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
- To provide financial and other assistance for the education of pupils in secondary schools in Kenya in order to raise performance standards.
- To provide financial and other assistance to secondary schools in Kenya for the improvement of their infrastructure and facilities.
- 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.
- To provide annual scholarships to worthy pupils graduating from secondary schools in Kenya which will help fund their university education.
- Initially, all of our help and funds will benefit Lenana school and its pupils.
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 1200 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.
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.
The School has a new Headmaster since the beginning of 2014. His name is Mr William Mwangi. He says, with some reason, that we “old boys” of the School should be “ashamed” of the current state it is in now. He has certainly started to do his bit to fix things since he came on board. The “old boys” have certainly tried to get involved in the past, have put their hands into their pockets on many an occasion, but without being able to stop the rot. The culture and expectations of the school, its unique mix of academic prowess and pride in leadership in extra-curricular activities and sports have been eroded over the years. Now, with the new Headmaster on board who values and expects closer co-operation with the Alumni, with a recently regenerated and active Laibon Society and with this new, structured Trust response to the pupils needs, we believe we can help to turn things around. The time is right and all the parties involved are determined to co-operate and succeed.
During the last two years 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.
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.