January 2019 - A grand celebration for Vicky’s graduation.
In the meeting were our current students with their parents and guardians. We also invited our new students to join us, we thought this the best way to demonstrate how serious we are on our program and to show them what they can also achieve. This became the highlight as it got our young girls; some seeing graduation gowns for the first time, really motivated. We had a cake made and presented to Vicky on behalf of the whole Hoopers family. A few of the trustees shed tears of joy to see the results of our efforts.
Daisy Chepkirui, one of our students now in further education, won the Vice Chancellor's award for her outstanding examination performance during her third year of studying at Jomo Kenyatta University.
She was invited to receive the award from the Vice Chancellor on Wednesday 27th June.
The biennial visits are a valuable opportunity for the UK Trustees to meet with the Kenyan Trustees and attend a seminar where the current beneficiaries, university students and graduates all come together to celebrate and inspire one another.
All trustees travel at their own expense and at no cost to HAT. This is most important, as we want to demonstrate that all monies donated go directly towards the girls' education.
August 2017 - Clinic
HAT Trustees Dr Elizabeth Barthes-Wilson, a general practitioner, and Dr Marice Theron, a consultant paediatrician, are a greatly valued addition to the Board. Prior to our 2017 visit and in consultation with a local clinician, we purchased various medications to take with us. With his assistance, Elizabeth and Marice held a clinic for the girls. They appraised fifty-three girls, of whom thirty-two received treatment and medication. This included one who was suffering from malaria, six with scabies, two with undiagnosed asthma and the remaining girls with various minor ailments.
November 2016 - Another of our stars graduates...
A message from Paul Kirui, our Hoopers Africa Trust Kenya Chairman with the good news of another of our students graduating:
"Please share my joy in witnessing the graduation of another star in the Hoopers family. Mercy Netaiya graduated today from Kabianga university.
This is definitely an addition of value to our charity"
"Here below are the few photos I took. I also presented her with our HAT graduates' medal."
One of our students, Daisy Chepkirui has just learnt that she has won the Vice Chancellor's award for her outstanding examination performance during the 2014/2015 academic year.
She was invited by Jomo Kenyatta University to receive the award from the Vice Chancellor on Friday 19th February. Please click on the picture on the right to see her invitation to receive the award.
Josephine Chepngetich is our latest beneficiary to have graduated from university. Josephine was the third girl to join our programme in early 2007.
The Trustees are delighted to announce that Dr Elizabeth Barthes-Wilson has agreed to join our board of Trustees. Elizabeth is a GP in London, and has experience of working in Africa, most recently at an Ebola Treatment Centre in Sierra Leone.
In May 2015, Strathmore University in Nairobi published an interview with Rhoda on their website. (See the full article below) Rhoda has been supported in her education by Hoopers Africa Trust since 2007. Rhoda was the eighth girl to join our programme.
In September 2015 Rhoda very proudly, graduated from Strathmore University.
We are so proud, Rhoda is one of five girls who have now graduated from university. The others being Jackline, Wilita, Faith & Josephine.
These Biennial visits are an important opportunity for the UK Trustees to travel to Kenya, meet with the Kenyan Trustees and attend a seminar where the current beneficiaries, university students and graduates are all brought together to celebrate and inspire one another.
We should of course point out that all Trustees travel at their own expense and at no cost to Hoopers Africa Trust, this is very important to us as we want to be able to demonstrate to donors that all monies donated go directly to the benefit of the girls education.
With our older girls achieving fantastic exam results and several gaining entry into university, 2015 has been extremely successful. We now have five girls that have gone right through to complete University education.
In a recent email, Hoopers Africa Trust patron; Dr. Roberta Bondar remarked "My Kenya memories make me bubble over with joy knowing the good work that you are doing and the life changing opportunity that you have given the Kenyan women and also me personally"
Below is a video from the 2015 Trustee visit, please take a look.
The 2015 Trustee visit welcome dance.
May 19, 2015
Graduand Spotlight: Rhoda – Building Futures through Mentorship
Rhoda a Bachelor in Commerce student and a member of the Community Service Centre (CSC) is grateful for her time at Strathmore University, a journey that cultivated her strong passion for helping the needy and inspiring her society. Coming from a humble background, Rhoda understands just too well what it feels like to lack, as well as to receive from well-wishers. Starting a mentoring program in her hometown is just one of the ways she desires to impact the society, especially young girls who see getting married as a better option to studying.
Q: What is your family background?
A: I come from a small town in Transmara district, Kilgoris County and my family is quite big. I am the fifth born out of seven children. My parents are very supportive and loving despite financial challenges that we encounter.
Q: How did you join Strathmore?
A: I learnt about Strathmore University from Lilian Munene, who is a member of staff at the school. She knew and interacted a lot with , a charity organization that sponsored needy girls from my county who did exceptionally well in school. The organization would sponsor children from as early as the primary level to highschool, and if they performed well in their national examinations, they would further support them through university. I was among the students who performed well in the examination in my year, I got a B-, and as a result Hoopers Afica Trust chose to sponsor half of my tuition; Strathmore University offered to sponsor the remaining half. I went to Olgos Primary School in Kilgoris and Chebunyo high school in Bomet for my secondary education.
