Slum Doctor Programme


Ombogo e-news

august 2008

We’re headed to Ombogo!
Bring us your letters to be hand delivered!

Article Subheading
On August 24th Tim Costello (Director), Paige Lamb (Americorps Volunteer), Sam Woodcock (Volunteer and Finance Committee member), and three Western Washington University faculty will be headed to Kenya for three weeks, Most of the time will be spent at the Ombogo Girls’ Academy.

I know that many of you have had trouble communicating with your students over the last several months. Since we will be going in person we will be able to place your letters in their hands and vise-versa with no chance of anything being lost in the mail.

If you would like us to deliver a letter (nothing larger than a 9 x 12 envelope) you can either drop it off at our office 100 E. Maple St. Or you can mail it to P.O. Box 2156, Bellingham WA 98227-2156. Please make sure it gets to us by August 20th.

What is Missing From this Library?



If you said BOOKS, you are right. The only books you see at Ombogo Girls’ Academy are textbooks for class. If they want to research for a chemistry experiment, read a novel for fun, or investigate future career paths they have no where to turn.

In response a few of YOU decided to take action and organize a book drive for Ombogo, Rabuor Village, and Cura Homes Orphanage. Now our basement is full with over 1500 books collected from all over Bellingham. With the help of the WWU Writing Center, WWU Bookstore, Village Books, Fairhaven Library, WWU students and faculty, and many others who helped organize the book drive we now have enough books to constitute a small library and a wealth of knowledge.

Our next challenge is shipping the books 3/4 of the way around the world to Kenya. This is where all of YOU come in. We need to raise enough money to send at least 2 pallets of books which, by our estimate, will cost close to $2000. Will you help send the library to Kenya by donating a portion of the shipping cost?

We all know the great pleasure of perusing a library, bookstore, or even our own bookshelves for a new adventure to take, a new idea to consider, or a new world to explore. If you want to share that gift with young women and children in Kenya, make a donation to get these books in the hands that need them the most.

International Service Learning at Ombogo

Over the last two years Tim Costello has been splitting his time as Executive Director of Slum Doctor Programme as well as the Director of The Center for Service Learning at WWU. This has been no easy task for Tim as both jobs require a great deal of time and energy. However, this trip will begin to realize one of his dreams for SDP— to link Slum Doctor Programme to resources at WWU to further grow our programs. The Kenya team that includes three WWU professors will explore the Ombogo Girls’ Academy and Merrueshi Village, rural Maasai Village, as potential sites for WWU student service learning projects during summer of 2009.

Tim and the group will be working closely with Maureen Okundi (Ombogo Director) and Ombogo teachers to discuss the complicated issues that arise as cultures, values, and world views intermingle. We are excited for the results of this trip as everyone is able to come together face to face and share ideas and aspirations for the future of this program.

School Strikes in Kenya, Yet Another Challenge

As Kenya recovers from their post election violence, the wounds from the political conflicts between tribes and neighbors continue to heal. So far so good. We have only heard about small pockets of violence in the last few months. Now Kenya is trying to recover its tourism industry and restore trade routes from the Indian ocean inland. Most of Kenya’s industries have resumed production and the adult population continues its struggle to meet the basic needs of a much larger population of youth.

In July, students in various schools throughout Kenya decided to protest. Some students refused to eat, others refused to show up to school, and in the worst cases some students set school buildings on fire.

“What were they protesting?” you may ask. There hasn’t been any consensus on the exact reason for the protest, but many students were complaining of overcrowding, bad food, and a national education system that presents many challenges to meeting their educational goals. These are some of the reasons for their discontent, and there is no doubt that a large number of them were merely following their peers.

The student protests have had a minimal impact on Ombogo directly but the stress and fear of facing yet another period of unrest has taken its toll. As a precaution 24 hour security was placed at the school in case students from other schools tried to bring Ombogo into the chaos.

Carol Sande assured us that the school has done a wonderful job of maintaining a peaceful atmosphere and making sure the students are supported through this time.

All this only strengthens our commitment to see Ombogo Girls’ Academy become a safe, well supported, and academically challenging school.

Jesse Papineau, Program Coordinator


6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

This is a great idea, thank you for helping us all to keep updated simultaneously, and for giving us a forum through which to communicate!
It’s wonderful to hear about Eunice, Mary & Mercy doing so well in their exams. Congratulations to these girls & their sponsors!!

Comment by Lisa Spicer

I am happy to report that Mary has been admitted to Baraton University and will be starting in September. She plans on getting her RN and providing health care to her community. She is an inspiration and I am so proud of her and proud to be her sponsor. We hope to get her back to Omobogo to speak to the girls there and share with them what she has learned about how to make it in the big world post graduation. She is a shinning example of how hope and hard work can pay off. She often speaks of how the sponsors of SDP provide the hope part. Knowing there is someone who cares and believes in you and your future makes a world of difference to these young girls facing seemingly impossible odds.

Comment by Diane Staves

Ombogo Girls academies provide outstanding educational opportunities to students through an exceptional academic program that fosters critical thinking, independence and strong problem solving skills. These learning centers have an excellent academic record and outstanding resources. These schools encourage girls to follow their dreams by offering opportunities for life. Girls strive for personal excellence in academic and vocational programs, the Arts, sport and co curricular activities.

Comment by Girls Schools

thanks very much for your support,you made achieve my secondary education but still persueing my education.

Comment by

I give my appriciation to slum doctor

Comment by Grace kambaga

I guess Ombogo Girls Academy will mould my girl who is now in form one. i have had good reputation about the school and hope she will get the best education foundation.

Comment by Jane akinyi

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