September, 2004 - Elimu founder, Nina Chung arrives in Kenya on a 2-year volunteer posting.
Decemer, 2004 - 30 young people are sponsored by friends and family for vocational training in tailoring, mechanics and carpentry at various facilities around Malindi, including Heri Ministries Sewing Project. The seed of an idea for Elimu is planted.
January, 2005 - First Elimu-sponsored kids start learning. James (age 6) enters Kindergarten Level 3; Joseph (age 4) Kindergarten Level 1. School fees paid by Nina. Backpacks and uniforms purchased by friends from Canada. The idea for Elimu germinates.
December, 2006 - First Elimu graduates from Heri Ministries Sewing Project. Each is given a sewing machine to start their own micro-business at home in their rural communities. (9 young women in total.)
December, 2008 - Children of “Nyumbani Kwetu” reach 14 in total. Nina begins looking into managing the household in the manner of a children’s home. Rents house; hires housemother and sets up meal plan.
July, 2009 - Jan Wood spends 3 months in Kenya sharing her professional expertise in helping develop the strategy for creating a charitable organization. While there she assists in tutoring the children of Nyumbani Kwetu. She later becomes Secretary to the Elimu board.
November, 2009 - Sarah (age 16) becomes Nyumbani Kwetu’s first primary school graduate and the first of her family to make it to Grade 8. (Many of her aunts were single mothers at this age.)
April, 2010 - Elimu meets with Upendo Self Help Group who request assistance in building a standard facility for their existing community-based nursery school program.
May, 2010 - James of Nyumbani Kwetu is officially received as an altar server at St. Anthony’s Catholic Cathedral, Malindi. After the ceremony, he states “I feel really proud of myself today.”
October, 2010 - Elimu board of directors is established.
November, 2010 - Ibrahim graduates primary school. Nyumbani Kwetu’s second primary school graduate. (None of his uncles have achieved this.)
January, 2011 - Elimu receives official registration as a Canadian not-for-profit organization.
September, 2011 - Elimu’s sewing graduate Mary (graduated 2010) starts to build her own mud house from income generated through her tailoring business. (She also helps provide for her sisters’ education.)
October, 2011 - Upendo latrine toilets are built. Momentum builds both among the local Sabaki Village community and amongst the Elimu team and their partners. Fundraising continues.
November, 2011 - Magdalene graduates primary school. Nyumbani Kwetu’s third graduate.
March, 2012 - Elimu is officially registered as a Canadian charitable organization and begins offering tax deductible receipts to donors.
March, 2012 - Volunteers from the Sabaki Village community turn out to dig the foundation for the first classroom for Upendo Nursery School. The class is completed in April.
September, 2012 - Upendo Nursery School moves into the new two-room school building. Learning begins in earnest.
September, 2012 - Nina assists a Mum with HIV to keep her three boys in school until they are accepted at the local government school in January. The concept for the “Stay in School” Sponsorship Project takes shape.
October, 2012 - Elimu receives its official Certificate of Compliance from the Kenyan government's Registrar of Companies as a branch office of a Canadian-based charitable organization.
November, 2012 - Lorraine of Nyumbani Kwetu graduates KG3 to join Grade 1. After repeating KG1 twice, Lorraine got a private tutor and special teaching tools. Though still learning at her own pace, she’s now reading and writing three-letter words and doing basic math.
December, 2012 - Third classroom built for Upendo Nursery School and first management training seminar hosted by Elimu. Also, first KG3 graduates (those moving on to Grade 1) from the new location.
January, 2013 - Nyumbani Kwetu’s 14 children moved to a larger home with more privacy for teenagers and more bathrooms in a quieter more residential neighbourhood close to good schools.
January, 2013 - Six new students sponsored to Heri Ministries Sewing Project. (Most so far.)
January, 2013 - Elimu's new Stay in School Sponsorship Project is launched. 17 children sponsored to various schools (various levels of education from kindergarten to high school.)
April, 2013 - Elimu representatives visit Dorothy (2012 graduate) in her rural village. Her father proudly sports new trousers and shirt sewn by his daughter. Income from her sewing business provided raw materials for him to carve. He sells the carvings in town to generate income.
August, 2013 - Fourth classroom built at Upendo Nursery School (to house “baby class” day care program).
