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Tales from Kimani

It has been almost two years since I got to the United States to attend college through the help of the Hochschilds, a family that I feel proud of every morning and I am always grateful because of what they have done for me. The transition from Ngenia, a small village in Central Kenya, to Twin Lakes, a small town in Wisconsin, could not have been easy were it not for this great family. They have been terrific in every way. While the differences started from how you pronounced the names of my old and new living places, the love of the Hochschild has been so overwhelmingly kind and always there.

With this kind of love when you are 11,000 miles away from your family, it is such a blessing not to mention a great emotional pillar but there moments when the distance becomes very real and I find myself missing every little thing about home. The coffee plantations, mango, and avocado trees. Each day in the village seemed like a miracle, the ridges and the rugged terrain of the Kenyan highlands lay facing each other. When I climbed a mango tree in our shamba, I would always see the griming faces of these ridges and the small streams or rivers that wounded down these ridges like glittery snakes. The mooing of cows, bleating of sheep and roosters' crows filled the air all the time.

Adapting to my new environment was difficult at times because it was very different. I had to come to terms that the US does not really look as it is displayed in most Hollywood movies that I grew up watching, there are rich and poor people, not everyone drives a Lamborghini plus other very fancy cars. I had to adjust to being away from home in a foreign country, having to speak English all of the time and trying to help people understand my Kenyan accent. I had to make sense of a different educational system, eat unfamiliar foods, and much more. The Hochschilds' welcomed me as one of their own and helped me get through my first year of college. In addition to funding my entire first year of college tuition, they equipped me with clothes, a laptop, a cell phone, and school supplies. I am still deeply humbled by how much they have done for me and my family.

Because of the Hochschilds' generosity, I have experienced things I had never even dreamed of. I flew in an airplane. I learned that there is more than one kind of cheese. I blew out birthday candles at my first birthday celebration just this past year, and I discovered that I love playing golf and watching falling snow. But what I value more than anything has been the gift of education because I have seen its transformative power in my life. Not too long ago, I was just an ordinary village boy destined to live life as a coffee bean picker. That was my heritage and that was my future. But today my horizon stretches wide, full of possibility, and I am still in awe of what each day has become for me.

At the beginning of this year - 2016, I transferred to a university called Northwest University in Seattle, Washington. It is in the northwest part of the United States and 6 hours away from the Hochschilds' home via a plane. I am doing a course in Communications with concentrations in media and film studies. I am looking forward to being a News Anchor and eventually venturing into the film industry as a director/ script writer.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 June 2016 10:55

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Day of the African Child 16.06.2016

Today is the International Day of the African Child (DAC)! The 2016 theme is below on the picture borrowed from their website. The day is celebrated annually on June 16 to commemorate the 1976 Soweto uprising, where school children were massacred by the South Africa apartheid government as they demanded for their right to quality education. To read more go to their website here: http://www.acerwc.org/oureve…/day-of-the-african-child-2016/

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 June 2016 11:07

Hits: 510

Parents in shock after schools raise fees despite ministry guidelines

Parents are in shock after dozens of national schools increased fees to as high as Sh100,000 a year in blatant disregard of guidelines by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

A survey by the Nation shows that several leading schools have honoured the ministry's guidelines on school fees, which put the ceiling at Sh53,554 a year, but increased the fees by as much as Sh40,000 by introducing other levies along the way.

The move goes against an agreement reached in January between the ministry, teachers’ unions and the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association. Read on... http://www.nation.co.ke/news/-schools-raise-fees-despite-ministry-guidelines/-/1056/3245720/-/10i94s8z/-/index.html

Last Updated on Monday, 13 June 2016 12:47

Hits: 501

2015 Degree Courses selection

A total of 19,209 candidates who sat for the 2015 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination failed to get their first degree course choices after the selection of students to join public universities.

The Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) said the students will have to do a second and final revision of course choices ahead of admission in September. Read more: http://www.nation.co.ke/news/19000-fail-to-land-degree-courses-of-first-choice/-/1056/3242362/-/v0pt4y/-/index.html

Last Updated on Friday, 10 June 2016 09:51

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Kimani comes calling!!!

Kimani, a HBEF Beneficiary and one of the stars in the documentary 'a small act' www.asmallact.com currently a student at Northwest University in the USA came visiting at HBEF offices while on a visit back home during his summer vacation. Kimani had lots of stories to share about his experience in the USA since leaving Kenya 19 months ago. In brief he summed it as 'a Journey of Incredible favor from God' of which he was very thankful. He resumes his studies in Mid June.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 June 2016 09:59

Hits: 575

Quote of the week!

Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world. Nelson Mandela

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 May 2016 06:45

Hits: 568

MPs reject push to scrap VAT on books

A parliamentary committee yesterday rejected the push to scrap the 16 per cent value-added tax that was imposed on textbooks three years ago. At a meeting in Nairobi's Parliament buildings yesterday, members of the Finance, Planning and Trade Committee said there was no guarantee that if the tax was scrapped more people will read or that more books will be published.

"The publishers do not want books to be exempted. No publisher will seek an exemption, because that means they will not get anything back from the taxes they pay on paper and ink. They all come saying they want books zero-rated so that they can claim tax refunds on input. But that's not the direction we want to go," said Gaichuhie.
Read more at: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2000201569/mps-reject-push-to-scrap-vat-on-books

Last Updated on Monday, 16 May 2016 12:33

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Parents cry foul over school fees hike

Parents are now seeking President Uhuru Kenyatta’s intervention on school fees guidelines.

They claim education officials have failed to ensure the set guidelines are implemented.

Kenya National association of Parents (KNPA) Secretary-General Musau Ndunda said the government should not give new guidelines but instead focus on implementing those issued last year.

“We are writing to President Kenyatta through the Cabinet Secretary for Education Fred Matiang’i so that we can meet him and tell him the truth. And if he invites us now, we are ready to go to State House,” said Mr Ndunda at a press conference of Saturday.

Last Updated on Monday, 09 May 2016 11:07

Hits: 594

Nyandarua April 2016 BMSV

During our Beneficiary Monitoring and Support Visits, HBEF is priviledged to have the support of local authorities who take their time to come and motivate our students. Thank you to each one who takes their time to do this. HBEF is really grateful.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 May 2016 04:17

Hits: 674

PACC Formation

Daily Nation 26.04.16 Page 60
Team set up to end rows over university courses: A committee was set up to harmonize the accreditation of professional and technical programmes in institutions of higher learning. The Programme Accreditation Consultative Committee (PACC) will address the statutory conflicts that have seen some professional organizations refuse to approve courses offered by institutions of higher learning.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 April 2016 04:50

Hits: 662

2015 Beneficiaries Speak

David Ojwang (2012-2015) who scored a B+ of 72 points
'Psychosocial support conducted during the Beneficiary Monitoring and Support Visit is important and helpful as it helps the students achieve their set targets. For example action focus really enabled me to focus on the positive actions that ended up giving me the good grade I achieved.'

Harrison Kitema (2012-2015) who scored an A of 83 points

‘An opportunity is all I wanted and Hilde Back gave me more than that, it gave me hope, hope for a better tomorrow. I’ll be joining university in September to pursue a degree in computer science at UON and hopefully create opportunities for more talented youngsters. ‘

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 April 2016 06:39

Hits: 604

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