An Update from Veronicah!

Hello, My name is Veronicah Sarah Nyambura. I’m currently studying at The East African University in Kenya in the outskirts of Nairobi town. I’m pursuing Bachelor of Computer Science with IT. My first year is almost done having one week to prepare for exams before we close late December.

First year hasn’t been a lazy year as I had assumed thinking freshmen don’t get a lot of work but I was wrong, maybe because of the nature of my course, but I’m trying to get the hang of this technical world.

Most of the basics we did was quite simple because Kayli had paid for me to partake a simple computer tutorial that lasted for two months and was awarded a certificate for it. It wasn’t that hard to get friends so I wasn’t that lonely around here and the best part was that most of them have the same course as I so reading and discussion reminders come in handy.

Mostly we do coding and it can get a little bit hard; not hard but getting it is a little bit of a problem so I turn to internet for tutorials which I discovered help me understand better. Of course, not every time cause getting access to internet is a problem around here. But the university said they’d look upon it.

During my first semester(May-August) I stayed at the hostel (Not a fun at all). Apart from congestion, the hostels lacked proper sanitation and I’m glad we were told not to go back as the hostels would be holding the freshmen that were enrolling in September. (don’t panic, I’m not homeless). Currently I’m staying in Kitengela the nearest shopping Centre from the school but it’s quite a distance(7km). I take a bus to and from which costs Ksh. 100(approximately $ 0.97). it’s fun living in your own house and alone which I’ve never had; the privacy, freedom but it can make me lazy at times. Of course, I must manage the money sent because of the expenses and maintaining the house. I’m also learning to cook on my own at home (at By Grace not anyone cooks. Not that I’d try, the wooden spoon is taller or do I say bigger than I). At times, I get stomach upsets because of my bad cooking but I’m getting there.

This semester I got into a dance group. I dance for fun at times and I have been doing some writing which I share with Kayli. Mostly its dance hall styles but also quite interested in salsa and belly dancing which I look up for in the internet. Most of my writing is mainly romance but I also try to capture other aspects and some things that happen around us. That what I do for leisure and I forgot watching movies.

This wouldn’t have happened without the help of you guys. Thanks for your continuous support; my pocket money, rent, transport to and from from school and my academic stuff. I’m honored to have this chance to pursue my education and I am grateful from the deepest part of my heart. Always in my prayers and The Almighty will fill your homes abundantly. No words can say what would love to express to you how much I thank God for you. Thank you for everything. Have a lovely time.

Sincerely,

Veronicah

An update & thank you from R.E.A.D. scholar, John Kibe

In developing countries especially in Africa literacy, education and skills is the only way to economic independency in the future.

5th dec 2017

 Hey,

My name is john kairu kibe, 23 years of age. Born and raised in central Kenya currently Nyeri county. Am the 2nd born and the middle kid in our family. my dad passed on when I was 3yrs so my mum had to raise us by herself.it wasn’t easy though she did everything she could to ensure we had the basics.it wasn’t easy for given she dint have a formal job.  She is my greatest hero up to now.

After my primary education my mum couldn’t afford my secondary education fee. I was moved to by grace disabled and orphans Centre in Kayole Nairobi, where I started and completed my high school, [2009-2012]. It is during that time in high school that I meet kayli. Her organization R.E.A.D. transformed the education department in the school.by buying updated text books, teaching materials and laboratory equipment’s. the programme expanded to taking qualified students to universities. This gave me hope and a self-drive to education.

currently I am a fourth year student at Kenyatta university taking a bachelor’s degree in economics and statistics.it is through R.E.A.D. that am able to have smooth learning. Paying for my bills and accommodation for the last 3 yrs. hopefully I graduate next year.am an aspiring president. Thanks to you.

I have been lucky to accompany kayli over the last few years in buying and distribution of textbooks to several other children homes and it has been a breath taking moment. In developing countries especially in Africa literacy, education and skills is the only way to economic independency in the future.

Accept my appreciation for the good work, donations, and for your time. Whatever little you give it has a great impact to us. education will not only expose us to the world but also gives us an opportunity to compete at the highest levels.

