J.M. Goodhope Academy
J.M. Goodhope – March to the Top’s newest partner – is a primary and junior secondary school in Ndaragwa, Kenya. Located four hours outside the capital of Nairobi, the school was established to grant access to education for remote villages and vulnerable children. J.M. Goodhope provides education to 158 students. Of these, 34 are orphans who live on campus and are fully sponsored and 28 receive discounted tuition as their families are unable to pay fees.
The school is a local leader in academics but is better known for its focus on agriculture. Each class is assigned its own garden plot where children learn how to farm, how to eat healthfully, and what the changing climate means for their farming futures. In addition to specific farming skillsets, the children learn an appreciation of reducing food costs and have helped equip their families and community with the tools necessary to better manage economic instability.
March to the Top launched our partnership with J.M. Goodhope after a visit to the center in May, 2023. Recognizing the wealth of knowledge, strong commitment, and extraordinary ambition of school leadership, M2T decided to invest. We are currently investing in school infrastructure – it’s impossible to learn if you don’t have a safe environment and the right tools.
WHY IT MATTERS
A confluence of economic hardships has decimated food systems across East Africa. Severe and persistent drought has led to famine in many areas of Kenya. The onset of Covid-19 and the continuing conflict in Ukraine have destroyed international supply chains and closed local markets. As a result, Kenyans have struggled not only with astronomical food costs but in many places, no access to food at all. J.M. Goodhope is investing in a different future. One in which communities create their own resilient food systems. Children learn about drought resistant crops, crop rotation, water management and myriad other practices they can use with their families now and in the future.
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”