On Saturday, October 2nd, a group of 15 tenacious riders biked 135km from Toronto to Niagara Falls in support of The SEED School! With just over 7 hours of riding, the high spirits of the group kept everyone pedalling strong.
Thanks to our generous supporters and the fundraising efforts of our riders, we managed to raise over $7000 to complete the main build of The SEED School Kibera.
A huge thanks to Fresh Restaurants – Fresh on Bloor, COBS Bread and Not Far From The Tree for their awesome food & drink donations that allowed us to enjoy a solid meal at the end of the ride. What a treat!
Schools re-opened in Kenya in January, and we are excited to share news of progress and change within SEED over the past few months in our latest newsletter. Thanks to a number of successful fundraising campaigns over the past months, construction at the SEED School is nearly complete and enrolment is the highest it has ever been. Read it all here!
Exciting news!! We have begun the final stage of the reconstruction of the SEED School: plastering and painting the inner and outer walls. This is essential to prevent erosion of the walls, currently being held in place temporarily by wooden beams and metal sheets.
Starting in 2019, a reconstruction of the SEED School was deemed necessary to maintain the school’s structural integrity and longevity, as it’s previous metal sheet walls and weak foundation were deteriorating. Thus far, the new floors, walls, roof and windows have been completed, with a third floor added to accommodate grade 5 & 6 classes.
We recently received an exciting letter in the mail from Ling Long Yang, a high school student in Calgary who entered a philanthropy essay-writing contest. She was asked to write an essay on a charity that meant something to her and was worthy of support, and she chose SEED! Her essay won the contest, resulting in a $1000 donation from a Calgary-based Foundation!
Here’s her essay:
My mother grew up in rural China, living in a one-room shack with no electricity or plumbing. She was expected by her parents, teachers and neighbours to be just another local school drop-out and work on her family’s farm.
But she couldn’t accept that.
My mama would wake up at 4:00 AM every day to study, then walk 5 kilometers to her school, sometimes in -30 degrees Celsius weather. She became the top in her grade, then her school, then her district – eventually, she was one of the elite few to graduate from the University of Beijing, relying on multiple jobs and huge scholarships to fund her education. To disprove everyone who had ever doubted her, she escaped the life of poverty she was born into.
Students for Education, Empowerment and Development – more commonly known as SEED – is a charity organization which was created by students in Ontario for students in Kibera, Kenya, which is considered the largest slum in Africa (“The World’s Largest”). This results in a lack of opportunities to attend school for many low-income children, where most don’t even go at all (Thoma). To address this issue, SEED has development a Junior Academy for over 8- annual low-income students, ranging from junior kindergarten to the fourth grade, soon expanding to include the fifth and sixth levels (Bernstein). This institution not only provides education, but also daily meals which might not otherwise be available at home. Additionally, the organization has granted more than 230 high school scholarships to high-achieving students, and even 16 post-secondary scholarships.
To many of these children in Kibera, SEED provides one of the only opportunities they will come across. So I want to use my opportunity, this writing opportunity, to raise a flag above my head, to wave it wildly and call for people’s attention. I want to support SEED and their mission to provide a better life for these kids. I want to use this chance to emphasize every word: this is too important to look away.
Thanks to generous donors like yourself, during our 2019/20 financial year, which spanned July 2019 – June 2020, we raised over $39,000 to support children and youth in Kenya – the most money we’ve ever raised during a pandemic!
We offered full scholarships to 76 low-income, high achieving high school students in rural kenya, continued supporting 3 university students, and fed and educated over 80 children daily at SEED Junior Academy in Kibera slums, Nairobi. We also invested the first $9,000 in the school’s necessary reconstruction (and another almost $60,000 since!)
On June 20th, SEED hosted our 6th annual Amazing Race Swansea, this year with a COVID-inspired special neighbourhood edition! Families from Toronto’s Swansea community raced around their neighbourhood finding clues and completing challenges. The fastest teams were awarded with a pizza dinner.
Participating families collected donations for SEED. All together, we raised $1,668 CAD to fund the meal program and essential renovations at SEED Junior Academy. Be in touch if you’d like to host your own Amazing Race in your community!
During the pandemic, Seed Junior Academy’s administrator, Aouki Padox, has been distributing food to the school’s community in Kibera slum. Alongside the support of Brookhouse private school in Nairobi, buckets with 2 packages of maize flour, sugar, and a bar of soap have been distributed to 67 parents and teachers.
Help us feed more families in Kibera, where many people live meal-to-meal and the effects of the pandemic are deeply felt.
Buddha on Fire, Oct 19th, 2019 yoga event Toronto.
We are excited to announce our upcoming Buddha on Fire in Toronto: a beautiful afternoon of all-levels yoga alongside a live musician, followed by tea and cookies, with all proceeds supporting SEED Junior Academy’s meal program!
+ ALL-LEVELS YOGA by 3 awesome teachers donating their time to take you through an energizing 3 style journey (Bibi Hahn, Tyler Jackson & Amanda Stokes)
+ LIVE MUSIC donated by the incomparable Jennifer Gillmor (she shifts seamlessly between the jembeh, flute, didgeridoo, and cello)
+ TREATS AND TEA donated by David’s Tea & friends
+ Tickets only $15 and up, with all proceeds supporting a school in Kenya! Volunteer options available.
SEED recently participated in Global Giving’s Accelerator Program, where we were challenged to raise $5000 USD from at least 40 donors in 17 days. We are proud to announce that we surpassed our goal, raising $7688 USD from 75 donors! We have gained permanent status on GlobalGiving’s online fundraising platform. Funds raised will be used to help build a library at SEED Junior Academy in Kibera slums, to support the education of our 70+ students there. Check out the campaign here!
Saturday, February 23rd
6:30 – 9:30pm
Union Yoga + Wellness
956 Bloor St W, Toronto
Join us for a revitalizing and restoring candlelit all-levels yoga class with live music supporting SEED Junior Academy. We’ll start off with a centering meditation to wake up our body and breath, then flow through some energizing Kundalini and vinyasa yoga. The class will close with restorative holds and a guided meditation to bring us into a deep savasana. After class, bask in the ambient vibes over tea and cookies and the lovely company of each other. Taught by Kasia Kord, Tyler Jackson and Marlene Sammy, with live music by Jennifer Gillmor (cello, flute, didgeridoo, djembe), this unique event is not to be missed!