Crossroads Springs Africa facilitates secondary and post-secondary education for disadvantaged Kenyan youth so they can reach their potential and become sources of economic and leadership strength in their communities.

RETREAT WITH FRIENDS OF KAKAMEGA

The annual high school retreat took place at Nyang’ori High School over five days and four nights in early December. It was attended by nearly all of the 175 high school students supported by CSA and our partner Friends of Kakamega. The students learned new life skills, shared opinions in discussion groups, and enjoyed meals, talent shows, games, and conversation together.

Every morning of the retreat started with a plenary, after which students broke up into smaller groups to dive deeper into the topics presented to them. Alongside the Care Centre staff who handled logistics, a total of ten guest presenters shared their wisdom and life experience as they helped facilitate the various conversations. This year’s topics included things like goal-setting and self-discovery, entrepreneurship and self-support, confidence and public speaking, and the value of good character and honesty in the hunt for jobs and other opportunities. Most of all, the discussions centered on being proactive.

There was also a sexual and reproductive health session led by Marie Stopes, and two physician-assistants were present to offer the students a private and confidential chance for the students to access rapid HIV testing, general medical consultation, and referrals to health resources available in their home communities.

We know that only a small portion of our graduates will qualify for the lofty careers that most dream of achieving, e.g. to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or pilot. Therefore, the greatest theme of the retreat was proactivity and the importance of making your own future instead of waiting for it to come knocking. In short: “do something.” Even as students were strongly encouraged to work hard and aspire without limit, the retreat helped them focus as well on the realities of life in rural Kenya, and the importance of having a plan B, C, and D to keep in reserve should Plan A not materialize. In this vein, many of the guest speakers were people from the greater Kakamega community who have achieved success in self-employment or small business with sheer determination and a willingness to take calculated risks until things go right. These guests shared how they have made a living from activities that don’t require diplomas, ranging from selling boiled eggs, to grafting trees, to wedding and event photography.

At the end of the retreat, top students, greatest-improvers, and talent show winners received token prizes and recognition in front of the whole group. The students went home for the holidays, and the general consensus was that this year’s retreat had been another grand success.

....submitted by John Chisholm
strongyoungpeople

STRONG YOUNG PEOPLE

With a $10,000 donation from a family foundation, Crossroads Springs Africa will be able to support a new initiative in Kenya to help improve the lives of those students who did not qualify for university. We are excited to adopt a program started by The Friends of Kakamega and the Kakamega Care Centre. Strong Young People will expand our mission of helping deserving but vulnerable young people build strong, independent, and healthy lives for themselves and their families. The program will offer training in small business planning and income-oriented farm production or trading to about 15 high school grads, while also providing them micro-grants and knowledge about micro-finance lenders as they launch their independent ventures.

...submitted by John Chisholm

DERBY PARTY 2020 - A CALL FOR SPONSORS

Dick YoungOur Sixth Gala Event “Off to the Races” will be held on May 2, 2020 on the same day as the Kentucky Derby. It will take place in the historic Main House in Knox Farm State Park from 4:30pm-9:00pm. Please join us in making this next year’s event for our students in Kenya a great success. The Gala includes hors d’oeuvres and a buffet by Bravo, mint juleps, beer and wine, live band `entertainment, silent and live auctions and pre-race fun and games with a live viewing on big screen tvs of the “Run for the Roses”. For more information, please contact Beth Hatcher, (716) ‭901-1598‬ or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The sponsorship information package which lists sponsorship benefits can be downloaded here. Thank you for your consideration.

Information about placing an ad in the Derby Program can be found here.