Q: How has your journey at Strathmore been like?
A: Studying at Strathmore has been a great blessing, not only with my academics, but also mentally, and spiritually. We learn about ethics, we are encouraged to participate in contributing to the society, and we have mentors who guide us all through university. This I believe, has shaped me into the lady I am today.
I have had great experiences with people who are always willing to help, for example, my project supervisor Ms. Mary Omingo who was never tired of helping me even if she had to explain the same thing a million times. She would willingly go the extra mile. I also picked up mentoring that am currently doing at my home town. I learnt a lot from my mentor, and I desire to offer the same to children back home.
Q: You were a member of CSC, how did that influence you?
A: I learnt about CSC in my second year of university, in 2012, when their representative came to our class to speak about the centre and what they do. I decided to join them because I believed it was going to be my way of giving back to the society. Looking at my upbringing I understood full well how it felt to lack something, so I wanted to be the change I saw in my own life.
One of the activities that will remain memorable to me will be the visit we took to Kenyatta National Hospital. I met a seven year old girl from Turkana who was suffering from cancer. She had been in hospital for two years and had not seen her parents for a long time. She was feeling hopeless and just needed some sort of encouragement. I spoke to her and tried to cheer her on and by the end of that day, we left her smiling and optimistic.
I also draw inspiration from the time we visited Mother Teresa in Langata, a home for disabled destitute children. Seeing these women who were from age 12 onwards, made me realize that my life was blessed, regardless of the hardships I may have endured. This visit gave me a reason to stand tall and always look at the bright side in life, to appreciate what I have and be content with where I am.
Q: Did you have any challenges especially on studying away from home?
A: Strathmore was the reason I came to Nairobi, I had not been here before. The culture shock was immense but I had to pull through. I almost wanted to go back home in my first semester, but I was encouraged to stay on and it was obviously a great choice. I came in when the semester had already began and it was a challenge to catch up as well, but with time I adjusted.
Of course many times we had a lot of assignments to work on, but you adjust eventually. At least when I get a job I will not find too much work as a challenge.
Q: What plans do you have for your next 5-10 years?
A: Right now I am mentoring some students from my village. I am doing this with my colleagues who had been sponsored by Hoopers Afica Trust as well. The students I mentor are in both primary and secondary schools. The key is to try and encourage those who feel like giving up, maybe because of fee issues or they cannot understand their academic work, to know that they have an equal chance of making it just like any other person.
The girls tend to choose to get married early when things become difficult. To such, it is important to advise them the importance of having an education and to remind them that marriage can wait. Most girls opt to get married just after they finish standard eight, and the lives they end up living are desperate and wanting. Most of them have nothing to offer their children and probably have to rely on their husbands for the basics. My desire is to show them that they have a chance to make it through education just like I did.
Aside from mentoring I hope to start my finance career here in Nairobi, and use my salary to help my siblings finish their education journey as well. I am the first person in my family to come this far with education.
Q: Who is your role model/ who inspires you to work hard?
A: I draw my inspiration from a lady known as Mrs. Regina Kosgei, one of the facilitators at Hoopers Afica Trust. During school holidays, we had seminars organized by the organization where facilitators would come and speak to us, mentor us and encourage us. The way Mrs. Kosgei expressed herself during such talks was remarkable; she would advise us to be visionary women.
My other role model is my aunt whom I lived with while studying. The way she balances her life, family and work is inspiring. She doesn’t see limitations in life, she always finds a way of building success out of what she has been entrusted with.
We welcome Apiah, the 100th girl starting secondary education under the HAT programme.
We are also celebrating our first graduate Jackline. Below are some pictures of Jackline receiving her degree and attending a Hoopers Africa Trust FGM awareness seminar where she met with Apiah. They are both proudly wearing their FGM seminar t-shirts "You don't have to be cut, to become a woman"
In 2013 Dr. Roberta Bondar, Scientist, Photographer, Author and Astronaut became Patron of Hoopers Africa Trust. Here is a group picture from the
biennial trutee visit, Roberta's first as patron.
In 2011 Roger's good friend Dr. Roberta Bondar visited Kenya with the trustees. Roberta made a mesmerising, inspirational speech to the girls in the HAT programme about what women can achieve with a good education.
Below is a video from the 2011 Trustee visit, please take a look.
With a dedicated and trusted team in Kenya, the Hoopers Africa Trust trustees made the decision to do a biennial visit in order to avoid disturbing the routines that were established and working so well. By 2009, Hoopers Africa Trust education programme had successfully grown to include almost 40 girls.
In 2007 after many visits to Kenya, Roger Hooper founded Hoopers Africa Trust to provide education to vulnerable girls, particularly in the rural areas close to the Masai Mara district of Kenya.
Having observed that many girls in these most rural areas were not receiving secondary education, Roger set about doing something to make a difference.
Left in the villages, these girls were often forced into early marriages and female genital mutilation (FGM). Knowing the importance of educating these girls not only for themselves but for the future of Kenya, Roger was determined to do what he could to change the situation.
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