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, September 28, 2012

Friday's Featured Child - Reagan

Reagan has been waiting a long time for a sponsor.  Let's hope today is the day he hears, "You've been sponsored!"
 Meet Reagan
Nine year old Reagan is in standard 3.  His birthday is February 17th.  Reagan lives with his unemployed parents and four siblings in the slums.  His best subject in school is Math and he wants to be a doctor.  He loves playing football!  His home chore is washing utensils.  Won't you reach out to be his sponsor?

Sponsorship fees are only $12.50/month and includes a fruit breakfast.  Please email for more information about sponsoring Reagan. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's Almost Exam Time!

Fall is almost upon us! For our Form 4 students at Waddington High School, that means studying for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams, which they will be taking in the next couple of months.

As you know, here at Plant-a-Book International, we're passionate about making education available to children who have been raised in extreme poverty. Our hope is that gaining an education will help these young people break the cycle of poverty. Some of our high school students have ambitions to go to university and become accountants and doctors. Others want proof that they have a secondary education to find jobs after graduation. We want to make these goals achievable for them.

Before they can go on to college, students in Kenya must pass the KCSE exam. It covers three compulsory subjects -- English, Swahili and mathematics -- plus 2 science subjects, one humanities subject and one technical or practical subject, such as business studies, computers or agriculture. It costs $85.

Unfortunately, for most of our students, this exam is far too expensive. Many don't have money for food or books. The only meals many of our students eat are the ones provided at school, which are generously funded by our sponsors and donors and any contributions that parents are able to make.

Last year, we were thrilled to be able to to cover approximately one third of our Form 4 students in sitting for the exams, all based on funds from of our wonderful sponsors and donors! Now, it's time to raise money for next year's students.

The deadline to pay the KCSE fees is February 1, 2013. We have 92 Form 3 students who will be sitting the KCSE exams in 2013. Based on current sponsorships, we anticipate having enough funds set aside to cover 21 exams. That gives us less than 5 months to raise funds to assist the other 71 students who want to sit for these exams.

We appreciate every donation, whether it covers several students' fees or just a portion of one student's. Every little bit adds up to invest in these young people's futures. Because really, that's what Plant-a-Book is all about!
Submitted by Ashley Hagood, Staff Writer

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday's Featured Child - Jackline

Imagine how wonderful it must be to one of our students to hear those words, "You've been sponsored!"  Please make this dream come true for one of our students today!

Meet Jackline
Jackline is in Form 1 at Waddington High School.  She lives with her parents and two siblings.  Jackline's best subject is math.  She enjoys dancing, volleyball and gospel music.  Her birthday is October 9, 1997.  She would love to receive letters or cards from a caring sponsor.  Could it be you?

Sponsorship fees for WHS students are only $12.50/month or $20/month if you include the lunch program.  For more information, please email


Monday, September 17, 2012

The Story of a Staff Room, a Computer Lab and a Library!

When Waddington High School was built the Wayne Hagood Memorial Library was created for our students.  Over time it became necessary for the teachers to use the library as their only place to meet, grade papers, and have staff meetings.  Sometimes they resorted to putting desks outside to accomplish these tasks.  (Check out that stack of papers on the one teacher's desk.)

We found ourselves with two new goals:  to create a staff room so the the original Wayne Hagood Memorial Library could return to it's original purpose and to designate a room as a computer lab.  There were two classrooms on campus which need completed that could be used for these purposes.   We needed to raise $2700 to finish these rooms.  Thanks to sponsor Suzanne's school which raised $1534, a $1000 grant from another foundation, and our dedicated donors who contributed the remaining funds, we were able to fund the completion of the classrooms this summer!  (Laptop computer donations are most welcomed!)

Completing the floor:

Completing the classroom corridor:

Painting the rooms:
What's really wonderful about all of this is that we not only have a long-needed staff room for our dedicated teachers use, and a future computer lab, but we also returned the library back to a full time library for all of our students to use!  
We are accepting donations to purchase reference books for the library.  Just click on the Donate button on the top right side of this page.
Thanks to everyone who made this possible!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday's Featured Child - Austin

I can't emphasize enough how much the gift of sponsorship means to our students.  Just knowing there is someone in this world who cares about them keeps our students hanging on to hope and gives them a boost of confidence.  Please consider sponsoring a child today!

Meet Austin
Austin's birthday is June 23, 1996.  He is in Form 1 at Waddington High School.  Austin's best subject is math and he would like to be a doctor. He scored 319 on the KCPE last year, which is a very good score. Austin lives with his parents and four siblings live in abject poverty in the slums.  For fun, Austin enjoys music, especially gospel music, and football.  Won't you consider being Austin's sponsor?

Sponsorship fees for WHS students are only $12.50/month or $20/month if you include the lunch program.  Please email for more information about how you can make a difference in this child's life. 


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Safer Water at Galilee This Week!

There was a  wonderful day back in 2007 when a water well was drilled at Galilee, finally allowing for the availability of water on the campus! That bore hole was drilled thanks to the fundraising efforts of our Galilee supporters and the hard work of a Kenyan woman engineer from the UK named Yolanda and crew.

 Fanuel, school director, reports that Yolanda is back at the school this week! She had done some fundraising in order to install a chlorine douser which was installed today. This douser will allow for the chlorination of the water, making it safer for drinking. There have been several students with stomach problems due to the high level of bacteria in the water so this should help with that. What a wonderful gift!

