Hoopers Africa Trust (HAT) is a charity founded to provide education to vulnerable girls, particularly in the rural areas close to the Masai Mara district of Kenya.
The wildlife photographer Roger Hooper, observed that many girls in these most rural areas were not receiving secondary education. Left in the villages, they 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 make a change and in 2007 founded Hoopers Africa Trust.
HAT is meticulous in ensuring that all money raised goes directly into funding the girls' education. None of the Trustees receive any remuneration or expenses. This includes the visits by the UK Trustees to Kenya every other year and for which they pay their own way. The accountants and solicitors for HAT in the UK do not make any charge for their services, providing everything on a pro bono basis. The only costs involved in running the charity are employing one full time Kenyan administrator, a part time secretary and the rent of a small office in Kenya, totalling approximately £8,000 per annum. To date, the charity has been almost entirely funded personally by Roger Hooper.
The number of beneficiaries of the charity is deliberately limited to ensure that the needs of the individual are foremost and the approach can be holistic.
Most children in Kenya find it very hard to get a complete education and for the potential beneficiaries of HAT it is even more difficult, as they are selected due to having been orphaned, coming from single-parent families, living with disabled parents or living in extreme poverty.
The number of orphans in Kenya has risen rapidly in recent years, often as a result of HIV/AIDS. When children are orphaned, they will usually go to live with relatives or neighbours. This places an extra financial strain on these households, who may face real hardship and find it impossible to fund education for all the children in their care.
HAT wants to bring hope, through education, to some of the most neglected and disadvantaged young women in Kenya. HAT’s vision is to see these girls fulfill their individual potential and give back to their communities and the wider society of Kenya. HAT’s motto is ‘Tumaini la Baadaye’ which means “Hope for the future”.
We have currently funded over one hundred and forty girls through secondary education under the HAT programme. In 2014 HAT celebrated it's first graduate, eleven girls have now gone on to graduate from higher education.
HAT has, since 2007, looked to fund ten girls in each year of secondary education (4 years) and two or three girls in higher education. The programme has been very successful and the girls have excelled. To date, the funding has come almost entirely from HAT's chairman Roger Hooper. The objective for the future is to raise additional funds from third parties to enable HAT to fund more girls through higher education.
HAT is delighted that it's holistic approach has created a real sense for the girls of belonging to a family.
Seminars are organised for the students every term. These add to the sense of belonging and provide a forum for discussion of a whole range of topics from career advice to challenging negative cultural influences. They form an integral part of an overall mentoring programme. HAT is also grateful to Strathmore University's Outreach Programme for assisting with this.
© 2018. Hoopers Africa Trust. Registered charity in England - Charity number 1118193 - Company number 05924990 - Registered Office: 2 Stone Buildings, Lincoln's Inn, London. WC2A 3TH