You may remember the fundraising project I ran in September, which was very successful thanks to your generous help and support. I am really happy to come back to you with a little follow-up. As you know, I returned to Kenya in December and January and spent 10 days with Fountain Youth Initiative partly in their Githurai office, partly in rural Busia (west Kenya), where we distributed uniforms, books and stationery as part of the Back to School project to which many of you contributed.
It was an amazing experience to be in Busia. Being a rural place struck by drought and poverty, it is strikingly different from urban Nairobi outskirts where poverty has a different form. Aside from the Back to School project, we also delivered on the Reproductive health project doing mentorship to teenage girls and providing them with sanitary pads they cannot normally offer.
Let me share a few numbers and thoughts on the Back to School project.
- Total funds raised through JustGiving as delivered to Fountain’s bank account: 282 000 KSH (2820 USD)
- Funds raised on JustGiving before platform fee, transfer fee and exchange rate: 2 310 GBP (roughly 2 863 USD)
- Amount spent: 239 040 KSH (2391 USD)
- Amount left: 42 960 KSH (430 USD) – to be used for 2nd and 3rd term this year where only stationery is needed
- Amount of children recruited for 2017: 137 (Githurai 58, Busia 79, girls 75, boys 62)
- Average cost per child for 1st term: 1755 KSH (that is roughly 17.55 USD)
We are counting 600 KSH (6 USD) per child for the second and third term that will be paid with the leftover money. You can find a more detailed project report by Fountain Youth Initiative enclosed.
The project did not go without hiccups, both Fountain and particularly myself are still learning. We have a few lessons learned:
- Fundraising platform:
Although Fountain has minimum administrative costs, we lost a significant amount of money by using the wrong fundraising platform. JustGiving took 5% of the amount raised. In the meantime we have learned from this mistake and found a platform that does not require any fee up to the amount of 100 000 USD and only 2% of raised money above this amount.
- Money transfer:
Another hiccup that is hard to avoid is the exchange rate volatility. Sadly, since I used a UK fundraising platform (pound being quite volatile at that time) and regular inter-bank transfer with less favourable exchange rates. We are looking into this issue and finding better ways to transfer money. If any of you have any tips or experience, please get in touch.
- Busia vs. Githurai:
We are considering shifting more funds from the project to Busia, where poverty is striking and hits larger amount of families. At the same time the cooperation with the parents, guardians and children is much better. They truly appreciate and own the project and are eager to cooperate to make it work best.
Check pictures from the trip to Busia for distribution of uniforms and supplies here.