Monday, 19 November 2012

Elimu Christmas cards 2013!

Elimu Christmas cards are here and on sale now!

We have 4 exclusive designs this year from the wonderful Lucy Strutt, all based on Harry Sankey's original logo design.
Decorating the Christmas Tree
The 4 designs are being sold in packs of 10, all A5, landscape sized. Each nicely decorated pack costs £5 and all proceeds will go to the Elimu Foundation.

Elimu's Three Dancing Kings

We like the personal touch at Elimu which, in this case, has involved quite a bit of card sorting and envelope counting, a lot of tying ribbons, and what now feels like a vaguely comic spot of travelling to hand deliver them.

A sleigh full of presents

Playing with a Snowman

We have a lovely team of volunteers/special recruits selling them on our behalf: Clare Boyd, Yvonne Baker, Tim Strange, Anne Cooper and Lucy herself.

You can also order some directly from me

Thank you very much for your support.



Saturday, 27 October 2012

Shop online and support Elimu at the same time!

Calling all online shoppers!

easyfundraising is the easiest way to raise money for the Elimu Foundation. Instead of going directly to a retailer’s website, please go to easyfundraising first and choose the retailer you want to shop with. There are over 2000 well known retailers listed on and between 5% and 15% of what you spend with them will be passed to Elimu at no additional cost to you. Retailers include Amazon, M&S, Vodafone, eBay, Tesco, John Lewis and many, many more. Please register to support us - 

Thank you very much!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Support Elimu by purchasing exclusive tickets to Fortnum & Mason's Charity Christmas Party!

Elimu's other recent partner, The Big Give, is holding its annual Charity Christmas Party at Fortnum & Mason's - and we have a special invitation for our staff, trustees and supporters.
The Big Give showcases partner charities like Elimu through its website. It matches charities to donors and philanthropists and invites them to take part in unique programmes and events. The Fortnum & Mason's Charity Christmas Party is one such event.
Hundreds of guests will arrive at Fortnum's in Piccadilly on Tuesday, 4th December for a magical evening of entertainment, champagne, canap├ęs and tastings with music and carols from local children's choirs and students from RADA among other surprise acts. Last year's event was hosted by Stephen Fry.
The premise is simple:
100% of ticket sales go to charity - and guests can choose which of The Big Give's partner charities they would like to benefit. So, for every £60 ticket you purchase, and we do appreciate this may not be possible for all our supporters, you will recieve a £60 Big Give charity voucher to give to Elimu. And quite a special evening!
Tickets will go on sale at Midday on Monday, 17th September and they are likely to sell out quickly. If you would like to join us in attending this event and supporting Elimu, we would be delighted but it is advisable to purchase tickets as close to this time as you can.
For further details, to register for a reminder about buying tickets and to find out how to purchase tickets both online and offline please visit

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Our new partner: The Hilton!

I am delighted to announce that The Hilton has just partnered with the Elimu Foundation. Those of you who read July's post  'Insight into an Elimu Trip', and many of you did, will know that The Hilton Hotel in Nairobi played an unexpected part in that particular visit.

The Hilton Nairobi

As highlighted here in an extract from today's correspondence, we have worked out an agreement so that a stay in The Hilton - straightforward, safe and hassle-free - can be included at the end of all of our trips:

'...The Hilton Nairobi is delighted to partner with you by offering you special rates and we look forward to hosting your Groups.

Please feel free to contact me for any further assistance.

Kind regards,

Maureen Ogola, Director of Sales'

There is scope for more that will benefit us both as well as other aspects of Elimu's work - so stay tuned and if you have a glass to hand, please raise it to The Hilton!



Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Worldwide web to reach our Kenyan schools

Our Kenyan schools are about to have internet access!

10 laptops were kindly given to us by The Priory School. We have installed them all in Kipsamo, our hub school in Kenya, in order to pool resources together in one place and encourage teachers from our other partner schools to visit and work with each other.

The laptops will be used by all the schools and with the help of our new In-country Manager, Solomon Lagat, Elimu is currently purchasing internet modems - similar to USB sticks - so that they can access the internet at the same time.

Many people in Kenya have the internet on their mobile phones. It is as affordable as sending a text message but is limited more to email and social networking sites which is why Facebook, in particular, has been our main mode of communication with our Kenyan teachers and headteachers.

Until now, however, the schools themselves have not had computers or internet access, both of which are much more expensive.

Solomon will deliver the modems in his first visit to Nandi Hills as In-country Manager. Solomon has studied computing and will run a session on how to use them and also show teachers how to sign-up to the TES. This is the online presence of the Times Educational Supplement.

