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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wisconsin chapter.

“Education is a hidden treasure,” and together, we can help unearth it for every child, one classroom at a time.

Established in 2002, Gift Schools has been a beacon of light, providing education to more than 1000 vulnerable children who might have otherwise been left without the opportunity to learn. I had the privilege of visiting this remarkable institution, an experience that left me profoundly inspired and deeply moved.

Gift Schools, registered as APBET (Alternative Provision Of Basic Education and Training) under the Ministry Of Education Science and Technology, is a testament to the power of education in transforming lives. The school follows the Kenyan syllabus for Pre-primary and Primary school, offering classes from Nursery to Class 8 and catering to a diverse population of over 500 pupils. The motto of the school, “Education is a hidden treasure,” beautifully encapsulates the profound impact education can have on these young minds.

That morning on our way to the Gift Schools my group of friends and I headed to a local grocery store to purchase food and supplies for both the students and faculty. We were sent a list beforehand from one of the head faculty members of the school, so we had an idea of what they needed beforehand. During our visit to Gift Schools, we were acutely aware of the importance of avoiding the pitfalls of the “white savior” narrative. To ensure our support was sustainable and respectful, we took deliberate steps to immerse ourselves in the local community. Rather than importing supplies, we made a conscious effort to purchase all the necessities in Kenya, so that we were supporting the local economy. Our commitment extended beyond the duration of our visit. We pledged to maintain regular contact with the dedicated individuals working at the school, understanding that true change requires ongoing support. We continued to raise funds, ensuring that our involvement was not a one-time gesture but a lasting partnership aimed at empowering Gift Schools and its students for the long haul.

Once we arrived at the Gift Schools we were greeted by the driving force behind Gift Schools, Linah Samba, the founder of the school. Her dedication to providing education to orphans and vulnerable children from the slums is awe-inspiring. Linah’s vision is to train children in a godly way, nurturing them emotionally, socially, and spiritually. The mission of the school is to enable each child to discover their God-given talents and explore them fully, fostering holistic growth. Walking through the mud houses that serve as classrooms, I saw the resilience and determination in the eyes of the pupils. Gift Schools become not just an educational institution but a sanctuary where these children receive the care, guidance, and education they deserve.

The challenges faced by Gift Schools are significant, from financial constraints to limited resources. However, the staff, including dedicated individuals like Phelister Takaa, Job Okoth, Jane Ojowi, and many others, work tirelessly to provide high-quality education. Despite the hurdles, the school’s achievements are remarkable, with increasing enrollment, improved test results, and the invaluable support of sponsors from around the world. My visit to Gift Schools was a reminder of the importance of supporting educational initiatives like this one. Education is not just a privilege; it is a fundamental right that every child deserves. The work being done at Gift Schools is a testament to the positive change that education can bring to the lives of vulnerable children.

As I reflect on my experience, I am compelled to urge others to contribute to causes like Gift Schools. Donating to schools that provide education to underprivileged children is not just a charitable act; it is an investment in the future. It is a collective responsibility to ensure that every child, regardless of their background, has access to quality education. Gift Schools has shown us that with determination, dedication, and support, we can break the cycle of poverty and create a brighter future for these children.

To donate and make a difference, please reach out to Gift Schools through their email at giftschools@gmail.com or contact them at +254700842701 or +254728881626.

Vivian Marmor

Wisconsin '24

Hey there, my name is Vivian Marmor and I am from Long Island, New York. I am currently a sophomore at UW Madison and am majoring in Legal Studies. A little about me is that I love to travel, I am a huge hockey fan, and I can definitely say I have an addiction to iced coffee and crewneck sweatshirts.