School furniture for craft school in Kenya
Chepkorio, Kenya

The Chepkorio craft school requested in 2017 financial support from the Van Doorn Foundation to purchase of tools and materials, with which the students of the school could make their own school furniture. This was necessary to improve the quality of education and to expand the capacity of the school.

What particularly appealed to the Van Doorn Foundation in this project was that the school demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit and inventiveness. The school management did not look for suppliers of school furniture but wanted the furniture to be made by the students themselves. The project was successfully completed in March 2018.

Project has been executed successfully!

Amount donated : € 3,500.-

Sponsor: AFAS Foundation

Project information
The situation

The Chepkorio Vocational Training Centre is located in the town of Chepkorio (Elgeyo-Marakwet County) and wants to improve the basic facilities of the school. The Elgeyo-Marakwet County is located in the Rift Valley Province and has a population of approximately 400,000. The area has poor soils, low rainfall and is prone to natural disasters such as drought and landslides. Due to these harsh climatic conditions coupled with high cases of insecurity, the area has high poverty levels and sparse population.

The importance of the project

The school provides training to about 150 students who want to become mason, carpenter, electrician, welders and metalworkers, car mechanic, tailor and hairdresser. In addition, all students receive general training on ICT, communication and life skills and entrepreneurship.

In order to give the most disadvantaged young people, who cannot even afford the minimum tuition fee, also a chance of education, UNICEF has paid their school fees in recent years. They represent about 20% of all students at the school.

The implementing organisation

In 1979, a craft school (the Chepkorio Vocational Training Center) was set up here by dedicated members of the rural community for the more disadvantaged young people in the county who cannot pursue a professional education in the 40 kilometre further located university-city of Eldoret.

Due to the limited financial resources, it took many years to build a few classrooms, student dormitories and teachers’ lodgings, and it was not until 2015 that sufficient facilities were realized to be recognized by the government. And one continues steadily! Every time the school succeeds in raising funds, the basic facilities (classrooms, dormitories, sanitation facilities) are improved and / or better teaching materials (textbooks, school furniture, machines and tools) are procured.

The envisaged project results

In 2017 the Chepkorio craft school requested the Van Doorn Foundation for financial support to purchase tools and materials, with which the students of the school could make the school furniture. This is necessary both to improve the quality of education and to expand the capacity of the school.

The chance of sustainability

The school also monitors what eventually happens to the students after completing their two-year training. That’s how we know that about 40% of students set up their own business, about 30% are employed at a company, about 10% continued their education at a (secondary) technical school, and the rest end up doing other work than for which they followed training.

The annual reports of the school show that up to and including 2015 about 150 students were trained each year. But – coincidentally or not – since the recognition of the school by the government in 2015, the number of registrations has increased enormously; to 200 in 2016 and 250 in 2017. The expectation is that – if one can realize the capacity for this – this growth can continue to 300 pupils per year from 2018 onwards. And that is important! Because if the young people can work independently or in paid employment thanks to the acquired skills and they can generate income, this will in time lead to an improvement of the living standards of the entire community!

The progress of the project

What the Van Doorn Foundation particularly appealed to this project was that the school showed entrepreneurial spirit and inventiveness. School management did not look for suppliers of school furniture but wanted the students to make the furniture themselves. In this way the knife cuts on multiple sides because this is not only going to be much cheaper but it also learns students to make products that can actually be sold and for which there is demand. That is convenient for the school as it generates income and it is an important lesson for the students once they start working and generating income for themselves.

The school did not want to charge those expenses on to students (by increasing tuition fees) because it would make the school no longer accessible to the disadvantaged young people in the county and therefore submitted a request for funding to the Van Doorn Foundation. The project costs were estimated at KES 473,700. The school contributed for KES 57,200, so KES 400,000 (€ 3,500) was needed to realize this project.

The result

We are thankful that AFAS Foundation from The Netherlands approved our funding request for this project in December 2017! This made it possible to enter into a grant agreement with Chepkorio VTC before the end of 2017 and tools and materials could be purchased early 2018. This allowed the students of the school, with instruction and guidance of the teachers, to make their school furniture in the period January – March 2018. All planned school desks have been realised during this first quarter of 2018 and been put into use in the second quarter!