What we do

What we do

Everything we do involves supporting individuals and their communities in Kenya, Lesotho and Uganda through education that embraces their differing abilities, and leads to our vision of empowering young people, including those living with disabilities, through education to enable them to reach their full potential and initiate positive change in their communities. As such, our key thematic areas are education and disability.

‘Rafiki Thabo is an amazing charity. They don’t just worry about the children’s education but also about what they eat, and they provide thousands of school meals to children who would otherwise go hungry.’ Prue Leith, CBE

We work with our committees in Kenya, Lesotho and Uganda to identify the children and young people who most need our support. All our scholars are from households who are struggling to make ends meet and can no longer afford school or higher education needs, more than half have lost one or both parents, and several are living with a disability. Our committees also identify particular education projects that fill gaps in the communities in which we work. We also work through three partner organisations in Kenya who implement projects specifically enabling children living with disabilities to access an education which is suited to their special needs.

Our work falls into three main programmes:

Rafiki Thabo Scholars Programme

Through our scholars programme, we provide bursaries to bright young people who have gained a place at school/university but whose families have run out of the means to pay their fees. By the end of 2020 we had supported a total of 390 young people through education. Simply by paying their fees, we empower these young people to reach their full potential and pursue their dreams through education. Their ability to subsequently secure paid employment or start their own businesses means they can lift themselves and their families out of poverty, give back to their communities and contribute to the wider economic development of their countries.

Meet some of our scholars and graduates

Eat Well to Learn

Through our school meals programme, ‘Eat Well to Learn’, we provide at least 70 of the very poorest students with lunch each day at our partner school in Uganda. For many, this is their only daily meal, without which they would brave their long walk to and from school on an empty stomach, with little energy left to learn in class, making them more likely to drop out of school. The school’s headmaster, who is also the chair of our Uganda committee, writes:

When I heard the news about lunch fees, I walked house to house calling those who had left school because of hunger to come back and I am happy that they can now smile.”

Read more about 'Eat Well to Learn'

Improving the learning environment

Education does not exist in a vacuum, and at Rafiki Thabo we also support the development of school infrastructure and other ‘holistic’ projects in order to improve the environment in which children are learning. Recent projects include training girls to make reusable sanitary kits, reequipping an IT lab, constructing pig sties and chicken coops to generate income for the schools, electrification of classrooms, and the renovation of dormitories.

Read more about our infrastructure projects
Newsletter Signup

An email will be sent to confirm signup, you can unsubscribe at any point & all data is stored securely as set out in our privacy policy.