Equity School is the brain-child of two dedicated friends living a world apart, Hellen Ogodo (Kenya) and Lynn Williams (New Zealand).
Twenty years ago, Hellen was working for Christian Children’s Fund on the ‘Rusinga Island Project’, when Lynn developed a friendship with her in her own quest to help those in need. Disillusioned by the amount of money being absorbed by administration costs in many existing charitable enterprises, Lynn wanted to find a way to directly help those in need. Her friendship with Hellen developed out of a mutual dream to find a way to help some of Kenya’s most vulnerable children. Hellen’s husband, a teacher, worked away from home to support their family, sending any money he earned back home. When the CCF Rusinga Project refocus away from relief to community activities, Hellen’s position was dissolved. Devastated to lose not only her subsistence level source of income, but her ability to help her community. At the time of leaving CCF, Hellen had just finished a course in sustainable community support and she knew she wanted to use her skills to help the community in any way she could. She dreamed of training as a teacher to help the underprivileged children in the community, if she could gain entry into a university. Over the next fifteen years, with the help of her NZ friend, she was able to afford to attend university where she worked incredibly hard to earn a teaching degree and became a state registered teacher. In spite of considerable setbacks, Hellen persevered and graduated in 2013. Hellen resolved to open her own school and her husband agreed to take responsibility for supporting their own children to allow her to pursue her dream.
Hellen opened her school, with its corrugated iron walls and earth floor in 2013. She called it ‘Equity Brilliant’, wanting to give all children an equal opportunity to those who could afford to attend state schools. Hellen was determined to give these children a ‘brilliant’ childhood and an education that would help them to get out of the poverty they had been born into. Hellen’s tenacity has won her the support of the community, who do what they can to support her efforts in improving the prospects of their children.
The Equity School is the realisation of Hellen’s dream to make a difference and has been supported at each step, by her friend Lynn’s effort in New Zealand to raise the money needed to bring this dream to life.
We would love to ensure the school can provide opportunities to break out of poverty for its students for years to come and can only do so, with the generous support of people willing to donate to this very worthy cause.