Tujelimu is a contraction of two Swahili words, TUJenge and ELIMU, which mean "let us promote education." This was a project started by Rose Okeyo, a Kenyan native, and Samantha Gilman, an American, in April 2011. Both are seniors at Hillsdale College, MI. All funds go directly to paying for books and covering tuition for bright but financially needy students in Kenya, specifically at the Wang'arot Secondary School. Tujelimu also buys other academic essentials that the students cannot afford.
A donation of $5 will go towards the lab and library building fund for Wang'arot secondary school. It is not literally $5 per brick, but that amount helps visualize how each donation counts toward a tangible goal.
Note from Co-founder Rose Okeyo
I was born and raised in Kenya. I was fortunate enough to attend good public schools in the city, and my dad worked really hard to keep me in school. When I graduated from high school, I went to my rural village to spend time with my relatives. One day, I saw a boy going to school looking so boisterous.As he passed by, I noticed that his shorts had holes in the back, and he had no shoes. I was deeply touched and wanted to help such kids in the future.
I got a Full Scholarship to Hillsdale College in Michigan in 2009. In 2011, my loving friend Samantha and I founded Tujelimu because we both share a passion for helping others. I have realized that my education is not mine alone, and that I don't have to wait to get established in the future in order to help other people who don't have the same opportunities as I do. Even with the little that I have, I can creat a great impact with the help of God, and indeed He has helped us transform the lives of these kids, some of whom had to drop out of school to herd cattle in order to get money to sustain themselves. My happiness and fulfillment comes from helping these children, who have no hope in life because no-one else cares for them. Their attitudes have now changed because they feel that total strangers love them enough to cater for their academic and spiritual needs. They are all in the top 5 percentile of their class because of this, and it is a great encouragement to us.
I believe we can do more for other kids in the same boat, but we need help. Help Tujelimu realize this dream by giving these kids a future to look forward to. God bless you!
Note from co-founder Samantha Gilman
God has richly blessed me with a great family and education, and now my friend Rose Okeyo and I are endeavoring to perpetuate Christ's love by helping youth at the Wang'arot Secondary School.
Many students are from poor families and cannot afford tuition or books. Some are forced to drop out and perform manual labor. Our organization, Tujelimu (not yet a nonprofit), pays tuition and purchases uniforms and books for underprivileged kids in Kenya. Rose and I partnered in 2010 to create Tujelimu. In 2011, we raised enough funds to purchase books for the Wang'arot Secondary School in Bondo, Kenya. Rose and I regularly give of our personal funds to support four students, and will continue to do so.
These are students Rose knows personally or has met. Her lifelong dream is to support these children in or near her hometown in whatever way she can. I share her commitment.
It takes about $300 USD to pay tuition and fees for one Kenyan child for one year. Even a donation of $5 goes a long way. If you help in your support, we can not only bring more students on board but also pay their tuition in years to come.
I hope you consider supporting our cause!
In Christ only by His grace,
Co-Founder of Tujelimu