A passionate vision to strengthen their community became the catalyst for the establishment of CES Canada
CES Kenya was established in April, 2004. It was founded by local business, government, education and other community leaders who decided to do something to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic. On a special assignment to Kenya to work in schools in the North East Province of Kenya, Canadian educator Michael Frederiksen traveled to Western Province to assist the CES Kenya Board in designing a constitution and creating its key activity, namely Project PREPARE (Project to Reduce Poverty and Provide Access to Rural Education).
Based in Kakamega in Kenya’s Western Province, CES Kenya is committed to selecting and supporting bright Kenyan students who have lost their parents due to HIV/AIDS and who lack the resources to continue their education.
In the fall of 2004 CES Canada was established as a not for profit NGO, partnering with CES Kenya to select and support bright Kenyan students who had been orphaned by the HIV/Aids pandemic. Its goal was to provide education scholarships and other support services for youth living in the rural area surrounding Kakamega Western Province. By January, 2006 CES Canada had received status as a Canadian Charity.
The first CES Canada fundraiser was a true Kenyan “Harambee”. Funds were raised to allow 12 needy students in 12 high schools to begin their secondary school studies. By 2006 CES was sponsoring 24 students in the same twelve schools. Each year the growth of CES in Kenya shows added students in more schools. Presently CES supports 302 students in a Family of 33 schools.
The history of CES Canada is brief. What began as a dream has evolved into a source of joy for a Kenyan community involving 33 secondary schools – impacting on 5,000 students. To date (March2014) CES has provided 1200 scholarships to 400 students. Two hundred (200) students have now graduated with the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education. CES Canada’s first graduate, Benjamin Wafula (2006) completed his teacher training at Tambach Teachers College and is now employed as a primary school teacher. There are many success stories emerging. Thirty-seven graduates now participate in education and health sciences studies at the post secondary level. Outstanding CES graduates waiting to move ahead to higher education are invited to return to their school as teacher assistants and mentors for younger students. Three CES Canada chapters have now been established. These include Ottawa, Parry Sound/Muskoka and Thunder Bay. Each offers unique leadership that provides input and funding for projects such as digging wells, building schools and classrooms and providing health care to CES sponsored students.
To serve in Kenya is an honour and privilege for CES Canada
The needs are great and so too are the opportunities
Together we continue to fight the ravages of HIV/Aids and provide hope through education
“Education is the fulfillment of a dream”