Lastly I wish you all and your loved ones happy holidays. Merry Christmas and a happy 2018.

Yours in Kenya,

John kairu kibe

PARTY! PARTY! PARTY!

 

 

 

 


Hi Friends!

On Sunday December 17th from 3pm-8pm come day drink with us! We’ll be having all the fun to raise money for R.E.A.D. Silent art auction (fun x-mas presents?!), good tunes, free drinks, fun raffle, and comedy… what more could you want on a Sunday afternoon?! 

We’re headed back to Nairobi and we need your help to send a new student to university! All proceeds raised will go directly towards university tuition fees and textbooks for orphaned schoolchildren in Nairobi, Kenya.  

R.E.A.D. has purchased thousands of textbooks for Childrens’ Homes around Nairobi and sent eleven students to university, nine of which have already graduated and working in the fields of their study!
 
Here’s a little update from one of previous R.E.A.D. scholars, Silvano:

My lifelong dream of transforming my community is moving forward, thanks to generous educational scholarship from R.E.A.D. I just got a new job as an IT manager at Burn Manufacturing Limited, Kenya. The US-Based company specializes in manufacturing clean burning stoves. I have managed to build a three-bedroom house for my family at my rural home – they are now sleeping in a decent house after sleeping in a mud-walled house for the last 50 years. In addition, i am also sponsoring my 2 nieces to pursue their education.Please extend my gratitude to all well wishers for having such a caring and giving heart because this would not be possible without their love and support.

For more information on R.E.A.D., our kids, and the work we do please check out www.thereadproject.org 


If you can’t make it, but still want to help out… YOU CAN: www.thereadproject.org/donate

 Everyone/anyone is invited. Hope to see you there!

Thank you,

Kayli Stollak, R.E.A.D. Founder

 


DJ set by the Quoi de Neuf crew

COMEDY @ 6pm FEATURING:
Heather Pasternak
Jake Nordwind
Jackie Tohn (Netflix’s Glow)

Booze Sponsored by:
Tito’s Vodka & Lagunitas Beer

Address:
495 W River St
LA, CA 90065 
(2nd floor)

P.S. If you have old working computers/cell phones that you are no longer using and would like to donate to the kids, bring them!

An update and message of gratitude from Miriam:

Thank you very much READ, for making me realize my dream of becoming an economist. I've always wished to make it to campus it's a dream of many people out there - a dream that I didn't imagine that one day I'd realize.

Coming from a poverty stricken background, persuing my dream of becoming a role model in our community, and to the rest of women out there, who think hardships are the end roads to many destinies, this is a very great honour.

I surely can’t hide the happiness inside me, for you guys having helped me get to another level of my life, building what I really wished to become. You are such people of big hearts, blessed hands and kindness. On behalf of my mom, who’s in the village, ,we say thanks a lot ,for cattering for my needs, paying my rent, school fees, food, and other essentials which contributes to my smooth life here in campus.

Surely, if it were not for your generous hearts,I wouldn’t have gone any far, maybe I would have gotten married because my mom couldn’t make to pay for my fees, she
only struggles to put food on the table, shes only a primary school dropout,and she gets a very low wage from her daily hustlings, that can’t pay for someone’s fees. I’m working very hard to make you
proud, at least my hardwork will motivate you, and encourage you to keep on providing for me, then when i graduate, and get a job, I’ll help her and sponsor other needy kids, just like you are supporting me.

Being a second year, and having been paid for my school fees in time makes me very happy. It always reminds me to work for the best only. Thank you so much for your support.  I’ve got so many friends here,including my teachers.I love them so much because they make me enjoy life in school. Life would be too  boring without friends.

Holiday Spirit!

Our comedy fundraiser at Hyperion Tavern was a blast! Thank you so much for your continued support. For those of you who couldn’t make it // haven’t figured out what to get your loved ones for Christmas yet  // want to make additional tax-deductible donations before the year is out… YOU CAN! 

Get in that holiday spirit! …. www.thereadproject.org/donate



I’m headed back to Kenya the first week of January to pay tuition fees and buy textbooks and school supplies for hundreds of kids with your donations. Donors, thank you for giving the gift of education, you’ll be receiving letters of gratitude from the kids upon my return.

