In September we sent our first newsletter to those who received and opened the initial announcement. This is the contents of that newsletter.
Dear Laibon/Old Yorkist
You are receiving this, the first OKT/MKT Newsletter, because you were one of the 165 ex-pupils of the DOY/Lenana school who received and opened our initial announcement e-mail, sent out last month, concerning the formation of the Optimum Kenya Trust and the Msaada Kenya Trust. We sent out 550 e-mails to what we hoped were valid e-mail addresses but only 160 were opened, a mere 30%. More on this topic later.
First of all, a correction. The UK Charity Commission has changed their website address from that which was mentioned in the initial announcement e-mail. The new address and the best place to start is www.charitycommission.gov.uk/find-charities. Our registration number is 1154051. There is not much information on there for the moment, as our income has yet to exceed £10,000 in any one year, but we sure hope to achieve that this year.
As of today’s date the Optimum Kenya Trust has received donations and pledges to donate amounting to £11,208.50 thanks, in the main, to a few very generous individuals. This Pound Sterling amount equates to 15,287 Euros, US$ 17,288, AUD 24,218 and KS 1,822,872. The only expenditure to date has been the cost of awarding the first 5 OKT/MKT bursaries, as mentioned in our initial announcement e-mail and on our website: www.optimumkenyatrust.org. Our grateful thanks go to all those who have made donations which have successfully started us upon our way.
Besides ourselves, there are several other entities also pitching in to help the new Headmaster restore the school to its previous prominence. The Kenya Government, no less, has stepped up to the plate and the Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Mr Belio Kipsang, as was reported in the Daily Nation on the 24th August, has committed over KS 50 million to build a new classroom block and a new library at the school. This will enable the school to both increase its student population but also reduce the number of pupils for some classes. Here is a photo of a model of the new block which will be located between Thomson/Kibaki House and Upper Junior/Tom Mboya House.
The Laibon Society are currently considering a proposal to repair and refurbish the school swimming pool. The East Africa Cricket Foundation is also refurbishing the school’s cricket facilities and has provided the school with the necessary equipment.
Some Msaada Trustees met with the Headmaster recently and agreed to fund an initial project which is to clear and make playable once more the 2 murram hockey pitches at the entrance to the school. You can see the current state of the pitches in these 2 photos.
Other possible projects were discussed with the Headmaster and cost estimates will be sought and priorities will be set. There will be an update in the next Newsletter.
Which brings me back to the subject of donations and e-mail addresses. I am confident that many of our fellow ex-pupils who did not receive and open our initial announcement e-mail will want to donate to the cause, but they did not get the opportunity as we had some out-of-date e-mail addresses and some of them may have had a spam filter turned on which rejected our e-mail. Whatever the reason, I would like to reach out further beyond ourselves. So, I therefore ask you, if you will, to kindly send us all the valid e-mail addresses for our fellow ex-pupils, of which you are aware. Over time, with the help of your feedback, we can extend our Newsletter distribution, perhaps re-connect with some old friends and also increase our financial commitment to the pupils and the school and eventually help Kenya to prosper. We appear to have our timing right. We have an opportunity to help with the redevelopment of the school. Let’s do it.
With my best wishes to you all.