Nyamache is a small village on the outskirts of the vibrant town of Kisii in Nayanza Province, Kenya. It is the location of the Boo funded ‘Seed of Hope’ centre. The centre was created to provide local children with the possibility of a brighter future. The programme covers three main areas of education – life skills, vocational skills and micro-business skills.
What we have achieved
In 2003, Russell, his sister and her husband John, along with MBA Students from Bournemouth University visited Nyamache to research how they could best help some of the many orphaned children in the area.
During this trip they came across Vision Africa, a charity conceived by Reverend John Packard and his wife Vera. Vision Africa was already deploying a sustainable model in Kenya to help young girls with vocational training. Their projects were based around Nairobi and since our party had been further north as part of the trip, they identified that more rural places were in great need of help as they were less supported by other charities.
The Boo organisation decided that it would be best to partner with Vision Africa in order to help reduce operational costs and benefit from the knowledge of the more experienced operation.
The Boo ‘Seed of Hope’ centre was officially opened by Reverend Packard in 2004. Operating the same model as in Nairobi, girls were selected based on level of poverty and need.
The school accommodates young ladies from all sorts of backgrounds, all having experienced traumatic events. Some have been rescued from child-labour, some from child marriage and some have been through horrific tragedies and have no-one to provide for them. The girls arrive at the Seed of Hope centre with low spirit, morale and self-esteem.
The first objective is to get the girls to chat amongst themselves and soon they realise that they are not alone. People often forget that African cultures have different religious beliefs and attitudes towards women. The centre provides the girls with a place where they can express themselves, grow and prosper spiritually and emotionally.
A board of governors, who were chosen by the organisation, selected all of the school’s teachers. The school’s teaching programme mimics the Vision Africa Seed of Hope model. This model and its exams are recognised by the Kenyan education authority and exam results are awarded in line with National standards and recognised by the business community.
The teaching curriculum includes development in the basic Maths, English, Kiswahili, Personal Hygiene & then the vocational skills such as dress making, hair dressing, jewellery making, cooking & sewing.
Our Boo Seed of Hope centre has helped some 600 young ladies over the last ten years. We have some amazing stories of incredible young people coming out of poverty to become successful people. Some have had small business ventures and some have become fantastic parents, upholding very strong morals and values.
What do we want to achieve in the future
The results of our Nyamache Boo Seed of Hope project have been extremely satisfying and the Boo organisation will continue to support and develop this project. Plans are being made with Vision Africa to introduce a boys’ element to our college, again using a proven model developed in Nairobi. The vocational skills will include metal work and welding along with business and secretarial skills.