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 25, 2014

High Achieving WHS Students Seeking Sponsors

This year’s Form 1 class at Waddington High School contains a number of high achieving students who are currently in need of sponsors.  Many of these students earned scores of 300 and above on their Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) Examinations last year, which is considered an excellent score.  This level of achievement is remarkable given the difficult circumstances in which these children are growing up.  These students are intelligent and motivated, but they need sponsors to provide the financial support necessary for them to complete their high school education.

            Finding a sponsor is seen as an enormous blessing by our Nairobi Kids.  In fact, a few of our Form 1 students were so hopeful that they would soon find a sponsor that they took the initiative to write a letter to their future sponsor.  One such child is Fidelice (HH533 – pictured above).  Fidelice turned 15 years old on February 28.  He is in Form 1 at WHS and is very bright.  He scored a 361 on the KCPE Exam!  His best subject in school is Kiswahili and he enjoys playing football.  Fidelice was offered a place at Holly Heart (the boys’ orphanage on campus) because his parents are both extremely ill and unable to care for him.  Fidelice writes:

Dear Sponsor,

            How are you?  I hope that you are fine?  My name is Fidelice.  I am at Lorna Waddington High School…I completed … my primary education and scored three hundred and sixty one marks.  Life [at my former primary school] was difficult, but I have been able to continue well.

            My parents had a difficult time for paying fees.  I come from a poor family where there is no source of proper basic needs.  We lead the peasant type of life that relies on hand to mouth.

            I request you to kindly assist me to pursue my studies so that I may have a bright future.  I declare that I will thank you by working hard for your effort of helping me.  The family background is not good.  That is why I am promising to work hard so as to improve my family background and help others. 


            Fidelice (HH533)

            Fidelice and our other high-achieving Form 1 students have demonstrated that they have both the ability and the motivation to succeed in high school and pursue careers that will allow them to leave poverty behind.  Can you sponsor one of these children and provide the support necessary to help make their dreams come true?  You can find pictures and profiles of our Form 1 students on our website, under the tabs for Holly House Children (for those living at the orphanages on campus) and Secondary School Children (for those living with family or well-wishers). 

            You can sponsor Fidelice or one of the other Holly House children for only $30 per month.  You can sponsor one of the Secondary School children living off-campus for only $12.50 per month or $20 (with reduced lunch fee). 

            For more information, please visit, or email 

            Please make a difference in the life of a child today!

~Submitted by Brooke

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Books from the "Share the Love Textbook Drive" Have Arrived!

Fanuel (the school director) has advised us that the textbooks purchased in connection with our Valentine’s Day/Share the Love Textbook Drive have arrived!  As seen in the picture above, the schools were able to purchase many desperately needed textbooks for a variety of grade levels. 

The number of books we were able to donate through the drive was boosted by several special gifts from sponsors.  First, one of our sponsors offered to match donations of up to 25 math texts for each of Form 1 and 2.  As a result, we were able to donate 50 math texts for each of Form 1 and Form 2 (pictured below)!  Another sponsor rallied her work colleagues to make a group gift of 10 business studies texts for each of Forms 1-4, for a total of 40 texts (pictured below).  Finally, we wrapped up our drive by meeting an offer by a third sponsor to match up to $42 in text purchases for Form 1 or 2 students. 

Thank you to all of our supporters and sponsors who donated and helped to make our “Share the Love” Textbook Drive a resounding success!
New Math Textbooks Form 1 and Form 2
New Business Studies Textbooks
  ~Submitted by Brooke

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Child of the Week

Meet Ferdinand- GPS607 
Birthday – Unknown

Ferdinand is seven years old and in Standard 2 at the Galilee Primary School.  He lives with his unemployed parents and three siblings in the Kayole-Soweto slums of Nairobi under difficult circumstances.  Ferdinand enjoys reading storybooks and his best subject at school is Kiswahili.  He would like to be a doctor when he grows up.  Can you reach out to be Ferdinand’s sponsor? 

You can sponsor Ferdinand for only $12.50 a month.

For more information, please visit or email
Please make a difference in the life of a child today!

~Submitted by Brooke

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

History and Tour of Holly House

Holly House (girls' dorm)

In 2003, Fanuel (the school director) rented out two rooms to house several GPS students that had recently been left homeless without guardians.  Later, he was able to rent a larger house to accommodate more orphans.  The orphanage was named “Holly House” after Holly, a sponsor and Galilee supporter who had been particularly instrumental in providing beds, chairs, utensils, and other basic supplies needed to establish the children’s home. 

