How long does a sponsorship last?
Kenya’s basic education consists of three years in pre-school, then eight in primary school. Ideally, a sponsorship would follow a student through their 11 years in primary school, although many different arrangements can be made. MANDO supports children starting at four years old in Eremit, Enkoireroi and Kimelok communities as well as at boarding and secondary schools.
What happens if I can no longer sponsor the child?
We understand that 11 years is a long time. Many things can happen. If you are unable to continue sponsorship, we make a great effort to find an alternative sponsor. If one is not found, our organization will support the child using its general funds. No sponsored child will have to drop out.
What happens after primary school?
Most children in Kenya cease their education after primary school, but bright children from wealthier parents go on to secondary school. Nearly all secondary schools in Kenya are boarding and the cost is around USD $50/5000 Kenyan shillings per month. It is up to the individual sponsor whether to continue into this phase. We strive to have half of our students go on, whether sponsored or using our general funds.
Is a primary education worthwhile in itself?
There are intangible benefits such as a 50% lower birth rate for girls who finish primary school. Simply being about to fill out forms or read dosage instructions on medicines makes considerable difference.
Can I choose a girl?
Yes, or a boy for that matter. We target potential leaders—young women who have been active in their communities and show academic promise but who, without our intervention, might be forced to enter into early marriage.
Can I sponsor more than one child?
Yes, and many sponsors do. Some start with one, then later add another child from the same family or from the same community.
Can I support the child's family as well as the child?
We don't encourage it. You are already doing a lot by sponsoring the child to go to school. Only at Christmas is it suggested that sponsors support the entire family with a food parcel.
Will I receive letters asking for more money from the child's family?
We do not divulge your contact details to the child unless you want us to. If you do divulge your details and you are asked for additional help, we advise you how to respond on a case-by-case basis.
What feedback will I receive from MANDO and the child?
Can I send gifts?
Our organization produces a quarterly newsletter detailing the progress on all projects. In addition, you will receive feedback on your child and drawings/letters from her. Older children are able to give you insight into Maasai life in their letters.
We discourage sending gifts to individuals:
to avoid jealousy or other children feeling left out
to keep what's good in Maasai culture – that you can live happily with few possessions
to avoid creating greater expectations
Can I send a gift for the school?
These are gratefully received. Suggestions include:
- wax crayons (ideally thick ones that are easy to hold)
- short pencils like those from Ikea – ideal for small children
- felt pens
- stickers (for rewarding good work)
- note paper for writing to sponsors
- heavy colored paper or thin cardboard
- Oxford Reading Tree books, especially level 7 and up, used in any condition
- any other reading improvement books, although Disney, Ladybird & Thomas the Tank Engine are not that suitable
What about a sending a gift at Christmas?
The Maasai don't give gifts other than distributing food or clothes to the needy at a church service. Every Christmas we buy each child the same small gift such as food, an item of clothing or school supplies. We discuss what to get the teachers and ask sponsors if they would like to contribute to a gift fund. If sponsors choose not to, that is fine.
Can I send letters and photos to my sponsor child?
Yes, they are really appreciated by the child and their family.
Can I visit the child and school?
Yes. There is accommodation usually arranged by MANDO next to the school and you can be met at the airport. Those interested can contact us for more details.
When do I sponsor?
The school year in Kenya runs January to December with three terms - January-April, May-August and September-November. Newly sponsored children are added in January. Throughout the year a list of potential sponsors is kept to facilitate allocation of sponsorships.
How and when do I pay?
Monthly payments can be set up starting in January. A one-time full payment ($180) for a year is helpful to the school.
Does all my money go to the school?
Yes. We strive to exactly match receipts from sponsors to money paid to the school. Exchange rate changes may cause a slight variance. Nothing is taken off your payments for organisational costs.
If you have further questions, please email Michael Sayo who will be glad to answer them.
Sponsorship provides tuition, school supplies, uniforms and at-home support. Cost breakdowns for various-aged students is here.