Plant-a-Book International helps Nairobi Kids! This blog represents two registered nonprofit organizations, PAB and KKIN-UK, that provide support for the students at Galilee Primary School and Waddington High School, and children living in the Holly House orphanages in the slums of Nairobi Kenya. We are dedicated to lifting children from poverty through literacy and education. For more information, please visit PAB's website at

Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday's Featured Student - From Heartbreak to Healing

Meet Noel
Update - Noel has found a sponsor!!!

Noel is in the 7th grade and will be turning 13 on June 6th.  She loves to dance and one day she dreams of becoming a nurse. 
Sisters Noel and Mercy had a very difficult year in 2006. Their Mom died of AIDs in 2005 and they were taken in by an `aunt' and `uncle'. Fanuel, the school director had included them on the list of children who had not reported for school in June of that year. After investigating the case he found out that the girls were actually withdrawn from school by their guardian and sold as domestic servants. Thankfully Fanuel worked really hard to force the authorities to investigate the case and the guardian was arrested. Fanuel then managed to track down the girls and bring them back to live at Holly House. 
Noel has since lost her sponsor and needs a caring person who will stand by her and show her that she is cared for and how important it is to compelete her education.

Won't you please consider sponsoring Noel today?  Please email and help give her a brighter future.

Monday, April 25, 2011

In Africa Diarrhea Kills Almost One in Five Children Before Their Fifth Birthday

Toilets at Galilee Primary School and
Waddington High School
Due to the over used and poor location of the current toilets several of our students currently living at Holly House have been ill with Typhoid fever.  In addition the Public Health Department has threatened to close the school if new toilets are not installed.

Typhoid fever is a bacterial disease, caused by Salmonella typhi. It is transmitted through the ingestion of food or drink contaminated by the faeces or urine of infected people.
Symptoms usually develop 1–3 weeks after exposure, and  may be mild or severe. They include high fever, malaise, headache, constipation or diarrhea, rose-colored spots on the chest, and enlarged spleen and liver. - World Health Organization

Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It has a short incubation period, from less than one day to five days, and produces an enterotoxin that causes a copious, painless, watery diarrhea that can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death if treatment is not promptly given. Vomiting also occurs in most patients. - World Health Organization

Slums surrounding the school

Both Typhoid and Cholera are prevalent in the slums of Kenya due to limited access to safe drinking water and lack of proper sanitation.  Generally, women and children walk for long distances in search of this precious commodity and use it untreated from rivers, lakes and dams. Untreated water is often turbid, and contains disease causing bacteria and pathogens.

Both of these illnesses can easily be treated with antibiotics, unfortunately many of the family’s that live in the surrounding areas do not have access to and cannot afford treatment.

In addition both of these deadly diseases could be prevented all together with access to safe drinking water and proper waste disposal that doesn’t leech into the drinking water. 

A few years ago the sponsors and caring friends of Galilee Primary School and Waddington High School, came together and raised the funds needed to install a permanent well on the school grounds.  Now the students and orphans living at Holly House will never have to worry about having access to clean drinking water.  Unfortunately the school has grown beyond the few toilets that are currently at the school.

A sponsor that has visited the school several times said this about the toilets.
"The latrines at Galilee are smack dab in the middle of the compound, both the new and the old. Yes, there are some flush toilets at HH, but there is no way that they can support the usage of even the number living at HH now, and are not available to the general school population. The condition of the latrines, due to the high population of students, is terrible at best. Even though they are cleaned every day and maintained as best as possible, the potential for disease is tremendous...diseases that would be transmittable and spread through Galilee and the community like a wildfire. Also, we must consider the diseases that can attack weak, underfed/malnutrition immune systems... for a child who is not eating, even a simple cold could be life threatening. And, we have lost more than one child to anemia. The latrine project is vital if we are going to be able to assure a sanitary, disease free environment."

What you can do to help
If you can make a donation to either help with building new toilets or for the medical needs of the students please use the donation button on the right, or email
Please help spread the word about this very desperate need. Post it on your blog, or hit the buttons below to share it on facebook, twitter or Google Buzz.  Children should not die because they can not afford access to water or proper toilets.

Thank you.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday's Featured Child - A Very Bright Young Lady

Meet Rachol W. - HS131
Update - Rachol has found a sponsor!!!!
Rachol is 13 years old and in Form 1.  She lives with her parents and her chore is cooking.  She has one brother and two sisters.  Rachol enjoys reading and her best subject is English.  She would like to be a lecturer someday. She is a very bright girl and placed 15th out of 64 in her mid-term exams. Rachol's birthday is Sept. 3, 1997.

Although girls comprise 48% of all primary school students in Kenya, less then 30% of them ever make it into Secondary school, and of this 30% even fewer complete their secondary school education. Poverty, early marriage, and the need for girls to contribute financially to maintaining households all lead to the disappointing discrepancies in girls access to education.
In Kenya, 1.6 million girls are high school dropouts. If they could finish their secondary education, they would make 30% more money – and contribute $3.2 billion to the Kenyan economy every year.

