Rotary Club of Maitland Sunrise has a longstanding relationship with a young Kenyan, Safari Kimanzi, who many people will recall was badly burned as a young child in his village, coming to Australia in 2001 for treatment that was subsequently televised over several years on Nine Network’s “RPA”.    As a young adult Safari was hosted by club member Alan and his partner Sue, attending club meetings and supporting club activities, very much involved with members and a friend to all.   Read on to find out how Safari was able to give back to his Kenyan community ......
 
 
 
Rotary Club of Maitland Sunrise has a longstanding relationship with a young Kenyan, Safari Kimanzi, who many people will recall was badly burned as a young child in his village, coming to Australia in 2001 for treatment that was subsequently televised over several years on Nine Network’s “RPA”.    As a young adult Safari was hosted by club member Alan and his partner Sue, attending club meetings and supporting club activities, very much involved with members and a friend to all.   Read on to find out how Safari was able to give back to his Kenyan community ......

Safari had not forgotten his Kenyan family and recognised that education was not easily available for the young people of his village, Kasaala.  He was determined to find a way to help. From small beginnings with a market day selling stationery items it has progressively grown with Rotary Club of Maitland Sunrise supporting his initiative by means of a range of fundraising activities.
 
From this early start in 2016 “Safari’s Education Aid for Kasaala” (SEAK) was created, formalising the fundraising process and easing the bureaucracy surrounding the transfer of funds to Kenya.
As at September 2021 SEAK has enabled some 30, mostly female, students to attend secondary school.  
 
In more recent times the SEAK project has become a significant International Project for Rotary Club of Maitland Sunrise, with the support of RAWCS (Rotary Australia World Community Service).  RAWCS is a registered charity that has a financial infrastructure system that facilitates fundraising for projects that deliver humanitarian aid and charitable support in Australia and overseas. 
 
The SEAK team works with staff at Kasaala Secondary School to identify students who are committed to their studies and have the potential to go onto tertiary education to gain career qualifications in pathways such as Community Health Nursing, Secretarial Studies, etc.   By gaining this level of education the young people of Kasaala can help support their families, bring professional help to their local community, and becoming wonderful role models for other young people of their community.
 
The club covers the cost of school and college fees for the selected students, receiving regular copies of exam results and school reports on their progress.   The average cost to the club for the SEAK project is $9,000 pa, which comes from a range of fundraising activities throughout the year together with donations from individuals through the RAWCS website.   
 
Our intention is offer fee bursaries to outstanding SEAK students who wish to undertake tertiary education at College or University.  Currently we have three students about to enter their second year of study.  Jesicah and Lillian are undertaking a three year course in Diploma in Community Health Nursing and John is part way through a four year science degree with a view to teaching. 
 
This is an inspiring project for club members, demonstrating once again the power that Rotary has to make a difference in the lives of people locally, nationally and internationally.   From a small beginning providing pens, pencils and notebooks, a number of young people are now being supported to take on a professional role in their community.
 
As a point of interest, Safari moved back to Kenya three years ago and is now married and running a farm, but in regular contact with his Rotary friends in Maitland.