Rafiki Thabo Foundation

WELCOME TO OUR RAFIKI RELAY FOR EDUCATION – CAIRO TO CAPE TOWN CHALLENGE!

We are SO EXCITED that you are joining us in our collective effort to run, walk, swim, or cycle a whopping 13,222 km between us in 6 weeks! All you need to do now is register here and ‘meet us in Cairo’ on the 26th April for ‘on your marks’! You choose your distance, whether you want to set off with a team or go it ‘solo’. If you haven’t yet done so, do visit our event website for all the information you need, including helpful guidance for each step to get you set up and ready. Your first step is to enter your contact details there so we can e-mail you the access code you need to register here! Check it out https://events.rafiki-foundation.org.uk/relay

We do hope you will take the opportunity to fundraise for us, your support will help us transform lives! We want our relay to spread joy, encourage fitness, a feeling of personal and collective achievement and friendly competitiveness, however our main reason for hosting this relay is to enable us to empower more young lives through education. Please do read on to learn how ❤

Rafiki Thabo believe that a lack of hope and education is true poverty, and our vision is that young people, including those living with disabilities, will be empowered through education to fulfil their potential and initiate positive change in their communities.

We are an Oxfordshire based charity which aims to enable children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Kenya, Uganda, and Lesotho to reach their full potential by removing the barriers to them attending secondary school and higher education.

Young people like Praise, a remarkable and incredibly brave young woman, whose dream is to become a lawyer so that she can fight corruption and fight for justice in Uganda. She was born with normal sight but lost her vision completely as a young child. Her father abandoned the family due to her disability and left her mother as the sole breadwinner for four children – she could not afford to pay for their education, just food. Relatives were able to help Praise through her early years, but without Rafiki Thabo’s support, Praise would not have been able to start secondary school. We are delighted to say she is doing extremely well at school – and have all faith in her realising her dream of becoming a lawyer! It costs only £325 per year to help this courageous young woman transform her life.

Praise is one of 210 young people we are currently supporting through our scholarship programme, 38 of whom are living with disabilities. We provide bursaries to these bright young people who have gained a place at school/university but for whom paying school fees are insurmountable, often orphans or living in single parent households where even putting food on the table is a daily challenge. Without support, these children would remain at home working manual labour to help feed their family or be married off at a tender age. With an education, they are empowered to believe in their futures and pursue their dreams; they can marry for love, they will secure paid, meaningful employment, send their own children to school and can lift themselves and their families out of poverty. They will give back to their communities and contribute to the wider economic development of their countries.

Consider the impact your relay participation and fundraising will have, with the knowledge that in Uganda 63% of the population live on less than £1.50 per day, or £550 per year. Yet the cost of the average secondary school is £322 per year and the average cost for a year at college or university is £840. As such, 8 out of 10 children in Uganda will never go to secondary school!

Given access to even lower secondary education, a household in Uganda could increase their income by 56%! If all women in low and lower middle-income countries completed secondary education, the under-5 mortality rate would fall by 49% — an annual saving of 3 million lives!

In addition to our scholarship programme, our ‘Eat Well to Learn’ programme provides nutritious school meals to the very poorest students at our link school in Uganda, for many the only meal they will eat each day. Without it they would walk for hours to and from school in hazardous terrain and be expected to concentrate and learn while at school, on an empty stomach.   

We also enable education through infrastructure and facilities' support at our link schools in Kenya, Lesotho, and Uganda. This includes revenue generating projects such as piggeries and chicken coops, electricity supply and refurbishing dormitories to allow the children to stay overnight at school, be safe and better able to learn.

Rafiki Thabo’s small central team is based in Oxfordshire, so in order to deliver our programmes we work closely with in-country volunteer committees in Uganda, Kenya, and Lesotho. Our committee members are personally known to the trustees, hold central roles in their communities and all share our passion for education and the belief in its power as a pathway out of poverty. Our committees carry out the selection process from the many applications that Rafiki Thabo receives each year, ensuring that only those genuinely in need are accepted as Rafiki scholars.

Our structure enables us to remain lean, transparent and grassroot – and able to guarantee that the money you help us raise goes directly to our educational programmes!

The drive behind Rafiki Thabo is clear: Positive and sustainable change in local economy, politics and health can and will happen. Gender equality and an end to poverty is possible. Underpinning it all is education!

And the best bit? It really doesn’t cost that much to transform a life! Below are some examples of how little it takes to empower these young people as Rafiki Scholars:

  • £300 could pay for a year at secondary school for a child in Lesotho
  • £840 would pay for 3 years at secondary school in Uganda
  • £1,768 could pay for a whole term of school meals for 70 children in secondary school in Uganda
  • £955 will pay for a year at university in Kenya

Imagine how many young lives we can transform together! We would love it if you set up a fundraising page or share our central page with your friends and family https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rafikirelay

To find out more about our work and our impact please visit our website https://rafiki-foundation.org.uk

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT, FOR HELPING US EMPOWER MORE YOUNG PEOPLE IN KENYA, UGANDA, AND LESOTHO AND FOR YOUR HELP SPREADING THE WORD ABOUT OUR RELAY!!

A kind reminder… While it is free to enter our relay, each participant costs Rafiki Thabo £5. So, we will be very grateful for your pledge to raise a minimum of £5 through your fundraising or for your voluntary donation of £5 to our JustGiving page above