AFG Fall 2016 Update

Fall, 2016

Friends of Gatoto,


The year has been a good one for Gatoto overall.

  • For the school year 2016-17, total enrollment has grown to 1,029 students. Hot meals continue to be provided every day of the school year to every student. And 60 families of Gatoto students continue to receive food assistance in an effort to allow those students to remain at Gatoto.
  • Eighth grade students have just taken the national assessment examination, the results of which are key factors in determining their educational options after primary school. More than 130 Gatoto graduates are currently enrolled in secondary school (high school) and university, supported in great part by financial aid from Gatoto.
  • In August the Gatoto School Choir won the award for best overall primary school choir at the Kenya National Music Festival. More than 130,000 students from around the country participated, many from elite private, religious and government schools. The national award follows local and regional awards from earlier in the year.
Gatoto Student Choir
Gatoto Student Trophies

Click images to enlarge.

  • Gatoto alumni attending different universities in Kenya (the University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Maseno University and Daystar University) continued to visit the school regularly to mentor students about academic and career paths that can take them out of the Mukuru kwa Reuben slum in which they live.
  • Gatoto and Betty Nyagoha, the organization’s head, were profiled in an October article in The Guardian, the well-respected British independent newspaper known for its online presence and international readership.
  • As the Kenyan government prepares to roll out digital learning content to its primary schools, SBI Holdings, an international construction company, made a donation of 11 new computers.
  • A capital project to improve the drainage of the school’s grounds was fully funded and begun. (See below.)


In September, American Friends of Gatoto sent the third and final donation of 2016 to Gatoto, bringing our total donations to $100,000 for the year. Our contributions now fund approximately one third of the school’s annual budget. Our funds—and our multi-year commitment–are giving Gatoto the flexibility and confidence to plan more strategically for improved performance in the years ahead.

Total American Friends’ donations to Gatoto in 2015 and year-to-date in 2016 are now more than $225,000.


In addition to providing $100,000 in operating funds to the school, American Friends of Gatoto fully funded a much needed drainage project on the campus.

The school sits close to the Nairobi River, from which it was previously separated by a riparian reserve approximately 30 yards wide. In 2013, local politicians allowed for the construction of new dwellings on the reserve, between the school and the river. This resulted in the raising and leveling of a substantial portion of the former reserve, blocking the campus’s runoff path. Rain water, which had previously drained to the river, was instead trapped on the school’s grounds.

Gatoto Schoolyard
Gatoto School Playground

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A restricted donation of $45,000 from American Friends fully paid for the construction of a concrete drainage trench and pipe system between the campus and the river, running in part under one of the new settlement dwellings and reemerging to drain into the river. (Included in the budget were funds to compensate the affected dwelling owner for granting the school this access.)

Gatoto Drainage Project
Gatoto Drainage Project
Gatoto Drainage Project

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American Friends has already received $20,000 in donations for the 2017 Annual Fund toward its pledge of $100,000. As you consider your yearend giving, please keep Gatoto in your charitable plans. The school is a remarkably stable and effective institution that has changed and saved lives for more than 20 years. Our growing support helps it continue to do so.


Peter Edwards
Member, Board of Directors
American Friends of Gatoto