Stay tuned for updates on the trip! Wishing you all the happiest of holidays and an incredible New Year.

#thankful #butreally

Hi Friends!

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving and are riding high on those thankful vibes!

I’m thankful for the support of you, my community, for understanding that education is the best tool for fighting poverty. With your help R.E.A.D. has sent 10 students to university and supplied thousands of textbooks and school supplies to orphaned school children in Nairobi, Kenya.

In July, I reached out for your support sending Miriam to school, here’s a thank you from Miriam:

It’s with great pleasure and a heart full of gratitude that I am writing this letter to thank all of you people of kind heart for enabling me reach this far. It’s almost the end of the semester and so far I have no balances for my fee. If I were without your support I simply had have not made it to this far. Am going on well in school. So far we have been doing assignments waiting for the end of semester one exams, which we are going to sit for come next week. Am looking forward to doing my best. We will close schools on 13th of Dec for our three weeks holiday and then open on Jan 5th. I’ve met and made so many friends here, some of whom are my study partners. Am looking forward to giving back my best come the end of year one of my studies . thank you once again my educational moms and dads. May God bless you so much. I can’t thank you enough. Merry Christmas in advance.

Our work is not done! I’m returning to Kenya at the end of the year to choose a new student to send to university, check in on our graduates, and purchase textbooks and school supplies for By Grace and Good Samaritans Childrens’ Homes. Any support you can give helps, that includes old (working) laptops and donations of any size!

SAVE THE DATE: December 8th from 7-10 we are having a comedy fund-rager atHyperion Tavern with comics such as Heather Pasternak, Milana Vayntrub, Zack Pearlman, and more performing!

If you can’t make the party or want to use your black Friday cash for good you can donate!

Thank you thank you thank you!

Kayli Stollak, R.E.A.D. Founder

Help a girl out!

“I tirelessly worked on maths and business to keep my dream alive. I scored a B+, being the first girl to get a university entry degree since the institution was started. I bet this is a motivation to the other girls in By Grace School, as they now know that girls can do better in life, and that there is no chance reserved for men only… It’s my dream to empower as many women as possible.” - Miriam Nduku

Hi! Hello! Happy Friday!
Back in the spring we celebrated Miriam Nduku’s high school examination scores, the highest of any girl to ever graduate from By Grace Children’s home. Miriam’s marks were so outstanding she managed to secure partial government sponsorship to pursue a Bachelor’s degree of Science in Economics and Finance at Maseno University. This accomplishment is HUGE! The sponsorship subsidizes her educational costs by 70%, but she still needs the remaining balance of  $360 (Kshs 35,800) per academic year for tuition and $60/month for food and living costs.

Let’s help Miriam so she can begin university on August 15th! To donate to R.E.A.D. for Miriam’s education click here: 
HELP MIRIAM! ANY amount helps!

Here is Miriam in her own words:



DONATE to help Miriam!

Thank you!

Kayli Stollak, R.E.A.D. Founder
Resources for Education Advancement and Development, Inc. is a registered 501 © Not for profit organization.

GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS!

Who runs the world? GIRLS! This month’s newsletter is going out to all my Kenyan ladies because being a girl anywhere in the world has its challenges, but in Kenya, it can be a particularly frustrating ride. On one of my first trips to Nairobi a pastor came to the orphanage to “inspire” the kids with a sermon. “You must believe in yourself,” he told them. ”Boys, if you want to be a doctor, you can be a doctor. If you want to be a lawyer, you can be a lawyer. Girls, if you want to marry a doctor, you can marry a doctor. If you want to marry a lawyer, you can marry a lawyer.”

It sounds like a joke… but it’s not.  After that trip I started a girls reading club with the amazing curriculum crafted by the LitWorld organization. 
Through LitClub we work to inspire and empower the girls to read, write, collaborate, and communicate, giving them the confidence they need to raise their voices in the classroom and the world. 



