We began offering secondary school scholarships for the 2011 school year, which means that many sponsored students have now completed their four years at secondary school.

And as part of The Red Rubber Ball Foundation they are part of a bigger family – a support network of people who share this mindset and philosophy, and this continues beyond school.

Hopefully this means that a RRBF scholarship means more, has the greatest possible value, and gives our students the best chance in life.

We are extremely proud that over 70% of our sponsored students go on to university or college.  However, the backgrounds of the students receiving scholarships makes it very difficult to find permanent work in Kenya that pays a meaningful wage, even for those who have completed a university degree.  They simply don’t have the personal contacts and life experience required.

So we are working with those sponsored students who have left school to develop an alumni network that will help them find meaningful work or establish their own commercial ventures, so that they can support their own families and enjoy the life they want.

This support includes:

  • Helping students to build their own network of contacts through groups such as Rotary.
  • Building our own networks of contacts who might provide work experience, internships, employment opportunities or personal mentoring to develop their personal skills and confidence.
  • Identifying other scholarships for further study.
  • Providing small emergency financial loans so students can begin or complete their university or college studies.
  • Offering laptops for loan as these are increasingly needed for studies.
  • Further training to help our students develop new skills to equip them for the world of work.
  • And leadership adventures to Kilimanjaro in 2016 and Mount Kenya in 2023, where students face a physical and mental challenge, working alongside others in a team to help everyone succeed.

Our support for sponsored students once they leave school is co-ordinated through a Facebook Alumni group led by the students themselves and a WhatsApp group for this wider Red Rubber Ball Family.  This enables students to share messages (including progress, weddings and graduations), experiences and new skills, and information on scholarships, internships and work opportunities available locally.

The challenges faced

The Education for All Global Monitoring Report revealed that income levels for many people in the slums and rural areas of Kenya is very low, and insufficient to provide for their family.

About 50% of men and 80% of women aged 15 to 24 in the slums have no income-generating activities. Of those who are employed, about 60% of men and 40% of women are in causal employment earning only around the poverty line.

Much work is casual by nature (e.g. waiting each day outside building sites to see if there is any work available) which offers no security.

Figures from show that an unskilled worker earns approximately £40 a month. From these small amounts, people must pay for rent, electricity, food, and water.  Only then can they think about ‘luxuries’ like schooling for their children.

Through our support of students once they have left school, students have taken steps to achieve long-term dreams and short-term goals.

Different students have:

  • Found full-time work
  • Started a business
  • Obtained an apprenticeship
  • Completed a diploma before moving on to a degree course
  • Undertaken work experience
  • Volunteered at a primary school in the Kibera slums
  • Obtained a driving licence
  • Learned a new language
  • Been able to speak in public
  • Joined a university peer group providing mentoring/counselling for younger students
  • And supported a mentor by caring for her when recovering from an operation

Help us do more

There are many simple ways you can help us roll this out to more places and some of them won’t cost you a penny.

Remember, 100% of your donation goes directly to the source.