In addition, 40% of adolescent girls in Kenya with no education are pregnant versus 26% of those who completed only primary school and only 8% of those with secondary education or higher (note: 40% of deaths from botched abortions are adolescent girls (CSA 2008)
For only $12.50 per month you can help Rachol not to become a statistic.
Please email learn how you can help today.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Building a Dream - The story of Waddington High School

Sixteen year-old Lydia knows she is really lucky, being one of only 22% of Kenyan girls currently enrolled in secondary school. As can be imagined this figure is significantly lower for both boys and girls from the Nairobi slums.

Like the other Waddington students Lydia would
not be in school today if it weren't for the phenomenal effort made by the friends of Galilee to build a high school for Galilee Primary Schools graduating class of 2004.

A boy's dream of a high school...
How did WHS start? When he was in class 7 Ismael explained how he had to work to afford basic school supplies. As he wrote, with obvious pride, of being able to go without food for two days so his younger sisters could eat, he also shared with us his dream that when he passed the KCPE with "flying colours" there would be a high school to accept him. Even though he was poor, and even though he couldn't afford a fancy uniform, such a school, he hoped, would want him and his fellow classmates. Ismael's dream was the start of WHS.

Sponsors and friends joined together to make Ismael's dream a reality. First off money was needed to purchase land. It was a long and painstaking process but cent by cent, dollar by dollar funds were raised and the land obtained. Next the building had to be constructed. Again cent by cent, dollar by dollar we managed to build the first two classrooms. Waddington High opened with one class (Form 1) and each year additional rooms were built and classes added.  Currently, the school serves approximately 300 students in Forms 1-4.
After the school opened Lydia wrote to her sponsor: "I never dreamed that one day I Lydia would be able to attend a high school. My mother and father in heaven would be so proud of me to know that I have achieved this that no-one in my family has done before. I say again and again and again thank you for giving me this chance. Thank you for having faith in me. I will not let you down but will work to make myself good so that I too can help others..."

You may wonder what happened to Ismael? He had struggled for years, on and off, to finish primary school and sadly felt that at the age of 22 he could not afford the "luxury" of a high school education. Ismael felt he had no choice but to leave to provide support for his younger siblings. Ismael will not be forgotten and one of the aims of both Galilee and WHS is to provide education to the children when they are indeed children.
Despite these wonderful steps forward, there is still a lot of work to be done. In 2005 we built another FOUR classrooms which was a wonderful boost to the school and in 2006 we completed the remaining classrooms so all four years of secondary education are now offered.
At the completion of Form 4 all students sit for the Kenyan Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE).  The results of these exams determine who is eligible to go on to university and also heavily impact decisions regarding any future career choices.  It costs approximately 100 dollar for a student to take the exam.  This  is an exhorbitant fee for families living on a dollar day and often times students who have worked hard to complete their education are held back because they can't afford to pay to take the KCSE. 

If you would like to help a child sit for the KCSE please make a donation toward exam fees.

Around the world our patrons are working together to create a school that will give the children of Kayole-Soweto a high school education. This is their dream which only five years ago seemed impossible, and YOU can help them achieve it. 

Please help be a dream maker by sponsoring one of our dreamers or making a donation today.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday's Featured Student - A Struggling Orphan -

Meet Simon O. - HS112

Update - Simon has been Sponsored!!! Please look at our WHS page for more students looking for sponsors.  Thank you!
Simon is 15 years old and in Form 1.  Both of his parents have died and he lives with his sister and 5 other family members.  Together they struggle to cope with the harsh conditions in the slums. Yet everyday Simon presses on to continue his education so he can one day achieve his dream and  become an be an engineer.

 He enjoys football and his best subject is physics.  He is a very bright young man and on the KCPE exam, he scored 305/500 marks was 11th out of 62 in the recent mid-terms.  His best subject mark was Chemisty(88) although he is also very good at physics (81) and maths (78)  - he was 3rd overall in maths.  Simon's birthday is Oct. 31, 1995. 

Simon needs someone who will encourage him to stay in school, despite the odds.  He is also very excited to be getting a sponsor.  In fact he has already written a letter to his future sponsor.

For only $12.50 per month you can help him achieve his dreams.

Please email to help this young man have a brighter future.

Monday, April 11, 2011

You Don't Have To Climb Mt. Everest To Help!

But Mary did just that and more! 
When in December 2007 while post election violence was just beginning to escalate in Kenya, Mary Stravrakakis arrived in Kenya with a mission. Mary celebrated her 60th birthday by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness and funds for the Galilee children. By obtaining sponsors for her climb she was able to raise enough money to purchase the plot of land where the kitchen is located.
But she didn’t stop there! In October  2010 Mary flew to Nepal and completed a trek up to the Mt. Everest Base Camp!  Once again she collected donations to help with the kitchen project! Combined with the donations of other caring donors, we are within $1,051 of seeing Mary’s 3 year dream of a new kitchen come to fruition!!
That is where you come in.  You don’t have to climb a mountain to help us reach this very important goal.  All you have to do is hit the donate button on the right hand side of the page. 
Give a little, or give a lot every $1 gets us closer to finishing the kitchen for the 1700 students at Galilee and WHS.

