Friday, June 16th, 2017 the Hatua staff had the privilege of inviting 14 new students into our university scholarship program. It was a long and intense application process and we would to thank everyone who participated. Your patience, engagement and passion for pursuing your education is truly admirable and we are honored to be able to help you along your journey.


The university scholarship vetting process is very similar to how we handle our secondary school scholarship applications. Every scholarship we issue is merit and need based. We use a points system, awarding marks for returning a fully completed application form, the quality of the essays submitted, strength of the teacher’s recommendation letter, as well as each student’s average end of term marks. Each essay is marked by two different team members from Hatua, following standardized marking criteria meriting the essays’ organization, the depth of its development, clarity of the applicant’s idea, spelling and grammar. An overall score is then aggregated for each applicant. These points are recorded against each application’s reference number, and not their name, in order to prevent bias.

From these scores we select the top 80 candidates for secondary home visits and around 27 for university home visits. During these visits Hatua’s team, in teams of two together with Hatua gap year students, meet student’s guardians to assess the financial means of each family. We code each family’s need level as either high, meaning without a scholarship the student will definitely not continue their education, medium, or low need. At this point during the secondary school selection process we would select and invited the top 20 female and 20 male candidates according to their application score from among those students determined to be of high financial need. However, for the university application process we take it one step further.  After the home visits have been conducted and review we invited 23 students for personal interviews. Since we will not have as much time mentoring our new university students on Hatua’s Key Values of Respect, Integrity, Service, Teamwork & Resourcefulness (4-5years as opposed to 8-9 years), we added the interview to help us identify which students already portray values that aligned with that of Hatua’s. In pairs of 2 Hatua’s staff members interviewed the 23 candidates in person of over the phone if needed, asking them a series of opened ended questions to help us gain insight into their personalities, interests, passions and future goals. Interviews were awarded points based on a grading rubric. These points are then added to the overall application score for the applicant. Of the 23 interviews, we selected 7 females and 7 males to join the Hatua Scholarship Program.
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This fabulous group of 14 students will join our Gap Year Programming activities immediately so to help prepare them for life away from home at university and join the tight knit support system of our Gap Year students and the Hatua Family at large. We would like to extend out most sincere congratulations to our newest beneficiaries and wish them the best of luck as the embark on this new and exciting next chapter of their lives.

A New Take on Peer Education Posted June 27, 2017


We are pleased to report on having successful Peer Education & Mentoring sessions which took place from April 18th to April 28th. During this time we were able to check up on our secondary student’s academic performances and offer aid where needed through the tuition program that EdVillage is generously helping to support. Additionally, our students received much guidance and advice through our afternoon mentoring session focused personal and professional development paired with career skills. We always look forward to this time of year as it’s a great opportunity to reconnect with our secondary school students through fun and interactive lessons, discussions, and games.  

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This time around we opted to have Hatua’s Gap Year students conduct small study sessions with our secondary students. Groups of 5-6 secondary students, from the same grade level were paired with one gap year student. Each gap year student lead 3 study group discussions per day in fields which they excelled in academically. Subjects covered included:

Math, Geography, Physics, Business, Kiswahili, History, Chemistry, English, Biology

Since this was the first tuition session of this year, we are hopeful that our students will continue improving throughout the year given this extra academic support and that it will have a positive influence on their study habits.

This program also had the benefit of being an additional leadership opportunity for our gap year students. As peer mentors they’ve been developing their teaching skills. As small study group facilitators they now have the opportunity to exercise these skills in a new setting. This opportunity also provided our older students with a means of connecting and giving back to our youngest students as role models. Our secondary students appreciated the additional tuition support and gained a lot out of the experience as seen below in their testimonies:

“The study group discussions were of great benefit to me. In the areas that I was struggling with like algebra, the peer teachers very skillfully helped me to feel more comfortable solving difficult problems. I enjoyed the tuition program very much and I hope that it will continue in the same way. It’s a great way for us to get to know each other but at the same time improve in our studies together. Thank you to the people who are sponsoring us, it’s a great program and we wish to continue like this!”

– Gabriel Othiamoo, 16yrs, Form 1 at Nairobi School

“It’s nice and very beneficial to us. As for me, the areas that I did not understand in school I felt very comfortable asking my peer teachers. They showed us what it is like to be confident through their explanations. We understand the way they teach because we are alike. They helped us to know how questions should be answered and the areas in our school books where we can find the answers to difficult questions. I really enjoyed this program and I’d like to say thanks to those that helped give us this opportunity.”

– Rose Imami, 17yr, Form 2 at Kingwede Girls School

“Hatua’s tuition program helped me to gained more information and also different ideas on how to study well from Hatua beneficiaries at other schools. When everyone participates and gives their ideas you get the voices of people from different places and it makes you better at understanding what you are learning. The peer teachers are helpful because they are our age mates so they understand us better. Talking about our experience at school made learning fun! Thank you for those that helped provide this tuition program!”

-Rukia Weche, 17 yrs, Form 3 at Matuga Girls School

We are happy to see the students responding so well to this new format. It has helped to create comradery among our students at different schools and has unified them more as a whole.


Today’s Blog post was brought you by Pauline Diaz, Hatua Likoni’s Tertiary Programming Consultant 

If you follow Hatua’s adventures, you couldn’t have missed the very successful networking event we held in April at the Yacht Club Mombasa where more than 60 people gathered to be introduced to the 2.0 version of our mentoring program. Our current mentors, potential new ones, guests, students, alumni, family and friends showed their enthusiasm for and commitment to Hatua’s values and future projects. We all spent a casual but wonderful after work sharing our experiences and learning about Hatua.


Exchanging about the program was a great first step and everyone was able to grasp what new directions Hatua was taking to strengthen its program. However, after the event it was time to move forward with the next steps and take concrete actions to make the new mentor program a reality. Throughout our pool of new interested business professionals, we had already identified some possible matches with our students, always pairing couples with the same gender and the same background. They would be the first chosen for our training.


On Tuesday 6th of June, Hatua organized its first mentor orientation training held at the Mission Seamen Mombasa. For two hours, twelve mentors learned, exchanged, and brainstormed on various questions and concerns they might have had about becoming mentors. Indeed, being a mentor is not necessarily something everyone is born with; like for every manager, leadership qualities and communication skills can be acquired with coaching and experience. Our training aimed at giving these professionals all the tools they needed to succeed in their first steps as mentors. Questions like “what am I going to talk about with my mentee during our first meeting” or “how can I help my mentee find a job?” were answered by simple tasks checklists and communication tips. They also had the chance to practice some of these advices during a few to role-play. Divided in pairs, they were able to act out scenarios in front of everyone trying to solve different issues that might arise in their relationship with a young adult.



The most enjoyable for us was to listen to the comments and participate in debates about what the mentor relationship should be and what it meant to them. Of course, there was no right answer to that. There are different types of mentors in the world, but truly wanting to become a better person and taking a younger one with you along that same journey is the most important. Everyone can learn technical skills on how to become a mentor; however, it is harder to learn honesty, trust, or integrity; values that are part of somebody’s personality and that all our future mentors agreed upon as essential qualities to succeed in this program. By seeing their commitment and motivation to challenge themselves and learn new concepts, the Hatua team has no doubts in everyone’s ability to become exceptional role models.

We cannot wait to see where these relationships will take our students, and we feel blessed with the people that were put on our path, and that we can now consider as part of the Hatua’s family.