Here are excerpts from Yolanda's report from 2007, just to give you a sense of how important all of this is:

Project Summary
By Yolanda
 Page 1 of 3
The drought in Kenya has made a simple necessity such as water very expensive, and it is considered a luxury to the children of Galilee Primary and Waddington High School in the Kayole-Soweto slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Consequently, the school launched an appeal for funding to construct a water-well which would provide a reliable and cost effective water supply benefiting not only the school, but the Soweto community as a whole. Through research I identified this  project and instantly wanted to be involved in assisting the school to achieve their goal, and contribute towards improving the lives of Kenya's children.
*My Journey to Galilee and Waddington School *
In May 2007, I travelled to Galilee Primary and Waddington High School in Kenya to supervise the construction of the water-well. Additionally, the aim of my trip was to promote the Institute of
Civil Engineering (ICE) and women in engineering on an international level. Having never visited the slums of Nairobi before, Kayole-Soweto was a completely new learning experience for me.
Kayole-Soweto is located approximately 25km on the outskirts of Nairobi city centre. The non-formal school founded in 1997, educates over 1600 impoverished children, as well as providing food and shelter for the orphans. With two streams of classrooms from Standard 1 – Form 3 (aged 4 – 18 years), the school was much bigger than I had envisaged catering for an average of 35/ 40 students per class and is growing daily. The classrooms are very simple and basic, with minimal sanitary facilities.
 *Page 2*
Project Summary
By Yolanda
 Page 2 of 3
*The Water-Well Construction *
Prior to my involvement, the school had undertaken an assessment to  determine a suitable location for the well and required drill-depth to provide enough clean water to meet the demand. The survey concluded the well needed to be approximately 200m deep. I soon discovered that the Nairobi River runs though Soweto slum adjacent to the school. However due to poor sanitation and pollution (an ongoing problem the school are battling), the river is unable to provide a source of clean water for the children. Although the construction start date was slightly delayed, I liaised with the Contractor and was able to supervise the main event. Located within a major aquifer, the ground conditions at the school are highly permeable. In a record breaking time, I supervised as the Contractor drilled 200m in one day!  The whole school gathered to witness the drilling. Excitement was clearly in the air and many children expressed joy that their prayers for clean water had been answered.
*Page 3*
Project Summary
By Yolanda
 Page 3 of 3
*The Future Galilee and Waddington and Engineers *
I received a warm welcome from the students of Galilee and Waddington  Schools. Many children of all ages expressed an interest in engineering and were keen to talk to me about the profession. I spent much time teaching the children about the benefits of a career in civil engineering and answering particular questions the children had. This mainly involved explaining the differences in consultancy and contracting, outlining the various aspects of civil engineering and describing my qualifications and employment and as a civil engineer. Most of the children had the perception that engineering involved intensive manual labour and was a career for men only. I learned as the first female engineer the children had ever met, my visit offered them hope and encouragement to work hard and achieve their dreams. Many students, including more girls are now considering engineering as a career choice.
 *The Galilee- Waddington Experience*
Spending time in the Soweto slums opened my eyes to the reality of poverty in Nairobi. I witnessed first hand the daily struggles children face to simply stay alive. Some children did not  know where their next meal or water would come from outside the schools. Survival of the schools is entirely dependant on sponsors and well wishers. I was overwhelmed to see all the selfless hard work the school director, Fanuel Okwaro and teachers are doing to provide for these children in need. On embarking on this project, I was not sure what to expect, but after spending time with the children, I was confident that I was in the right place. The schools
are founded on religious backgrounds, and it is believed this strong foundation is the driving force that ensures their survival. I travelled to Soweto slums to help and teach the children, but when I left I felt that I had learned the biggest lesson. It made me realize the many things we take for granted in our daily life such as water, food and clothing. These wonderful children, with next to nothing, were so lively and happy to meet a new face. This was a humbling and truly memorable experience for me.
I learned that the smallest of  gestures can make a big difference in improving lives. They really are wonderful children  and every little assistance counts. Please do what you can to help Kenya's children in need.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday's Featured Child ~ George

Meet George!

George is 9 years old and in standard 3.  His best subjects are Math and English and he dreams of being an Engineer.  George has had a rough time.  His parents are both deceased and he lives with his uncle who is not functioning well.  George may be a candidate for Holly House someday.  He has two sisters.  He helps by fetching water.  George loves singing.  George is in great need of a sponsor. 

Sponsorship fees for primary school are only $12.50/month.  You will receive three letters per year and an annual photo, but more importantly, you will have the joy of making a difference in a child's life!

Please email if you would like more information about sponsoring George or any other children.  You may visit our website at to see other children available for sponsorship.  If you have a particular age child in mind, please let us know.  There are many children available for sponsorship that are not listed as yet.

Thank you for considering sponsoring a child!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Join iGive Dog Days Sweepstakes and Help Our Kids!

How exciting is this!  Our friends at iGive are running a Dog Days Charity Sweepstakes. 

Help Plant-a-Book International.

Become an iGive member (it's free), try the Button for a day, and you'll grow the prize $1 and give Plant-a-Book International another chance to win.  Just go to

We have until SEPTEMBER 15 to join and recruit people to iGive for Plant-a-Book International!  Just "Get the button and grow the prize."  Be sure to designate Plant-a-Book as your charity to support.

Love the word "FREE."  Simple, simple, simple.  Please join today!