindly supported by donors (including Sharesight staff and clients), on a trip to the beach. Although it is only a 35 minute bus trip some of the children had never been to the beach before. To say they were highly excited would be a serious understatement!

We stopped a local roadside cafe along the way as most of the children had not had any breakfast. They each received 2 small, unfilled bread rolls which were rapidly devoured. They also received a drink to which most of them added the contents of the sugar bowls on the tables. Proof that kids everywhere can’t resist a sugary drink!

The kids thoroughly enjoyed the beach. Many were nervous about going more than knee deep in the calm water at first but most rapidly gained confidence and some were even persuaded to put their heads under the water.

Graduation day

Two days later it was the last school day for the year for our teachers and 220 children. A huge amount of preparation went into this and there were colourful decorations everywhere.

Parents were invited and it was very pleasing to see how many of them turned up as a major problem is persuading some parents how important it is that their children go to school.

KES Kenya School 2017 - 2

Certificates were given to the top-performing children in a very formal and ceremonial fashion. This was followed by colourful, entertaining skits and songs from the children, and speeches from teachers and others associated with the school, including us. We made sure we didn’t speak too long as we were aware that many of the parents know very little English and our Kiwi accents would not help!

Next steps

While we were there, we had a meeting with local members of the KES ‘Board’ to initiate a strategic plan for the next 2-3 years. The board comprises experienced local people, including the headmaster of another charitable school, who are keen to help the KES grow and develop. KES is now well-placed to grow significantly without the need for significant additional capital expenditure. We’ll provide an update to donors when the 2018 budget as well as our longer-term strategic plan are finalised.

KES Kenya School 2017 - 1

The school year has now ended in Kenya and on behalf of Noah, the teachers and all the other local Kenyans who are working so hard to bring education and food to deprived local children we would like to thank Sharesight staff and clients so much for your help over the past year. Our visit emphasised to us yet again how desperately in need of help many of the children in this part of Kenya are. With your help, we will continue our commitment to helping as many children as possible get the education they deserve.

Learn more about KES and please donate to be part of this very worthwhile project.


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