Kenyan international supermodel Ajuma Nasenyana and a money transfer firm have partnered to distribute free exercise books worth millions of shillings to learners in public primary schools in the country.
The donation distributed through Ajuma Foundation in collaboration with Chipper Cash, which kicked off last year has so far spread to 18 out of 47 counties.
This week, the team is distributing over 20,000 Ajuma branded exercise books to 3000 pupils in public primary schools within arid and informal areas of Taita Taveta, Mombasa, Kilifi and Lamu counties.
Chipper Cash Country Director Leon Kiptum revealed that since the launch of the exercise, they have distributed exercise books worth Sh7 million to hundreds of primary schools across the country.
Kiptum backed the Ajuma foundation’s initiative to promote education in line with its mission and the vision of empowering communities in Africa.
“We have sponsored this initiative to the tune of just above $60,000 (Sh. 7 million) for 2022 and we expect to enhance it as we move forward. Last quarter, we were in Narok, Nandi, Baringo and Nakuru counties,” added Kiptum in an interview with journalists at Mwakiruge primary school, Kisauni sub-county, Mombasa.
Speaking to journalists at the school, Ajuma revealed that she has so far reached 37,000 pupils and was hoping to reach many more after the end of her countrywide books distribution drive.
Ajuma revealed that her initiative was precipitated by the predicaments faced by many Kenyan families after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is one of the projects I do. I also distribute sanitary pads, work with refugee communities in Kakuma and I do mentorship with young girls. This is the latest one because of the economic crisis brought by Covid-19. One of the major issues even before the pandemic, children were sitting at home because parents could not afford a simple thing like an exercise book and with Covid 19, I knew many more were at home. I felt it important to keep these children in school by taking the burden off their parents,” she added.
The free exercise books are animated with her pictures clad in different Kenyan communities’ regalia on the face and on the back, different Kenyan dialects greetings, the country’s map with locations of 47 counties and pictures of the big five.
Ajuma argued that the unique feature of her free exercise books is intended to empower Kenyan children to appreciate the country’s heritage, promote patriotism, cohesion and integration.
“I did not want to buy any other exercise books from supermarkets. They promote western culture when we have our own vibrant, colourful and beautiful culture and with the tension between our tribes. I felt like we don’t know each other and so I animated myself on the cover of the exercise books in different cultures. I am focusing on the younger generation. It is easy to mold them,” said the supermodel.
Ajuma and Kiptum praised the government’s free primary education policy saying the programme has enhanced access to education and improved literacy level in the country.
“My request to education stakeholders is to come to the basics. It is great to have more corporates to come in and support in creating equal chances for these children and those in urban areas. Education is not about reading, it’s about creating a conducive environment for these kids to learn and excel in future,” they added.
Chipper Cash, a global money transfer firm, was founded by a Ugandan who studied in Mombasa and a Ghanaian during their further education in the United States after struggling to either receive or send money home.
The firm operates in Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, South Africa and now Kenya, and has three community development pillars of sports, education and mental wellness.
The cross border money transfer is also an official payment partner for Italian giant football club, AS Roma for Africa.
By Galgalo Bocha