African Press International (API)

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Archive for April 17th, 2013

Kenya: Educate girl child, Bondo residents Told

Posted by African Press International on April 17, 2013

  • By Maurice Alal, API Kenya

The residents of Bondo District of Siaya County have been told to educate girl child just like the boy child to enable them have a bright future.

Surveys done by API on girl child education shows that most of the girls are not given ample times to study as compared to boys thereby making their life miserable.

The report indicates that out of 100 children only 20 are girls attending learning activities due to various factors such as early pregnancy, domestic chores and inadequate time to them.

This is a move which educationist in the area are now worried about prompting a call to parents in the community to promote education to all children.

Speaking during a prize giving ceremony at St. Mathews Sironyo Academy which excelled in the last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams in the County, the school’s Director, Jackstone Akelo flanked by Mrs. Caroline Akelo said most of the parents usually ignore girl child education hence ruining their future.

“Many a time girls are given a lot of domestic chores such as washing utensils and clothes, cooking fetching water and firewood among others that deny them opportunity to go to school like boys,” Akelo says.

He added that St. Mathews Sironyo Academy produced the best candidates in Siaya County with top students admitted to Mangu Boys High, Pagani Girls and Kenya Girls High respectively expressing confidence that the school will top in this year’s exams across the Siaya County.

“Any child is very important. Therefore as parents you must ensure your daughter or son gets the basic education if you want their future to be bright,” Akelo said.

The Director further challenged the government to improve the education sector by hiring more teachers to meet the huge demand across the country.

Akelo however commended the government for allowing children who have given birth to continue with their education terming it the greatest achievement in the education sector aimed in transforming lives of Kenyan child.

www.africanpress.me/ St. Mathews Sironyo Academy

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NB: Photos by Maurice Alal.

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Kiva Opens Office in Nairobi, Africa’s Hot Spot for Social Innovation

Posted by African Press International on April 17, 2013

  • By Dickens wasonga,
The founders of the world’s largest micro-lending platform for social good, Kiva are in Kenya to officially open its Anglophone Africa Regional office in Nairobi, Kenya.
Matt Flannery and Premal Shah, the CEO, the President and Co-founders, respectively, officially open the Kiva Regional office based at the Strathmore Business School at Madaraka tomorrow.
The Nairobi office is Kiva’s first outside of the U.S., a tremendous milestone for the nonprofit organization, which was founded in 2005 to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty, expand economic opportunity and generally change lives for better.
“As we open the doors to our new office in Nairobi, we are opening the door for new opportunities at Kiva and exciting partnerships across Africa,” said Matt Flannery, CEO and co-founder of Kiva. “Nairobi is an emergent hub for social enterprise because of the entrepreneurial spirit that is nurtured here. By laying down roots in Nairobi, Kiva will be able to strengthen and expand innovative partnerships that help to advance our mission to alleviate poverty and advance economic opportunity throughout the region.”
Through Kiva, anyone with an Internet connection can make a loan as little as $25 to the borrower of their choice on Kiva.org. And with Kiva’s repayment rate of 98.9%, lenders are able to relend their money again and again, or withdraw it from the system. Kiva’s community of 900,000 lenders have crowdfunded more than $410 million in loans for one million people worldwide. In Kenya, more than 63,000 people have received a combined total of $20.5 million in loans funded by 250,000 people from 125 countries.
These micro-loans help borrowers start and grow businesses, go to school, buy clean energy products, and finance sustainable agricultural practices in Kenya and more than 65 other nations.
“Fundamentally, Kiva is about recognizing and supporting the potential that each person has whether they live in the next town or across the world,” said Premal Shah, Kiva Co-founder and President. “When we recognize and act on the potential in ourselves and others, as lenders or borrowers, powerful things can happen.”
Kiva leverages the power of collective good and new technologies to push the boundaries of economic opportunity in unique ways. To reach people on a local level — including some of the most remote places on earth — Kiva works with upwards of 150 partners, 14 of whom are in Kenya. These partners have traditionally been microfinance institutions that administer loans for borrowers. Increasingly, Kiva is partnering with organizations that do not have their own lending programs; partners such as universities, social enterprises, and non-governmental organizations.
Kiva’s partners in Kenya are opening up new and innovative loan products through Kiva’s flexible, risk-tolerant capital. Together with Strathmore University, Kiva offers smart students from low-income backgrounds an 11-year tuition loan, with a five-year grace period. These students are proving that tuition loans are viable investments, opening doors for students in the region and around the world. Students like Lydia from Turkana County in northern Kenya, who is the first in her family to graduate from secondary school.
“There are a lot of challenges that I have faced, but normally I encourage myself by saying, ‘What matters in life is not really where I am now, but rather the direction I am heading,’” said Lydia, who is studying for her Bachelor of Commerce degree at Strathmore. “I will never allow my past experiences to compromise the quality of my future. Given this chance by Kiva, my higher education can be achieved. Thanks to God for this opportunity.”
Kiva partner, Juhudi Killimo, provides financial services to over 7,000 smallholder farmers in rural Kenya, approximately half of whom are women. Juhudi’s mission is to provide market-driven, wealth-creating financial services including loans to acquire productive assets such as dairy cows, chickens and irrigation equipment. Another partner Komaza, helps borrowers convert dry lands into productive family tree farms in Eastern Kenya. Komaza equips local farmers with the supplies and training they need to plant fast-growing trees on their unused land. This generates income for their families and creates a sustainable wood supply for local markets.
Kiva is continuing to innovate in Kenya through their new pilot project, Kiva Zip. Kiva Zip enables anyone –organizations or individuals who care about economic opportunity—to become Trustees and vouch for entrepreneurs seeking microloans to start or expand their small business. Once endorsed, borrowers can post their loan request on Kiva Zip and connect directly with Kiva’s growing global community of lenders to receive an interest-free loan. Loans are received and repaid via M-PESA.
Among the 53 Kiva Zip Trustees in Kenya is Shining Hope for Communities. Shining Hope combats gender inequality and extreme poverty in the Kibera slum, serving people who are generally not able to access traditional sources of credit. In just five months, Shining Hope has vouched for more than 50 women seeking to start or expand their small businesses, bringing additional income into their homes and families.
Kiva is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that connects millions of people around the world through lending to alleviate poverty and expand opportunity. With as little as a $25 loan, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy and realize their potential. Since its inception in 2005, Kiva and their growing global community of 900,000 lenders have crowd funded more than $400 million in loans to over 1 million people, with a 98.9% repayment rate.
ENDS.

 

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Norway condemns the recent killing of UN staff in South Sudan

Posted by African Press International on April 17, 2013

Norway condemns the killing of 12 UN employees in South Sudan. Today’s attack is an attack not only on the UN, but also on the population of South Sudan, which the UN is there to assist,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.

Five Indian UN soldiers and seven civilian employees serving in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) were killed today in an ambush in Jonglei state, South Sudan. The attack took place in an area that has seen considerable ethnic unrest and violence since South Sudan became independent in July 2011.

“It is vital that the international community and our partners in South Sudan take a united stand against the destructive forces responsible for today’s attack,” Mr Eide said.

 

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