In the interests of full disclosure, I have just started working for the TES, yes, where there are quite a lot of former teachers (former teachers seem to still be identifiable as teachers!). A quick glance at the website though will tell you that the TES is used by a global network of teachers. They share their own resources, swap experiences and ideas and support fellow professionals in the forums. TES has over 500,000 downloadable teaching resources. And most importantly, it is all entirely free.

This type of portal does not exist in Africa. I used to wonder about this, but didn't know where to start. So it made sense that once the schools could access the internet, we would introduce them to the TES site as it chimes very much with Elimu's views on supporting the teaching community, whether it's here or in Kenya. The internet will also allow our partner schools to connect with one another more easily and develop their links. There could be a Skype session on the horizon.

So, Solomon's first job is connecting our schools to the internet - and offering internet tutorials!

The teachers there will be writing blog posts in no time.

Report and pictures to follow in due course.

With thanks to The Priory School,



Monday, 27 August 2012

Hello, Good Luck, and Goodbye

Some important changes are taking place in the world of Elimu.

Congratulations are in order, firstly, to Sally Sang who is the newly appointed deputy headteacher at Kipsamo School, one of our partners and where she has taught English since 2010. Sally, who was dubbed 'Superwoman' on one of our school trips, has been Elimu's Representative in Kenya but now, with even less time to spare than usual (there is also a new house to build), it is no longer possible for her to do this. She is keen though to stay involved, and we are keen to keep her counsel, so I am delighted to say that she is moving to the Advisory Board with Andy Cooper and Clare Deacon. They all offer sound advice and support for Elimu's ups and downs and with any flashes of inspiration I think I'm having, whilst providing a few of their own.

We all wish Sally well as deputy head - and look forward to visiting her in her new home!

This has coincided with recent events concerning our Kenyan schools. As a result of which, it was decided that rather than find another rep. we should look instead at having an In-country Manager. This role, therefore, is designed specifically to create a consistent presence for Elimu among our Kenyan partner schools with a locally based link between the charity and the schools.

While I am able to do this for our partner schools in the UK, as I am based here, it is important that our Kenyan schools are equally involved and supported. To this end, I would like to introduce Solomon Lagat.

Solomon Lagat, In-country Manager
Solomon will visit the schools regularly and compile feedback reports on their link activities and how they are doing more generally. He will also help to ensure that should any issues arise in the schools for which they may need further support or which could compromise their work with Elimu and with the UK schools, these can be addressed in person as well and not solely at a distance or during set visits that I make.

Solomon is a former Nandi Hills teacher with a diploma in Special Educational Needs from the Kenya Institute of Education in Nairobi. Special Educational Needs remains a relatively new area in education in Africa and for the moment he is working for the Kenya Judiciary as a Court Interpreter in Kericho, where he and his family now live. Kericho - tea country - is on the way to Nandi Hills. His position as Court Interpreter includes transcribing for the blind and for those who cannot read or write.

Solomon will be an asset to the Elimu Foundation and to our partner schools in Kenya and I am very much looking forward to working with him.

Aziz Kiplaget, Project Manager
I also welcome aboard Aziz Kiplaget as our Project Manager who will be overseeing the development of Stalion school, once this project can commence. Aziz is another teacher from Nandi Hills who now teaches in the nearby city of Eldoret and occasionally works as an exam invigilator. Aziz is known for his management skills and comes highly recommended to take on this role which will mean managing our building team, visiting the project site and reporting on its progress. So, thank you very much to Aziz.

As some of you may recall, the role had previously been George Tarus'. However, George is now focusing his time and energies on his bid to stand as MP for Nandi Hills in the next elections, in 2013. George has been invaluable in his support for Elimu. This, though, has been a long standing ambition for a number of years. We will be watching closely along with everyone in Nandi Hills to see how things unfold from here and we both thank him and wish him the very best with everything.

And finally... some news of my own. As of this past July, I am no longer teaching at Charles Darwin School and although I have loved it and will miss it, I have felt torn in wanting to spend more time on Elimu than teaching can allow for. The last few weeks have been a welcome opportunity to redress that balance. Charles Darwin is a partner to Elimu, so it is not the end either as the school and I will continue to work together. As Elimu is for the time being voluntarily run, I am fortunate in starting a new job this week at The Times Educational Supplement (TES). Having written for the education press before, this role, assisting the editorial and teaching resources team with room for development - and time for Elimu - has come along just at the right moment, and very happily so.

Good luck, then, to all of us and to our UK partner schools, Charles Darwin, The Priory and Bishop Justus, as they gear up for the start of a new academic year.

With thanks,