And guess what!? The scores just came in, f
or the first time ever, at By Grace Children’s Home (an orphanage/school of over 250 kids), two girls, Miriam and Judy, scored higher than all the boys, earning A’s on their Kenyan standardized exams, which means they will receive partial government sponsorship to public universities. This is a HUGE accomplishment and it would not have been possible without the textbooks and school supplies R.E.A.D. was able to purchase with your generous support.




Today you’ll hear from R.E.A.D. scholar, Teresa Mumbi, upon her graduation from Nairobi Women’s School of Nursing. Teresa was a student at By Grace Children’s Home and a volunteer teacher there after her high school studies. She ran LitClub for me while I was back in the states and is the first girl R.E.A.D. sponsored for university.

When I visited Kenya in January, Teresa was in her practicals where she had already delivered fifty babies and six sets of twins – all on her own! Teresa is as an inspiration for me, Nduku and Miriam, and all the other girls at By Grace, proving that if a girl wants to be a doctor she can be a doctor too.

​Love and thank to Nairobi & back,

Kayli Stollak
R.E.A.D. Founder

 

In Teresa’s words:teresa and kayli

It is 2016 , 10 years back if someone told me that one day I will be a graduate nurse I would have not believed them, but now I am graduated from Nairobi Women School of Nursing, with a diploma in nursing (KRCHN). 

The past three and half years have been made a great impact on my life and my career at large. They have made me a better person, I have found the best part of who I am. I am able to make decision on ground and being able to face the consequence without regret. I’m able to express myself without self pity. I have learned that our past should not hold us back from being our best, but rather look to our heritage to always inspire us to be the best in our future.

The first day I got in practicum made me cry, seeing my dream come true. Here I am, a graduate awaiting to be licensed and get real in the field of doing what I have always dreamed of doing. It feels great when you help someone do what they could have not be able done without your help. I feel better when I help a mother bring a new life into this world. It is just awesome.

During my graduation day some of my relatives joined me to celebrate the big day. As they were busy happily talking about it I reflected back when we had met back in 2008, when I was in high school. I could not see beyond fourth form but here I was holding my certificate that certifies me to be a community health worker, medical surgical nurse and a qualified midwife. I wondered what I could have done without your donations, both in secondary school and college education. I am so grateful for your help.

Several people have combined their great effort to see me this far. Thank you to all the well wishers for your donations through my secondary and college school, you have given more than I can ever give back. To be where I am, I know I can never repay you, but as you have helped me, I promise to to repay back by getting someone from scratch to something through any means possible, most importantly through education. I have never dreamt of having it all in life but having a heart that touches other people hearts that I leave a mark in everybody I come across.

I sometimes think my name has some impact on my personality as St Teresa was. I don’t promise to be her, but I promise that I will always do just to all who come in my contact in need of help. I am lucky I get the opportunity to do good and my scope of work allows me to do so. I am very grateful for the career I am in because it give me an opportunity to touch many hearts in different way and also different situation.

T

To donate to R.E.A.D. and help sponsor the education of more girls like Teresa, please visit: www.thereadproject.org/donate

Follow us on Instagram @thereadproject

R.E.A.D. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

End of Year Graduation Note from Silvano

To give and not expect return, that is what lies at the heart of love.

With 2016 just around the corner, I have taken some time to reflect on what I am most thankful for this year. I am very excited because 2015 marked the conclusion of a long episode full of sacrifice, perseverance, effort and dedication that led me to meet the target that I have had since many years ago. This year, i marked the end of a four year journey as an undergraduate student at Egerton University, and also the beginning of a long journey in professionalism and post graduate education.

I am therefore proud to announce to you that I graduated from Egerton University on 4th of Dec 2015, with a second class upper degree (68.00 points) in Computer Science. I know that this moment will be in my mind and in my heart forever, but it makes me even happier to know that I give happiness and joy to the people I treasure the most, and I want to thank you for being my support and my breath over the eight years. I’m so proud that I was able to fulfill one of my dreams of being the first person in my family to graduate from a University.

The last four years have made me a better person in different aspects: I can work on what I like to do, I have met hundreds of friends and I’ve learned a lot from each of my college friends, and I have grown and matured professionally, socially and emotionally. I have always dreamed of pursuing a Masters Degree in Computer Security, and your thoughtful donation has brought me one step closer to my goal. These years have been the most wonderful ones for me.

