Ilmokesen Bursary Fund: A game-changer in Matapato

Kitty supports 2,000 students from poor backgrounds with millions of shillings worth of bursaries to enable them learn without interruption

By Our Reporter

Private organizations have been asked to complement local government efforts to develop human capital and quickly transform lives in rural areas.

Ilmokesen Education Fund chair and human rights activist Timothy Kores (pictured) has described education as a key resource that is critical to the success of any human enterprise such as universal healthcare.

Challenging the private sector and non-governmental organizations working in Kajiado County, Kores asked them to focus on sponsoring education, saying much can be attained through education empowerment in the region.

“The basic need in many parts of Kajiado is education, but many of our people don’t have the resources to do so even though they now understand the value of taking their children to school,” said Kores. “We can build hospitals but without the human resource to work in the hospitals, it will amount to nothing.”

Ilmokesen Education Fund supports 2,000 students from poor backgrounds with millions of shillings worth of bursaries to enable them learn without interruption.

The charitable fund, which was founded six years ago, is also supporting local youth who are secondary school leavers in a mentorship programme meant to train the youth on life skills and selection of marketable courses in university.

“As Ilmokesen Fund, we have sustained the mentorship programme; we hire experts to train our youth before they join university to make sure they choose marketable courses in colleges,” he said. “We are fully committed to support the community in the area of youth talent development and empowerment.”

According to Kores, the charitable fund was born as a result of many students in the region staying at home after performing well in the their final examinations for lack of school fees.

He said he had worked in a local school for over 20 years, where he saw many bright students drop out of school. “In my work, I have seen our Maa students leave school for lack of fees. That is what challenged me to mobilize locals to have a fund for bursaries.

The programme, which has a managing board at the locational level — with representative of pastors and chiefs as ex-officio members — is changing fortunes for young people in the region. Since it started, some students from poor backgrounds have been given full scholarships.

Although Kores says there have been challenges in managing the fund, the youth from poor families in Matapato have testified how the Ilmokesen Fund has become a game-changer in raising literacy levels and combating poverty in the county.

Kores said the scholarship programme has also helped to ensure that girls do not get lured into early marriages. “Every year, we gather 10,000-plus locals in the fundraising meetings and we discuss many challenges, including female genital mutilation and early marriages, were we ask our people to stop such practices.”

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