The original Holly House was quickly outgrown due to the large number of children in dire need of a home, but in 2006 the school was able to lease a building on a property adjacent to GPS.  In February, 2006, “Holly’s Heart” orphanage was opened to house the boys under the school’s care, while Holly House became an orphanage for the girls. Later a second Holly’s Heart orphanage (“Holly’s Heart II”) was opened to accommodate more boys.  Residents of the orphanages live under the care of loving houseparents who provide stability, direction, and nurturing.

Today, the Holly House and Holly’s Heart orphanages provide shelter for approximately 100 children.  Most of these children are orphans, often from the AIDS epidemic that has swept Kenya, or have one remaining parent who is unable to provide basic necessities for them.  Some of the residents are displaced refugees – the victims or war, drought, or violence.  A few of the children have sadly been abandoned by their destitute families.  Many of the residents of the orphanages are street children that Fanuel heard about, located, and brought to live at Holly House so that they could receive an education.  There are also a few students who live far away from WHS and board at the Holly House orphanages in order to obtain a secondary education (these boarders are not part of the sponsorship program). 

Thank you to Katja, one of our sponsors who took these photos on her recent trip to the GPS/WHS campus!

Holly's Heart I (boys' dorm)
Holly's Heart II (boys' dorm)
Matron of Holly House
Large dorm room in Holly's Heart II.  These children sleep in bunk beds, 2 to 3 beds high.  They keep their belongings safe in trunks.
Dorm room in Holly House. 
Wash room in Holly House.  It serves as both a squat toilet and a shower.
Courtyard of Holly House.  The rooms are arranged around this courtyard which has a large screen over the top. 
Laundry drying on top of Holly House.
View of the roof tops of Holly's Heart I and Holly House.  The water barrel on the roof of Holly House supplies water for the children's homes.
~Submitted by Brooke.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Reminder: The Online Shop Has Reopened

The Online Shop is now open for the second term of the school year.  Orders placed in our Online Shop by the last day of the month are sent to the school and distributed to students in the following month.  Thus, orders received on or before April 30 will be distributed to the children in May.  

~Submitted by Brooke

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Child of the Week

Meet Brian- WH498
Birthday – January 7

Brian is fifteen years old and a new Form 1 student at Waddington High School.  He achieved an excellent score of 308 on the KCPE Exam last year.  Brian lives with his sickly mother and two siblings in abject poverty in the Kayole-Soweto slums of Nairobi.  Brian enjoys playing handball for fun.  His best subject is Kiswahili and he hopes to be a journalist one day.  Can you support Brian’s dreams with your sponsorship? 

You can sponsor Brian for only $12.50 a month on the basic program, or $20 a month on the reduced-cost lunch program.  You will receive an annual photo and at least three letters a year from your sponsored child.  You will also be informed of the child’s grades in school.

For more information, please visit or email
Please make a difference in the life of a child today!

~Submitted by Brooke

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Letter of the Month Club

Welcome to the Letter of the Month Club (LOTMC)!  This is a monthly feature on the blog that we hope will help you develop a deeper relationship with your sponsored child through letter-writing.  Since we are all in different stages of getting to know our sponsored kids, we have several suggested topics so that you can choose the one that works best for you and your sponsored child.  We have also provided suggestions for “extras” to send along with your letter, and questions to ask your sponsored child.

This Month’s Topics:
Getting to Know You: Your Occupation
What is your occupation (and that of your spouse, if applicable)?  What duties does your job entail?  How many years have you been working in your industry?  What education or training was required to obtain your position?  What is your favorite part of your job?  What is your least favorite part of your job?    
Suggested Extras: A printout describing your occupation or a picture of you at work.
Questions to Ask: Ask your sponsored child what job he/she would like to have.
Topic in Focus: Favorite Fable
What is your favorite fable?  Either summarize the story to your sponsored child or attach a printout.  Why did you choose this fable as your favorite?  What lessons can be taken from the fable?
Suggested Extras: Copy of the fable (click link for printouts of Aesop’s fables).
Questions to Ask: What did he/she think of the fable you chose?  Is there a way he/she can apply the lesson from the fable in his/her life?
Holiday/Seasonal: May Day/Labour Day
How is May Day (or Labour Day) celebrated in your country?  What will you and your family do to celebrate May Day?  If May Day is not celebrated in your country, discuss another May holiday that is (e.g., Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day).
Suggested Extras: Picture of a maypole dance; spring-themed stickers.
Questions to Ask: How is May Day or Labour Day celebrated in Nairobi?
Reminder: The purpose of the LOTMC is to facilitate getting more letters in the mail to our Nairobi Kids, so please do not get bogged down in worrying about writing the perfect letter or gathering the “extras.”  If you are short on time this month, just drop a postcard or greeting card in the mail with a few short lines to let your Nairobi Kids know that you are thinking of them.  

~Submitted by Brooke