August, 2013 - First high school seminar offered by Elimu for students from their various projects. Among the presenters for the day is Mr. Mohammed, a high school teacher of the Kenyan Teachers Service Commission, who was once sponsored through Elimu’s founder to complete his B.A. in Education. He’s now been teaching for 5 years.
October, 2013 - Heri Ministries Sewing Project hosts business training seminar for all students. The three-day program covers budgeting, planning, saving and how to benefit from small loans.
November, 2013 - Sarah (age 20) is Nyumbani Kwetu’s first high school graduate. Sarah will be breaking new ground as she moves on to post-secondary education.
December, 2013 - After the outdoor painting and installation of the gate, Upendo Nursery School Building Project is complete!
January, 2014 - Upendo Early Childhood Education Centre (Nursery School) starts the new school year at its brightly painted and fully completed facility. (Enrollment jumps from 65 students to close to 100.) The day-to-day running of the school continues to be the responsibility of the local community.
February, 2014 - James (age 15), Nyumbani Kwetu's third graduate of primary school received his "calling letter" inviting him to his new high school. He reported to school on February 3rd.
April, 2014 - Heri Ministries Sewing Project hosts graduation ceremonies for 2012 and 2013 graduates. All of the grads spoke of the benefits of their sewing skills. All five Elimu grads are sewing and making a living with their machines. Some are supporting siblings in school. Others assist with living expenses. All expressed a great deal of hope for their futures and shared that hope with the current first and second year students.
April, 2014 - During school holidays, Elimu sponsored high school students benefit from remedial tutoring. They work in small groups and the program encourages self-directed learning, while providing teachers to cover weak areas that need revision. It’s also a chance to learn how things are done at other schools and to share notes. The program will continue in the next holidays.
August, 2014 - Elimu’s mentorship seminar for high school students was expanded this year to include Grade 7s and 8s who are preparing for high school in the near future. We also invited parents for the first time and reviewed responsibilities on all sides for educating the children in the program.
September, 2014 - Nyumbani Kwetu’s first Project student. Sarah graduated high school November 2013, then pursued a short course in computer studies from April – July. In September, she entered a diploma program that will prepare her to work with computer applications, networking, basic web design and business management and administration.
November, 2014 - Elimu hosted a follow up to the management training for Upendo Early Childhood Education Centre. The 3-day seminar focused on reviewing their activities this year and looking at strategies for future development.
November, 2014 - Elizabeth (16) was Nyumbani Kwetu’s fourth primary school graduate. She waits to hear the school that the government will have chosen for her. She should know by February, 2015.
November, 2014 - Ibrahim (age 18) completed high school as Nyumbani Kwetu’s second graduate. He awaits his national exam results which should be available in March, 2015.
November, 2014 - One of Elimu’s School Sponsorship high school graduates, Jackson started work as a dealer in mobile phone credit, servicing shops and small businesses around Malindi. He is the first of our program graduates to find formal work and begin establishing himself for the future. Along with the daily job, he is pursuing a driving course and German lessons.
December, 2014 - Seven young ladies graduated from Heri Ministries Sewing Program. They completed their National Trade Certification Exams in both tailoring and dressmaking at the beginning of December and returned to their rural homes with their brand new sponsored sewing machines. They will receive their official certificates from the Kenyan government sometime in March, 2015.
January , 2015 - Eliza reports to a national high school, one of the top schools in the country. She was accepted because of her B+ average. The school is known for preparing its students to achieve university.
January , 2015 - Upendo offers Grade 1 and Grade 2 at the newly built facility, which means 2 classes in some classrooms. But the newly built large rooms are able to accommodate this set-up and more children benefit from learning in their neighborhood. Enrollment is around 125.
April, 2015 - Nina attends the Digital Reading Summit in Nairobi hosted by World Reader a US-based NGO working with publishers, libraries and schools in Africa to create and deliver digital content to children using eReader technology. Elimu is researching the use of digital media to improve Kenyan students’ access to curriculum content for classroom and revision exercises.
June , 2015 - After preparing a portfolio and sitting for an interview, Ibrahim is accepted to Project to pursue a career in commercial art and graphic design. The course will take four years and includes a work term in the last semester.