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  • Ololo Foundation

Q4 Update from the Ololo Foundation

Updated: Jan 17

To the Ololo Community,

As we start a new year, it is with great joy and gratitude that we reflect on the remarkable journey we undertook together throughout 2023. The past year has been a testament to the unwavering commitment and generosity of our community at Ololo, as we continued to make a positive impact on the lives and environment in our community.
In 2023, the Ololo Foundation soared to new heights, driven by a shared vision of creating meaningful change and fostering sustainable development. Our collective efforts reached far and wide, touching the lives of individuals and communities near Ololo. From empowering education initiatives to launching our Trees for Life project, our diverse projects have left an indelible mark on the community and environment around us.

Thank you for being an integral part of our journey. Your generosity, dedication, and belief in the power of collective action continue to drive us forward.

Greening Schools Program (Oloosirkon School)

Figure 1: Brian, one of the 'Adopt a Tree' pioneers next to his mulberry tree

The Ololo Foundation’s Greening Schools Programme seeks to empower school going children with knowledge and skills on agroforestry/tree growing and to create greener spaces in schools for better education. Students get an opportunity to adopt and raise a tree/s, get a lush school compound, earn a certificate and rewarded with ‘Mazingira’ (Swahili word for environment) points that can be redeemed to learn useful skills in conservation and regenerative agriculture.
Lots have happened in the last quarter of 2023 including; Early October, we received 3000 indigenous and fruit tree seedlings from Ololo Ltd with the mission to plant a tree for every guest who spent the night at Ololo in 2023. More than 10 % of these seedlings have already been planted out at Oloosirkon primary school while the rest are being hardened at the Ololo nursery to be planted in the next rainy season.

Figure 2: Prof Kironchi from the University of Nairobi (UoN) selecting seedlings from our nursery

We also received a 1000 seedling donation from the Africa Fund for Endangered Wildlife - AFEW. Most of these trees are to be planted at Oloosirkon Primary and Secondary once the borehole pump is installed and during the next rainy season.

Figure 3: Ololo Foundation Team receiving part of the 1000 tree seedling donation from Africa Fund for Endangered Wildlife- AFEW/Giraffe Centre delivered by Victor – 3rd left.

We Officially launched the ‘Adopt-a-Tree’ initiative (October 25, 2023) where 30 pioneers including our champion Javiel (i.e., from the last update - insert a screenshot/photo for better illustration) were awarded a certificate - indicating their name, the tree they planted, the GPS coordinates of their tree, and a photo of them with their tree. The certificate is to acknowledge their interest to adopt and commitment to nurture trees at their school and offer a reward of 500 Mazingira (environmental) Points that can be redeemed for various education initiatives by Ololo foundation. We acknowledge and highly appreciate the presence and support of partners including AFEW, UoN through Prof. Kironchi and Ololo Lodge Guests.

Figure 4: On the 1st photo, Sharon is next to a passion fruit she has adopted and on the 2nd photo she is receiving her certificate handed to her by Mr. Craig Chapman, Ololo Foundation Director.

Figure 6: Our guest, Mr. Ngumbi from AFEW/Giraffe Centre delivering a moving speech during the adopt a tree launch

We are excited to have planted 340 more seedlings during the last rainy season in a fenced plot at Oloosirkon Primary School. As the schools reopen this year, we look forward to more students adopting these trees and growing them to maturity.
We spent some time tending to our already established food forest including, weeding, mulching, adding more trees and leveling the farm. Our forest and the school are becoming dense and lush day by day.

Upcoming in 2024!

As we start the new year, we are excited to hit the ground running and ramping up the projects from last year.
  • More tree planting at the school

  • Look forward to onboarding more students to the adopt a tree program and mentoring our pioneers

  • Scaling the tree plantings to Oloosirkon Secondary School

  • Intensifying our food forest with diverse food crops

St Johns School Updates

St Johns School is located in the heart of the Kibera slum - the largest slum in Africa. It's roughly the size of NY Central Park and is home to almost 1 million people. St. John's primary school was started by Josiah Munyutu in 2002, with the aim of helping the orphans, street children, and the poor. It now has over 400 students. We partnered with St Johns School in 2017, and have injected over $120,000 USD into it's development since. Currently, we are funding the following:
- 13 full time teachers salaries
- 24 high school scholarships for those selected to continue onto high-school
- Ongoing construction projects

In Q4 we were able to add 12 more students to our scholarship program.

