Over the years I have been approached by a number of old boys wanting to contribute in some way to the betterment of the school (many of them having visited it and seen the sorry state of the buildings and facilities). I was therefore pleased to receive news from John O’Grady (a fellow Grogan alumnus) that he and a group of old boys had set up a UK registered charitable trust known as the Optimum Kenya Trust. In addition a Kenya branch, the Msaada Trust, followed a few months later.
The aims of these trusts is to award annual performance-based bursaries (each to the value of KS 100,000) to high-performing but financially needy pupils and also to fund much-needed infrastructure improvements such as re-creating the golf course, re-opening the swimming pool and refurbishing kitchens and science labs. The possibility of awarding scholarships to university may follow.
Of critical importance also are security and accountability and both sets of trustees have done their utmost to ensure that as close to 100 per cent of the monies raised will go to the school and the beneficiaries who most need it. Old boys of the calibre of Richard Leakey (Msaada Trust Patron) and recently retired High Court judge Jonny Havelock, with further oversight by law firm Kaplan and Stratton, are well equipped to undertake this task.
A tremendous amount of work and time (including visits to Kenya by OKT trustees from the UK) has been put into this enterprise and congratulations are very much in order. Furthermore, great results are in evidence and the OKT web site has the details. Having a very active Laibon Society has done much to assist this initiative, with the encouragement of many OYs such as Ronnie Andrews. OKT’s excellent website is at www.optimumkenyatrust.org and if you would like to assist the school in any way I encourage you to visit it.