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Starehe Boys Centre plunges into financial crisis as sponsors withdraw funding

Starehe Boys Centre is grappling with an acute financial crisis which could see about 600 students in the school lose out on their education.

Once the country’s premier high school, the institution depends on well-wishers to fund its operations.

However, according to reports by Citizen TV the school has only managed to raise Sh24million out of a target of Sh150million which is required this year alone.

“Out of about 800 students who are beneficiaries of sponsorship here, 600 are without sponsors,” said the school’s acting Director Josphat Mwaura.

It has also been reported the situation has been aggravated by management wrangles following the death of founder and philanthropist Geoffrey Griffin in June 2005.

Founded in 1959 by the late Dr Griffin and other two co- founders, the late Geoffrey Geturo and the late Joseph Gikubu, Starehe is a charitable institution that provides care and education for students in need.

TOP PERFORMANCE

The school has thrived for many years, emerging regularly as one of the top schools in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams, but has been on a steady decline since the Griffin’s death.

The school’s top performance further gave it the brand visibility it needed to attract sponsors.

“The founders had imprinted their mark on this school and once you have such strong characters depart, then sustaining that culture can be a challenge,” Mr Mwaura said.

The new management maintains that it is the gradual withdrawal of sponsors which has made it difficult to sustain its predecessors’ success.

“Our aim is to put that money to the best use possible; to apply it to the education and care of the boys and assure you (sponsors) that the beneficiary will be a transformed individual,” the acting director added.

The school is currently relying on the goodwill of alumni to keep it running.

In January, the centre, which is among top performing national schools, defied a government directive to admit day scholars saying it goes against the school’s system of operation.