OTTAWA, June 13, 2012 /CNW/ - In March 2012, fledgling Ottawa-based charitable organization Elimu gained official charitable status in Canada. This week about 30 excited students and their local teachers had their first lesson in the newly completed classroom of what will be the three classroom Upendo Nursery School in Kenya's rural Sabaki village.
Canadian charity Elimu continues to raise awareness for children at risk in rural Kenya through its education-based initiatives. 100% of donations to Elimu go directly to their projects. Their founder covers all administrative costs for the Canadian and Kenya operations.
Spearheaded by founder Ms. Nina Chung, Elimu has ramped up in the past year and has its sights firmly set on finishing Upendo school by the end of 2012. The school will accommodate over 100 students in a village with no running water or electricity.
For the past four years Upendo was a make-shift nursery school with teachers doing their best amidst cramped temporary shelters with mud floors, a leaky roof and no real school supplies.
In 2011, Ms. Chung met with village leaders and purchased a plot of land that will ultimately be 'bought back' and owned by the community. Thanks to the growing number of donations from Canadians and from around the world, Upendo school is a dream about to be realized.
With the project already well underway, the ability to offer official tax receipts means greater opportunities for Canadians to give generously. Elimu is hoping to raise the next $6,000 by August.
If that happens, construction can begin for the second classroom with proper floor, solid roof, and bright windows. It is hoped that both new classrooms will be open for students by the start of the 3rd school semester in September. Elimu has worked closely with the local village to build the school in strategic stages and to use local materials and labour. On completion it will be more than just a nursery school, it will provide one of the community's only permanent structures which would put the village 'on the map' for travelling doctors to perform health checks.
In September the villagers first turned out in force to break ground. All construction is done by hand and the water to mix concrete is carried in from a community standpipe by villagers. In March, men and women from the village once again turned up in force with shovels and hoes to provide the digging labour and completed the foundation. The remaining work was completed by trained local labourers with no electric machinery. The only 'modern conveniences' are an old jeep and a small truck used to deliver building materials.
Volunteer PR Advisor to Elimu Suzanne Stoltz says, "The past year has been incredible and we are just getting started. Elimu donors don't pay for administrative expenses. 100% of every dollar given goes directly to the projects - we are all volunteers and Nina maintains the virtual office in Kenya and Ottawa. I got involved because this project is very tangible and well managed." Obtaining official charitable status was a long, necessary process which demonstrates Elimu's dedication and accountability.
The next public fundraising event will be 'EXPERIENCE KENYA' at Coco's Cafe (Riverside South) June 22-23. Completion of the entire project is targeted for December 2012 with the official school opening in January 2013. The total project will cost around $25,000.
For complete media advisory on Experience Kenya event and backgrounder on Elimu:
PR Advisor Suzanne Stoltz:
Photos available upon request.
Note to Editor: Nina Chung is in Ottawa until end of June for radio/ on-camera interview.
UPCOMING EVENT: EXPERIENCE KENYA FUND-RAISER
When: Friday JUNE 22nd - Saturday JUNE 23rd from 06:30 - 16:00
Where: COCO'S CAFE Riverside South.
"Macs Milk" Plaza at Canyon Walk Drive and Spratt Rd.
4188 SPRATT ROAD, OTTAWA, ON K1V 0Z6
For further information:
PR Advisor Suzanne Stoltz: