About Us

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A Quick Introduction:

The Equity School was established to provide the opportunity for vulnerable children, who have no other means of support, to be able to attend school and gain an education. Based in Rusinga Island, Kenya, the school opened in January 2013 by Hellen Ogodo, who volunteers full time as the school’s founder and only teacher.

The school is supported primarily by a small group of New Zealand based volunteers. This not-for-profit group, seeks to provide regular, ongoing financial support through fundraising efforts in NZ. The money raised is used to provide education, food and other support for students aged 4 – 11, many of whom have no other family or support in the community. For these, the most vulnerable people in the community, an education is their only hope of stepping out of abject poverty.

The school opened with one classroom in a corrugated iron shed, and currently boasts 100 students. Hellen’s remarkable journey to overcome many obstacles to gain a teacher’s qualification, allowed her to pursue her dream of helping her community (read more about Hellen here).

The school’s only funding comes from fundraising by a small group of friends in New Zealand. All money raised is used exclusively for the school and the students, with absolutely nothing taken out for administration costs. But it is still nowhere near enough to cover all the costs, let alone allow Hellen to be paid a salary. Her commitment and dedication to the school she set up is evident as her family continue to sacrifice so that she can devote her time to helping to these children who are so desperately in need. There is no help available from the government, so the school relies entirely on the fundraising efforts of the small group of volunteers in NZ.

These efforts are spearheaded by Lynn, Hellen’s pen pal and friend of over 20 years, who at 77 years of age can be found every Saturday at the Silverdale Markets, selling handmade jewelry, the proceeds of which go entirely to benefit students at the Equity school (read more about Lynn here).

Together these two incredible women have been making a difference in the lives of the orphans in the Rusinga Island community and to the community as a whole for over 20 years. Thanks to their efforts and the support of other friends of the Equity School, students now receive 2 daily meals which include a lunch of maize and vegetables and a cup tea/porridge for breakfast. Other donations have enabled Hellen to pay for one hour of electricity a day (to provide light in the classroom on dark days), as well as providing writing books, pencils and school bags for the children.

The community faces many challenges due to poverty and the prevalence of disease and for many the school provides a source of hope for a better future.

We aim to continue to support their remarkable efforts, with your help, for decades more.