CARDINAL OTUNGA HIGH SCHOOL in Nairobi, Kenya is the fruit of an extraordinary undertaking by parents and educators concerned about the limited access to quality secondary school education available to their children.
Cardinal Otunga High School opened its doors on the outskirts of Kenya's capital city of Nairobi in 2005. The school aspires to provide affordable educational opportunities for students to grow in academic achievement and personal awareness. This puts a responsibility on the educator to communicate an awareness of human capacity. This involves paying attention to each student as a unique individual, trusting the student’s freedom and sparking their imagination.
Betting on the unique capabilities of each student motivates adolescents to become the protagonists of their own future, starting from their school work, friendships, extracurricular activities and eventually extending into their lives as adults.
Today, Cardinal Otunga High School serves 135 students and is a beacon of hope in the greater Nairobi area.
Some 42% of the population in Kenya live below the poverty line, and that rate rises to 50% in and around the capital city of Nairobi. While Vision 2030, the official Kenyan long-term planning document, points to education as the way toward greater prosperity, unacceptably high failure and dropout rates still prevail.
The alternative to school attendance under these conditions for Kenyan youth is too often involvement in illicit activities, dangerous behaviors, vulnerable occupations and radical ideologies.
In just the few years since its opening in 2005, Cardinal Otunga High School is now ranked among the top 100 schools out of 7,000 secondary schools in all of Kenya.
As the school seeks to become financially self-sustaining, difficulty arises because the majority of the families come from low-income areas and slums. With the support of AVSI and local organizations, the Cardinal Otunga Charitable Trust is building an endowment fund to place the school on secure footing well into the future.
Since 1986, AVSI has been engaged in Kenyan education through both childhood and professional programs. AVSI works with the aim of encouraging the development of local communities through the promotion of partnerships at various levels.
AVSI has partnered with Cardinal Otunga High School since the school’s inception, contributing financial aid for sustained scholarships through its Distance Support programs and supporting projects to enhance school facilities.
AVSI-USA has had a special relationship with the school since 2010, providing interns, outreach for foundation support, and strategic planning advice.
Refurbished library and computer lab and stocked with books and computers
Funding for 50 school scholarships
Addition of basketball, volleyball and tennis courts