AGM 2018 – President’s Address and Opening RemarksOctober 14, 2018 3:57 pm
The Annual General Meeting
Community Education Services (CES) Canada 2018
President’s Address and Opening Remarks
June 12, 2018
It is a pleasure for me today to address the Directors of Community Education Services (CES) Canada.
It is with profound thanks that I recognize the CES Board of Directors for their support for our mission to Kenya. In addition, the daily and ongoing work on the ground by the Directors and Patron of CES Kenya is acknowledged as being vital to the organization. I often think of and deeply appreciate all those individual friends of CES who share our vision and have come alongside to help fund scholarships and projects in rural Kenya.
It is also my privilege to recognize and thank The Peter Cundill Foundation and it is with profound gratitude that we as a board acknowledge the incredible support they have provided us beginning in December 2013 until the present. As a result we have expanded our work and what has been accomplished over the past four years is equal to the previous eight.
In 2004 we had a dream – to lift Kenyan youth out of acute poverty and fight the ravages of HIV/AIDS by providing hope through education. But a dream is not enough, it must be followed by a vision. A dream combined with a vision creates hope. A vision gives real shape and substance to the dream.
Initially we wanted to provide orphaned, bright and needy students with opportunities to attend school. For the first eight years of our work in Kenya (2004-12) we raised awareness and funding to include 800 scholarships for 200 secondary school graduates. 90% of our students received admission to post secondary studies, but we were not in a position to promise support for college or university studies. We were however able to help with partial scholarships allowing 24 students to attend college and university. I am happy to report that of these young people, 19 are charter members of the CES Alumnus. One is a medical doctor in charge of a hospital clinic, six are community health nurses, eight are now teachers, two are consultants in the field of agriculture, one a research scientist in tropical diseases, another with a Bio-Chemistry background is now in marketing for a pharmaceutical company. Two of our graduates are teaching in CES schools, one in his alma mater.
This core group in 2015 created their own charity to help other needy youth and to promote the work of CES in Kenya. Four have been named as CES Consultants in the area Education and Career Development, Water Management and Environmental Sustainability, Community Health and Agriculture. Two have presented papers on Peace Education at an international conference. This is an extraordinary group of nation builders and agents for change and we are proud of each one.
All that said, we began to realize that as an organization we had to do more to build healthy learners, prepared for a world where global understanding and demands for IT and higher level communication and leadership skills were a basic necessity. And that’s where the Peter Cundill Foundation stepped in.
Our work has more than doubled from 800 scholarships to 2000 with 700 graduates.
– By the close of 2018 The Peter Cundill Foundation will have sponsored 600 youth alone with a secondary school scholarship
– Funds for post secondary learning have made it possible for 65 students to continue their university studies through partial scholarships
– The CESCED Leadership Training Program now involves 15 scholars who have been identified as gifted academically and have shown exceptional leadership potential. 13 are on full PCF scholarships. The first 18 month 10 Unit on-line training program was completed in October 2017 and the next is scheduled to begin in July, 2018.
– Funds for the 3 year computer studies mobile lab training project has to date impacted on 280 students in 24 secondary schools.
– Funds designated towards a water hygiene Hand Wash Station, the feminine hygiene PAD project, the Jiggers campaign, the IC2Read eye clinic, hygiene kits and anti-malaria mosquito nets has made a huge impact on our school communities.
– Funds from the PCF helped finish the Musaga SS Kitchen dedicated last year. This was the final stage of an exciting 8 year project to build a secondary school from the ground up
To the Directors of The Peter Cundill Foundation … we so much appreciate your support and your belief in CES Canada. Your investment in Kenyan youth has been extraordinary. We see the results over the long term and yet we know we can do more.
The Peter Cundill Foundation has supported Kenyan youth through education, health, clean water and nutrition programs. But the impact of PCF is more then numbers, greater than projects and going far beyond funding. At CES we strongly believe in the seven fold multiplication principle…that what we do for one will manifest itself in the lives of 7 others. In many cases it will be more. As we strengthen and enable one, that person will reach out to others.
Just a few examples…we also celebrate others not mentioned:
Metrine Mayende now a community health nurse on staff at the Khwisero Health Centre assisting payments who live with HIV/Aids.
Benjamin Wafula is a champion for special needs students. He is a teacher at a school that works with children with physical and mental challenges.
Busuku Musli is the Chief Medical Officer at Ingotse Medical Clinic. Previously he worked in the prisons and a local hospital.
Mildred Wasike is completing her first year of study at Shanghai University of Medical Science. She was one of twenty students from Kenya selected on 2016 for a full scholarship.
Aziza Wafula is a registered nurse at the Tenwek Mission Hospital in Bomet County. This is a rural health facility specializing in heart surgery.
I once met a man who shared seven words with me…and these have made all the difference. He said,”When in Kenya, you must visit Kakamega.” That was in 2003 – I followed his advice. The following year CES was born and the rest is history.
The power of CES is that students are given the opportunity to learn, to grow and to develop as future leaders. CES has focused on helping students obtain the KCSE. The greater vision for CES is what happens afterwards. CES seeks to foster young people who are willing to take risks, go on to higher learning and become leaders in their communities. In fact CES sees it’s students ultimately as nation builders.
That’s our vision…to enable extraordinarily gifted young people to create lives that will be independent and successful and be able to impact on others. To make it possible for girls to have equal opportunity and access to education is one of the things that drive us to do our very best to support gender equity.
The next four years our mission will focus on Leadership Training and post secondary scholarship support for exceptional students. CES Canada believes that volunteerism and giving back to the community is an essential part of shaping Kenya’s future. CES strategically will encourage a mindset and work ethic where intellectual imagination, excellence in academic achievement, personal initiative, strength of character and leadership development is foremost in the lives of its students. To that end we move forward as a team, as a group of people passionate to make a difference and to transform an unacceptable reality where students are limited by geography and economics.
CES Canada, in partnership with CES Kenya and The Peter Cundill Foundation and with the support of literally hundreds of volunteers and donors, will continue its mission to impact young lives and provide Hope through Education.
President, CES Canada
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