Arts, Crafts and Cultural Program

Duration: The enriching holiday program spanned a substantial 46 days, commencing on November 6th and concluding on December 20th.

Diverse Activities:

• Art, Craft, and Culture Sessions: Engaging art, craft, and culture practice sessions took place every Monday and Wednesday in the art room at Oloosirkon Primary School, facilitated by the talented Jacky.
• Conservation and Farming Education: Every Tuesday afternoon, Olekasasi Primary School played host to insightful conservation and farming education sessions, led by our dedicated club patron, Mrs. Mary.

Cultural Days

Two memorable Cultural Days unfolded on November 15th and December 20th at Oloosirkon Primary School. The event saw children aged 5 to 15 showcase their creativity by designing unique attire using recycled materials. The highlight was a spirited competition with prizes such as stationery, followed by enjoyable games and dances in the art room hall facilitated by Whitney and Cynthia

Kids Camp at Ololo Farm

Boys and girls from Oloosirkon Primary, Olekasasi Primary, and St. John’s Kibera were treated to an immersive 2-night, 3-day camping experience at Ololo Farm. The camp featured educational visits, including a field lab exploration in Emakoko and a thrilling game drive in Nairobi National Park. This allowed the children to apply their wildlife tracking and identification skills in a wild setting.

Farm Kids Program

A hands-on session on December 14th saw children from Olekasasi Primary actively participating in setting up an urban garden, providing practical knowledge applicable to their homes. Additionally, during the kids' camp, the children were introduced to regenerative farming practices within Ololo.

Home visits

We conducted individual visits to students' homes to actively involve parents in their children's academic progress and foundation programs. These visits fostered the development of personal relationships with parents, making them integral to the overall progress. Additionally, home visits allowed us to address specific issues that required dedicated time and attention.

Deaf Camp BSF Workshop

In the final days of the holiday program, Ololo Foundation warmly welcomed the deaf rugby team for a 3-night experience at Ololo Farm. The team engaged in a full-day workshop focusing on maximizing black soldier fly farming to reduce poultry production costs.

These activities not only contributed to the personal and educational development of the participants but also strengthened the bond within the community, fostering a sense of environmental responsibility and sustainable practices. The Q4 holiday program has left a lasting impact on both the participants and the community as a whole.

Sports & Mentorship Program

Sports and mentorship is key in children's development stage and a tool to empower and impact community. We hope this newsletter finds you well and full of enthusiasm for the positive impact we continue to make together in the lives of children and communities. Your ongoing support has been instrumental in driving the success of various programs, events, and initiatives that aim to uplift and empower the youth in Kenya. Mentoring through sports has enabled players to build character, make healthy choices, take ownership in their learning, strengthen interpersonal skills and peer relationships, developing core values and life skills.

Kenya Cup Ndogo
The Kenya Cup Ndogo has been a roaring success, bringing together talented young athletes from different regions. Our commitment to nurturing talent at the grassroots level has been evident through the skill development and sportsmanship displayed by the participants. The Kenya Cup Ndogo is an initiative to introduce a competitive age grade league across Kenya to develop and sustain rugby in Kenya. Our first Kenya Cup Ndogo was against Mathare Rugby Foundation

Ball Kids Program
Our Ball Kids Program has not only provided opportunities for children to engage in physical activity but has also instilled essential life skills such as teamwork, discipline, and leadership. Having experience as Ball Kids during U20 World Trophy held in Kenya at Nyayo Stadium in 2023 the kids are loving every moment watching different games and making them understand the game better. They have been tasked Kenya Cup matches as ball kids every Saturday, this program is helping the kids in game understanding.

Safari 7s Tournament
The Safari 7s tournament has been a highlight, showcasing the incredible talent of our young rugby players. It has served as a platform for them to compete at a higher level and gain exposure to the broader sporting community. We managed to produce Under 16s category boys and girls, and they played their hearts out. The kids engaged with Kenya sevens and international players who are their role models and mentors.

