The Kenya Education Fund (KEF) was founded by former Peace Corps Volunteer, Bradley Broder in 2006 to provide academic scholarships, as well as mentoring and career readiness workshops, to Kenyan students from primary school to university.
In Kenya, where high school is not offered for free, USAID estimates that 75% of high-school aged students are unable to complete school due to extreme poverty. In 2014, the KEF is addressing this education gap by offering educational scholarships to more than 650 of these girls and boys so they may unleash their full potential. In total, more than 1,500 students have already benefitted from KEF scholarships.
All KEF Scholars come from extreme poverty and have demonstrated the ability to succeed academically. Young girls, nomadic children, orphans and kids from slums like Kibera in Nairobi are particularly vulnerable and make up the majority of KEF scholarship awardees. Our scholarships empower young girls to avoid forced marriages or female circumcision. Many of our scholars are the first in their family to complete high school.
Without education the cycle of poverty is perpetuated, keeping Kenya dependent on handouts from the international community. The KEF is sensitive to the dependency that aid can create, which is why we model ourselves as an “invisible NGO”. Through the provision of scholarships, the KEF pays school fees to more than 250 Kenyan public schools, not to people. This gives students access to high-quality educational institutions that are entirely Kenyan-run and engenders confidence in, and gives support to, local schools, teachers and administrators. An “invisible” KEF is highly effective in delivering hope and opportunity to Kenyan students in a way that encourages local innovation and reliance on Kenyans rather than foreigners.
KEF university scholars and KEF alumni give back to the community by serving as mentors to current students during our annual Mentoring and Career-readiness Workshops. We also partner with LitWorld (another GCE member) to provide literacy and Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs to primary school kids in Kibera – Africa’s second largest slum.
The KEF is supported by private donations, small foundation grants and by individuals who pledge to support a KEF scholar for four years or more. To learn more about us, visit our website at www.KenyaEducationFund.org and be sure to LIKE & FOLLOW us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram!