Press-Republican

March 14, 2013

Success at Jambo Jipya amid lessons learned

By KIM SMITH DEDAM
Press-Republican

---- — LAKE PLACID — Despite the theft of $17,000, Jambo Jipya Academy in Kenya is marking milestones.

An eighth-grade student named Irene scored so high on the national exam of that country that she was accepted into the National High School, Reason2Smile Director Keela Dates Grimmette said.

The girl is an orphan, and her American sponsors generously provided $900 to pay for her first year at Moi Girls High School.

The high score marks a high point for both Grimmette and the school foundation’s board.

Jambo Jipya Academy has now expanded to encompass kindergarten through 12th grade at the compound in Mtwapa.

When Grimmette travels to Kenya in May, she will be accompanied by two Lake Placid High School seniors, Carleigh Garrett and Mary Kate Graham, who will work with students and help plant a garden in the school’s compound.

Grimmette said she hopes the theft Reason2Smile experienced serves to alert others to the possibility of international Internet fraud.

She had never encountered this type of email scam. And it left a mark.

“It raises the question: Why does it have to be so hard to help people?” Grimmette said, looking toward a better year in 2013.

“But I know if we were to give up and walk away, we’d be letting those people win. We can’t let them win. We have to keep fighting and hope justice prevails.

“All of our donors have been incredibly understanding.”

Email Kim Smith Dedam: kdedam@pressrepublican.com