Our Mission

To advance the education of children and young people in Kenya in particular but not exclusively by the provision of financial and other assistance to secondary schools to improve standards, infrastructure and facilities and by the provision of scholarships and bursaries to students as the trustees in their absolute discretion shall see fit.

Our Initial Objectives

  1. To provide financial and other assistance for the education of pupils in secondary schools in Kenya in order to raise performance standards.

  2. To provide financial and other assistance to secondary schools in Kenya for the improvement of their infrastructure and facilities.

  3. To provide annual performance-based bursaries to needy and promising pupils whilst they attend secondary schools in Kenya and to assist both pupils and institutions in any way that the Trustees deem to be suitable.

  4. To provide annual scholarships to worthy pupils graduating from secondary schools in Kenya which will help fund their university education.

  5. Initially, all of our help and funds will benefit Lenana school and its pupils.

Our Story

Founded in 1949 The Duke of York School quickly established itself as one of the pre-eminent secondary schools for boys in Kenya, along with, some would argue, The Prince of Wales, St Mary's and the Alliance High School. When Kenya became Independent in 1963 there were approximately 500 pupils at the Duke of York, of whom about 100 were day boys. Today there are over 1600 pupils at the school, all of them boarders. Yet the infrastructure and the boarding facilities at the school are pretty much the same today as they were in 1963. Just one new boarding House has been built, which opened in 2014 and which has been named Mandela House and a few classrooms and a new library.

Given this remarkable expansion in the number of boarding pupils and given the inevitable shortage of funds provided by the Government over many years, it is little wonder that the school is not in as good a shape as it was in 1963. The school does still contribute enormously, however, to the health and wealth of the country. Many ex-pupils continue to go into the professions and into leadership positions in the private sector in Kenya. Laiboni and Old Yorkists are also well represented in the Civil Service and the Government. Currently there are a number of Regional Governors, Senators, Kenya Government Ministers and Principal Secretaries in office who were pupils at Lenana School. The School is, however, no longer the star performer it once was come annual examination time and we would like to help reverse the trend.

At the end of 2015 we have established two new Charitable Trusts. The first to be created was the Optimum Kenya Trust (OKT) which is registered with the UK Government's Charity Commission with the Number 1154051. The second Trust to be established, towards the end of 2014, was the Msaada Kenya Trust (MKT), registered with the Kenya Government. All of the Trustees of these two Trusts, with just one exception, were pupils at the DOY/Lenana school. Both Trusts have exactly the same Object Clause and both Trusts will be seeking to raise funds to meet their Objectives. We expect that the OKT will mainly raise funds from around the world, whilst the MKT will mainly raise funds locally in Kenya. The MKT Trustees will control and administer the distribution of funds locally as circumstances require.

When our Trusts were established the Headmaster at the School was a certain Mr William Mwangi. Unlike some of his predecessors we felt that we could trust and work with him and he with us, and so it proved. We began to raise funds, started a Bursary Scheme and committed funds to a couple of infrastructure projects. All went reasonably well but in early 2017 Mr Mwangi was ‘promoted’ to become Headmaster at the Alliance High School for boys. His successor was, and still is, a Mr Kemei and it took a while for both parties to gain each other’s confidence. During this period however, the Laibon Society rose to the occasion and began the ambitious Pool Project. The pool, unusable since 2008, needed a complete reconstruction, at a cost of KES 15,000,000 (around £115,000). No project on this scale had ever been done, or attempted, before. The Laibon Society managed the Project and raised the necessary funds by organising ex-pupils into competing year groups and the new, metric pool was inaugurated last year. The OK and MK Trusts were the largest year group donors but the Laibon Society raised about 85% of the needed funding themselves. Well done to them and well done to us.

Our Funding Process

Any funds raised will be carefully managed so that as close to 100% as possible goes towards the school and the beneficiaries who need it. We have partnered with a proven and trusted law firm, Kaplan and Stratton, in Kenya, to oversee the accounts there to maximize security and accountability. 

When any infrastructure project or opportunity to award a bursary or a scholarship arises, the MKT Trustees will assess the need and, if they are convinced of its value, they will justify the request in writing to the OKT Trust. If the OKT Trustees agree with the MKT Trustees they will then move funds from the UK into Kenya, to there be disbursed under the control of the MKT Trustees. The following diagram indicates how the controlled flow of funds will occur.