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Help Sharesight with a great investment : education

by Tony Ryburn, Executive Chairman, Sharesight

I’m Tony Ryburn, Executive Chairman and co-founder of Sharesight. Two years ago, 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 a video that explains what it’s all about:

KES - Sharesight co-founder’s most rewarding investment

The opportunity

Based on current growth and the number children joining the junior classes, pupil numbers will have increased from 200 to 400 in 3 years and 750 in 9 years. This will require more teachers and classrooms and, ideally, the acquisition of more land which is available. The plan is to continue to have 25% of children sponsored and fed at school (i.e. from families who cannot afford to send their children to school). So when pupil numbers reach 400, the number of sponsored children will have increased from about 50 to 100. There is a big opportunity to grow KES faster and make it better if more people join us to help.

KES Kenya School 2017 - 2

Making a difference in kids’ lives

When KES started it had a few children in a tin shed with a couple of unemployed young teachers who also ran a street stall and took turns working unpaid at KES. Four of this initial small group of children (see photo) are the first to have completed their primary schooling at KES and have just passed the Kenya national exams that enable them to go to high school next year. While this is excellent news, the reality is that three of them will not be able to go unless they are sponsored. We’re working out the cost of doing this and hope to make it a reality for these deserving young men.

KES Kenya - Qualifiers Nov 2018

2019 goals

We’ve got a lot planned for 2019, including building a new block to house a computer room, a staff room, a library and a kitchen. These are necessities, and not luxuries because:

  • Food for the sponsored children is currently cooked over an open fire, which not efficient (especially as headcount increases).
  • Not many Kenyan primary schools offer computer training. While the children and parents were very excited when KES set up a computer room last year, the current room is only 3m x 3m with space for a maximum of 10 children.

For those of you who are curious, we set-up the computer room with Raspberry Pi computers linked to second-hand monitors and keyboards. Here’s a photo of the current computer room being set up. I was not the ideal person to be doing this but thankfully I was able to call my son (and Sharesight CTO) Scott for help!

KES Kenya : Computer Room - Oct 2017

Capital projects are a great investment

We have not quite finalised a budget for this work in 2019 but as an example of value for money, the last block of 4 classrooms was constructed for less that $10,000 because local Kenyan trades people are keen to do what they can to help.

Unfortunately the school is running out of space to build more classrooms unless they are added as a second story. This will significantly increase the cost per classroom so we are currently looking for more land to build more single story classrooms.

There is enough land to build a block with a larger computer room, a staff room and a kitchen which will make meal preparation much easier than using an open fire. This building is are urgently required and we are hoping to complete it in 2019.

Thank you to all our sponsors

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 couple years. With your help, we will continue our commitment to helping as many children as possible get the education they deserve.

If you’d like more information or are interested in getting involved with the growth and development of KES, please visit the KES Kenya website or feel free to email me directly at tony.ryburn(at)gmail.com.

KES Kenya School 2017 - 1

FURTHER READING

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