Watu Kwa Watu envisions a future where young people in Kenya committed to furthering themselves and improving their life chances are able to do so, irrespective of their background, social or economic status.
Mission & Goal
The prime mission of Watu kwa Watu is to provide financial support and guidance to young people in Kenya to enable them to further their education and realize their full potential. Watu Kwa Watu means People to People in Kiswahili and is our core value. All funds donated to Watu Kwa Watu directly support our beneficiaries. No funds are used to support its administration or operational costs. Watu Kwa Watu is dedicated to providing direct support and being transparent, accountable, ethical, enabling and, ultimately, effective.
In fact the preferred modality of work of Watu Kwa Watu is connecting directly the beneficiary organizations in Kenya, usually schools and orphanages, with the potential sponsors abroad and in the country. In such cases any funds, and other donations, go mostly directly to the beneficiaries without intermediation of Watu Kwa Watu. Watu Kwa Watu is identifying and evaluating potential beneficiaries, assisting them to prioritize their needs and formulate proposals/requests, advises on use of the assistance, monitors progress and reports back to the sponsors/donors.
Watu Kwa Watu’s goal is to enable underprivileged young people in Kenya to realise their educational aspirations and, in so doing, improve their employment opportunities, life chances and break the cycle of poverty.
In addition, Watu kwa Watu sees as its mission improving the infrastructure and teaching in the schools, which are serving children from slums and poor rural areas, as well as helping with nutrition and health of children in assisted schools. This is done through a combination of individual donations and institutional donor-funded projects. In case of projects Watu kwa Watu employs a local accountant and logistical assistant, both paid local-level salaries from the project funds.
What do we believe?
Attaining school education is essential to being able to advance in any profession in Kenya and yet such a basic right is out of reach for so many underprivileged, yet talented and committed young people. Watu Kwa Watu believes that a child’s financial circumstances should not define his or her future profession of options.
Who are we?
We are a group of volunteers from Kenya and around the world with a similar vision who have formed a group in order to mobilize resources for students in Kenya in need of school fees.
We strongly believe that in order to further themselves, it is imperative for a child to finish their school education, the primary education, followed either by post-primary vocational education, or for more talented and motivated high school and subsequently college or university. We identify young people with great potential who are hindered only by their financial circumstances, and provide them with the resources to continue their education. We identify particularly needy schools serving children from slums and in poor rural areas, to improve them, especially in aspects of hygiene and health.
What have we done so far?
Starting in 1995 with the help of private donors from Kenya, Switzerland, Poland, Germany and Denmark, Tomasz and Ines Sudra have been supporting supporting slum schools and paying school fees for disadvantaged students in Kenya, enabling them to complete their education. In 2010, before the establishment of the Trust and the launch of this website, we were paying the school fees of (eight) students and apprenticeships for an additional (four) young people. We were able to do this by donating our own funds, as well as collecting money from friends and well-wishers, who donated money in recognition of the dire need to support these young people. All donations received were transferred directly to pay school fees, and receipts and student progress reports were sent to the donors. In case of institutional support to schools, donors were receiving detailed reporting about feeding programs, support of teachers’ salaries, improvement of facilities etc.
In 2010, for the sake of greater transparency and, most importantly, in the hope that we will be able to support more students and schools, we established Watu Kwa Watu Charitable Trust. The Trust was registered on 15 March 2011. It is our sincere hope that we will be able to reach a wider circle of well-wishers through the formal establishment of this Trust, so that we can support and meet the needs of the extensive network of young people in Kenya requiring educational support.
As of 1.05.2015, Watu Kwa Watu trustees and donors have so far successfully supported over 30 students, several families in emergency situations, mainly with medical and related costs, and have assisted, through projects, 10 schools. We are looking to scale up in order to reach the many more young people in Kenya in need of our support.
How can you help?
There is a desperate need for educational support in Kenya. Whilst high school and further education fees may not seem high, they are way beyond the reach of so many talented and motivated young people here. Primary education, while in principle free, requires also significant additional payments (salaries of teachers not covered by government transfers, school books and stationary, school uniforms, feeding program etc), which are beyond the reach of many children, especially of the orphans, whose proportion in some schools approaches 50%. Your donations will have a huge impact on defining the future of young people in Kenya.
A large proportion of schools, especially in slums and in poor rural areas, have very deficient sanitary facilities, leaking roofs, no rain drainage resulting with muddy water entering classes during the rainy seasons, some structurally unsafe and leaking walls, damaged floors, greatly insufficient furniture, no electricity etc. To remedy these situations, Watu kwa Watu tries, with the funds from donors and sponsors, to assist in remodeling and construction of hygienic latrines, harvesting of rain-water for washing of hands and preparation of meals, construction of gutters and rain drainage canals, repairs of roofs, walls and floors, repair and construction/purchasing of basic school furnishings and other similar essential improvements.
Please visit the “How You Can Help” section of this website for more information on how you can make a big difference.
With best greetings from Kenya,
Ines and Tomasz Sudra.