Artisan Impact: Candlelight School, Kenya

Meet the Artisans:  Alice and Fred Afwai

Candlelight’s mission and vision:

students from Candlelight School in Kenya with Directors Alice and Fred Afwai for do good shop partnership
Directors of Candlelight School* and Vocational Artisan Program**, Fred and Alice Afwai, with some of their children and students.

"We envision a society where all children and youth are respected and valued,  are cherished and supported; where all children and youth enjoy a fulfilling childhood and get quality education to realize their full potential."

Many children in Kenya suffer in poverty and don’t have access to the resources that many of us take for granted. However, by providing these children the proper resources, and by igniting their hearts with hope and strength, many are able to fulfill their potential in life. To achieve such goals,  Candlelight operates several programs aimed at:

  • Quality education (kindergarten to secondary school)
  • Nutritional support (including school lunch programs)
  • Leadership, mentorship, counseling and life-skill development
  • Support to orphan and vulnerable children, including a home for children who don’t have anyone to take care of them.
  • Vocational skill-training (sewing/artisan project)

**Candlelight Vocational Sewing Program (Kitale):.

Alice Afwai runs a sewing program as a means of skills training, employment and income-generation for the school. The sewing project creates many beautiful handmade baskets, bags, beaded art, headbands, and more, while empowering women to provide for themselves, their family, and additionally improve conditions in their community!


Hands with Hope Home (Kitale): 

This a child-centered charitable children’s institution located in Kimoson village, near Kitale (Trans Nzoia county, in Western Kenya). The facility was originally established in 2012 in Nairobi by Fred and Alice but in 2015 was moved to Kitale.
The home currently caters for 19 children by providing them with all essentials, including food, medical care, clothing and education. The program also empowers more children to be able to stay with their guardians by helping them with paying their school fees.


School and **Vocational training programs (Kitale):

These  programs were started in 2015:

Kitale Peak Community School:  goes from Kindergarten to 6th grade. This school has approximately 200 students and 9 teachers. There is a big need for salary support for the teachers.

Peak Senior High School: goes from 9th grade to 12th grade. This school has approximately 43 students. 6 teachers. There is a big need to support students with their fees. The school also hopes to start a small laboratory for the students in the near future.

Peak Technical Academy*: this program has currently 3 students in tailoring unit. The students pay a small fee (KSH 2000 per student) x 3, a male teacher gets KSH 5,000 for part-time. Remaining KSH 1,000 for materials. Full course is about 1 year. Monday through Friday.  If it can be moved to a better place when more people support through purchases of artisan items and sponsorships with companies and/or individuals.

*Candlelight School- Matopeni (Nairobi):

The Candlelight School was started in 2004 in Matopeni, an informal settlement in Embakasi Central constituency, in the esatern part of Nairobi.  The constituency has a population of 621,000 according to the 2009 Kenya Population and housing census. Only 12 per cent of this population is involved in economic activities that generate income while the rest of the population lacks access to jobs. Accordingly, the poverty levels among the households are alarmingly high. Families struggle severely to meet the needs of their children, including access to food, healthcare and quality education. For these reasons, Candlelight school was started, with the aims of providing education and helping to fulfill some of the nutritional needs of the children.

At inception the school was catering for 3 children. The current number of students is approximately 150, ranging from baby class to grad 8. The school has 12 teachers. Most of the students are orphans or very destitute families, that are not able to pay the fees, and thus the school is in need for support:

  • While the school is already operational, there is still need to finish the building. The total needed to finish plastering, painting, ceiling, doors, windows and getting proper desks would be approximately $25,000.
  • The average salary of the teachers is $100 per month.
  • The school provides lunch to the children at a cost of $0.50 per meal. So this means $75 to feed all 150 students.
  • To donate directly to this project, please see our Monthly Artisan Partnerships or Donate pages.  (For one time donations, please indicate in notes to seller at checkout CANDLELIGHT)