Recently, I’ve found myself wondering where I would be today without your donations. Thank God because I am not in the streets of Nairobi begging for food, clothing and shelter. I am proud because I will soon be able to take care of my bills, as I wait to be confirmed as an IT Assistant in one of the largest leasing firm in Africa, after spending the last three months under probation. I am now solely responsible for continuing to discover what inspires me, and finding supportive friends and coworkers to surround myself with. I must constantly remind myself to seize every opportunity that presents itself and never stop learning. As the old adage goes, “adding more colors to your palette will never hurt in creating a masterpiece.”

Several people helped me to get here, that includes: Ms Salome Muturi – Director of By Grace Disabled and Orphans Centre, Ms. Kayli Stollak- Director of R.E.A.D and most importantly, all the well-wishers who have made my secondary and university education a success, I dedicate this day to you.

I therefore wish to take this opportunity to thank all well-wishers who have supported READ over the past four years in my pursuit of completing my Bachelor’s degree for their unconditional love and for helping me achieve my dream. Your donations have provided me with a first-class education at one of the best universities in Africa and encouraged me to explore anything and everything I found interesting. I wouldn’t have been able to keep my head above the sea of poverty without your sacrifice, financial support, prayers and belief in me and my dreams!

Finally, I know you have given me more than I can ever give back to you. I guess it is the cycle of life that one day I will give all of myself to the society. You have proved that love is caring and helping those in need, regardless of their race, relationships and physical distance. Your lasting memories of your kindness and generosity have proved that to give and not expect return, that is what lies at the heart of love. I hope that when the time comes, I will have the strength to place my self-interest aside and serve the less fortune in the society. I promise to live a life that does justice to all that you’ve done for me.

Thank you again for your incredible support and may you have a prosperous 2016.

 Silvano Ngacha,

Beneficiary of R.E.A.D Scholarship,

BSC. Computer Science, Egerton University.

 

Letter from Charles Odhiambo: “Because you believed in me.”

The reason I am writing this letter is because when the answer to “what could go wrong was everything, and what could go right was nothing”, you stood up for me and the cause of my education and success; and because you stood up, a few more stood up; and because a few more stood up, many more stood up – standing up with a clear purpose of impacting my life and changing my story.

I am still lost of words why after touring Kenya’s interminable wilderness of leafless dwarf trees which presents a ghastly and sun stricken appearance, painted on a sprawling canvas of endless skies, emerald hills, palm fringed rivers, teeming wildlife (voracious and graceful – alike) and sparkling oases and high-end comfy accommodation, you still chose to visit the children’s home I was in, and specifically choosing to support me.

I have attended driving and computer colleges, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Travel and Tourism Management from the world class  University of Nairobi in collaboration with the prestigious Kenya Utalii College, got an International Air Travel Association (IATA) diploma, help my two younger relatives successfully complete form four, secured a job as a tourism tutor at college level and being admitted in the University of Nairobi for Master of Business Administration (MBA) course; because you believed in me.

My once despised family background perceived to be hotbed of poverty and valley of academic dwarfness, is now a force to reckon with; because you believed in me.

My once tarnished hope is now brightly sparkling; because you believed in me.

The jinx of school drop-outs, poverty and desperation that, with earnest and deadly pathos hanged on my background, is now broken, squashed and blown in the whirlwind of amnesia; because you believed in me.

As a staunch believer of the sagacious words of my gracefully ageing grandmother: “warm water never forgets that it was once cold”, for your belief that no matter how black a cow may be, the milk is always white – your belief in me, that despite my eerie – like background, my dream is still valid; how I would have loved to thank you from the bottom of my heart; but for you my heart has no bottom.

Please, pass my sincere gratitude to all those who supported me and always wish me well and the entire R.E.A.D. well wishers.

For your belief, cordiality, love, trust and unique support; I say BIG THANK YOU

AHSANTE SANA.

Kind regards,

Charles Odhiambo,

Nairobi – Kenya.