Welcome to Rafiki Thabo Foundation
What We Do
Our mission is to support individuals and their communities in Africa through education.
Our vision is that young people will be empowered through education to fulfill their potential and initiate positive change in their communities.
We have recently finalised our strategy for 2015-2020 – this is the word cloud of our strategy to give you a flavour of what it’s about.
Please contact us if you would like to receive a copy of our strategy.
Our core programme involves providing grants to promising students to enable them to continue their education at secondary, polytechnic and university levels where otherwise they would be unable to afford the fees. This is not child sponsorship – all students supported by Rafiki Thabo have already qualified for their further education by their own merits. We simply provide financial assistance to enable them to continue.
Alongside this programme, we aim to take a holistic approach to meeting the educational needs of the individuals we support and we respond to requests from our committees in-country. This might include providing funds for extra resources to help them study (e.g. books, stationery etc), supporting the economic development of their wider household, meeting healthcare needs or ensuring they are in a safe and secure home (e.g. that orphans are housed by relatives). We also support other educational projects including:
‘Eat Well to Learn’ – school meals programme
Rafiki Thabo Foundation also supports a schools feeding programme at Kamuganguzi Janan Lewan Memorial Secondary School, Uganda. This programme was established in recognition of the fact that many students struggle to raise enough money to pay for school meals and often spend days at school trying to learn with no food. Rafiki has really been able to make a difference by covering the cost of lunches for 70 students who were going hungry.
Helping girls manage their menstruation
One in 10 African girls skip school during menstruation as they cannot afford to buy disposable sanitary towels. Girls in Kenya miss an average of 4.9 days of school each month because of periods, adding up to around 20% of the school year (Duke Global Health Institute). Some drop out entirely because they lack access to sanitary products (UNICEF). Others are forced to find alternatives such as leaves, ash, or rags which can lead to infection.
On a recent visit to Uganda, the 3 headmasters on our committee raised concerns about the girls in their secondary schools who are unable to afford sanitary protection. We therefore worked with a local partner in Uganda, Days for Girls, to provide training to 189 girls at Kamuganguzi Janan Lewan Memorial Secondary School on reproductive health and reusable sanitary kit construction. To our surprise, 158 boys also attended the training as they wanted to pass on the knowledge to their mothers and sisters! By providing these girls with the training and kits, we have made it more likely that they will complete their secondary education.
Improving the learning environment
In each of our focus countries we have a close link with a rural secondary school, via our local committee members. Our link schools are ACK St. Bartholomew’s School in Kenya, Ha Fusi School in Lesotho, and Janan Lewan Memorial Secondary School in Uganda.
We supported the construction of Ha Fusi Secondary School in Lesotho and continue to contribute to its ongoing development. The school is in a remote area and enables local students to continue their studies beyond primary school. The community of Ha Fusi had already drawn up the plans, bought the school site and fenced the compound but then funds ran short. Since 2006, Rafiki Thabo has been pleased to contribute financially and happily, Ha Fusi secondary school is now fully functional and self-sustaining.
We have recently merged with the Kazi Mingi Foundation, which supported the construction and ongoing development of ACK St. Barthlomew’s School in Voi, Kenya. We are proud to continue KMF’s support to the school’s development and remain responsive to the school’s requests for funding. We are currently seeking funding to get the school with new IT equipment.
As mentioned above, we support a school meals programme and have provided training to girls at Janan Lewan Memorial Secondary School in Uganda. We are also supporting the school’s infrastructure development, including sourcing funding for the renovation of the girls’ dormitory so that the school’s 300 girls have the option of staying over at school rather than risking attack on their way to and from school every day. We are also supporting the school to develop a piggery in order to improve the nutrional value of the school meals provided, to make the meals programme more sustainable, and to generate additional income for the school.