In 2019, Kiwimbi will host our fifth annual benefit or “Karamu”. Karamu is a Swahili word meaning “party’ or “celebration,” and this year we have lots to celebrate! Our past Karamus have raised over $300,000 dedicated to providing opportunity through education. These funds enable people, especially children, in rural African communities to work their way out of poverty. Our mission inspires diplomatic, corporate, educational and grass roots community members to join the party and support this vital work.
Currently Kiwimbi operates in Kenya’s Busia County where, in 2018, children had the worst performance on key national examinations of anywhere in Kenya. These results quite simply mean that the majority of the kids (in some villages, more than 95%) cannot advance to secondary (high) school. In contrast, the schools we support have improved passing rates to over 35%, well above the national average. Our academic programs are complemented by our Library and Community Learning Center, which is patronized by as many as 400 or more children and adults daily and lends books to almost 60 schools while also providing vocational training in non-academic areas.
This year’s Karamu will be held on Saturday, October 26, 2019, at The Thomas H. Kean Theatre Factory, the behind-the-scenes home of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. The evening event will feature a Kenya-inspired dinner, live auction, and African music – this is not your typical gala!