A little back history about the kitchen….
Fortunately for Galilee school in 2008 Feed the Children agreed to provide food so that the Galilee Primary School children could be assured of a lunch at school each day. However, if they are to work with Galilee on a long term basis they have asked that kitchen improvements be made. The present kitchen facility which is made of tin, has only 3 stoves, serves over 1300 students and three children's home. The need to improve the kitchen is extremely urgent.
In addition, Nairobi Health officials recently inspected the school as part of their annual checks. Because of the growing number of health problems in the slums, in particular the rise of cholera, they have also asked for improvements to the set up of the kitchen so as to improve basic hygiene.
At the start of this project Galilee needed to raise $27,808.00 to purchase the kitchen land and construct a new kitchen. More than $26,500.00 has been raised or pledged so far. We need your help to raise the remaining approximate $1051!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday's Featured Student - A Remarkable Young Man

Meet Benson O. ~ HS101

Great news Benson has been sponsored!!!!!!

Benson is 15 years old and in Form 1.  Benson is a very determined young man.  He lives 6 miles from WHS in the horrible Mathare Slums. To get to WHS, he sometimes rides a bicycle and at times he goes to school on foot and so he has to leave very early in the morning to make the long journey.

He is the only person in his family that has gone to school.  His older siblings, father and mother are all illiterate. Yet he is determined to go to school so he can achieve his dream of becoming an accountant. 
His score on the KCPE exam was a respectable 323/500.  His birthday is Oct. 10. 
Please consider becoming his sponsor and help him achieve his dreams.

Email and learn how you can help!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Books, Books and More Books!

In March we heard the wonderful news that DFID (UK Aid's Department for International Development) would be donating text books to all the schools that are members of our association. They will be providing textbooks for every student at GPS (Galilee Primary School).

This is a wonderful reflection on Fanuel's hard work with his schools' association and DFID.

Today we learned, the textbooks have arrived!!!!

Here are some of the photos for the textbooks Galilee has received from the DFID project. They were supplied today.  In the photos you can see Mr Gabriel confirming the quantity.

It's amazing to think that all of the GPS children have new sets of textbooks! Now we just need to concentrate on purchasing more books for the WHS students. To purchase WHS textbooks, please go to or click on the Donate button on the right tool bar of our blog here.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Welcome to our Nairobi Kids blog!

We're glad you are here! This website represents the children of Galilee Primary School, Lorna Waddington High School and the Holly House orphanages in the Kayole-Soweto slums in Nairobi, Kenya. Through the care and donations of concerned supporters these children are getting the chance of a lifetime to change their futures. YOU can be a part of that change!

The school and its children have many needs, but we are currently promoting some very important projects:

~ WHS Child Sponsorships:
Encourage a needy student and play an instrumental role in helping a student stay in school and succeed in realizing the dream of a high school diploma. You will change the life of a student and the path of her/his family for generations to come! Sponsorship fees are only $12.50/month for Basic Program or $20/month for Lunch-Included Program.  See our WHS Sponsorship page to see some of these deserving students.

~ Sponsor a Teacher:
Galilee Primary School and Waddington High School in Nairobi, Kenya are proud of its talented, dedicated teachers, but these hard working teachers work for extremely low salaries. It is challenging to teach school in the slums. Conveniences we take for granted are lacking. It is through their genuine caring for the children that they remain at the school, working to provide brighter futures for their students. Therefore, a teacher sponsorship program has been established. The sponsorship fees provide for needed stipends to assist the school director in retaining the teaching staff. Through a stable teaching environment, our children can learn more effectively.

~ Mary's Kitchen Project:
The school is in desperate need of a new kitchen. Through donations from many generous people and grass roots organizations we are within $1300 of completing this critical project. Mary recently completed another sponsored climb and will use donations in honor of her climb to help fund the kitchen. Please visit our Projects page for more information!

Two dedicated nonprofit organizations serving these students are represented here: Kenya's Kids in Need - UK (serving the UK) and Plant-a-Book International (serving the USA and all other countries). Please email us if you have any questions about the schools or programs at

By the way, if you live in the UK, KKIN UK uses Gift Aid which allows your donations to go even further!
About Gift Aid: Under the Gift Aid scheme, charities can reclaim an extra 25% in tax on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. Between 6 April 2008 and 5 April 2011, the government will also give UK charities an extra 3% of all eligible donations. This ‘transitional relief’ does not affect your personal tax position.

Together we can make a difference! Thanks for stopping by!