Home Visits
Our dedicated team has been conducting home visits to better understand the needs of the children and families we support. This has allowed us to tailor our programs to address specific challenges and create a more significant impact. We have visited ten homes so far and are looking forward to visiting more homes. We have been receiving positive feedback from parents on kids' discipline and performance in school improving. We are getting support from parents and community through home visit and getting to create a bond #morethanrugby

Talent Search
The Tuala Talent Search has identified hidden gems within the community, offering them a chance to pursue their passion for sports and showcasing their potential to a broader audience. We managed to spot new talents in the region, therefore the kids' participation in sports has increased to create positive competition.

Deaf Rugby Camp and Mini Tournament
Our commitment to inclusivity is evident through the successful Deaf Rugby Camp at Ololo Safari Lodge and Farm and Mini Tournament. These initiatives aim to break down barriers and provide equal opportunities for children with hearing impairments. The deaf individuals had an opportunity to learn different farming activities at Ololo Farm, carpentry, metal work and bakery, this made it possible for them to receive scholarship to Ololo Vocational Training to gain more skills. On 20th December 2023 we closed the camp with a mini tournament between Ololo Rugby and Deaf Rugby Association of Kenya to showcase skills, inclusivity in sport, talent and passion for rugby. The next step is to promote deaf rugby in Kenya and establish a strong and competitive Deaf Rugby team to represent Kenya into the next Deaf Olympics.

Ongata Academy Mini 15s Friendlies
The Ongata Academy Mini 15s Friendlies have fostered healthy competition and camaraderie among schools, creating a positive sporting culture within the community. It was amazing to see the youngest player in the team Melvin Muturi awarded as the Most Valuable Player. He received a rugby jersey as an award.

Kajiado County Football Tournament
The Kajiado County Football Tournament has been a source of pride for the region, uniting communities through the love of the beautiful game. Identifying and nurturing local sport talent for potential future success, promoting sportsmanship, fair play and community engagement, providing a platform for cultural exchange and celebration of local heritage. By bringing together the diverse communities of Kajiado county through sports, the tournament organized by Office of the women representative Kajiado county, Leah Sankaire, Sankaire Super Cup in partnership with Ololo Foundation seeks to create a stronger, more connected and sustainable community through sports.

Establishing Sports Academy
Exciting news! We are in the process of establishing a sports academy, AfriImpact Sports Academy that will serve as a hub for talent development, providing a structured environment for young athletes to hone their skills and reach their full potential. We will visit different deaf
communities and schools to develop Deaf Rugby. The academy will have several programs; Skills Development and Empowerment Program, Life Skills and Mentorship Program, Game Officiating Program, Ball Kids and Toddlers Program and High-Performance Training Program.

Sports Scholarships
In line with our mission to create sustainable impact, we are proud to announce the impact of sports scholarships, opening doors for underprivileged children to access quality education in National schools while pursuing their passion for sports. Impact story on sports scholarship is that Athman Ali has been top student in school achieving distinction at Menengai High School. Four Kids have received sports scholarships so far at Enkinda school in Kisi County, Menengai and Upper Hill School, we are yet to hear from Kakamega High School for sports scholarship slot. From the start of the sports scholarship program ten kids have benefited. The link below has the pictures of the kids under scholarships.

Rugby Workshop and Training
We had a joint session at Nazarene University with kids from Oloosirikon and Olekasasi Primary school a total of eighty kids joined the training. The kids received special training from Coach Will and Courtney. On a regular training session, we train kids on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. During school days at Olekasasi Primary School we engagedt two hundred kids, Oloosirikon seventy kids. We are planning to map more schools and orphanages in Kajiado and across Kenya and engage them in sports.

Your continued support has been the driving force behind these accomplishments, and we look forward to achieving even greater milestones together. Together, we are transforming lives and building a brighter future for the children and communities we serve.

Donate and Make a Difference Your continued support is crucial in helping us sustain and expand our projects. We deeply appreciate any contribution you can make to empower the local community and create lasting change.

AUSTRALIAN DONATIONS For Aussie supporters, we take donations through 'Action on Poverty' which allows you to receive tax deductability on all donations make. Follow the below link, click donate, and select 'Ololo Foundation' as your chosen recipient.

INTERNATIONAL DONATIONS For donations from around the world, we take donations through our 'Donorbox' portal, which is a quick and easy way of donating. Follow the below link and choose either a once-off or monthly donation.

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