Voluntary Service Scheme is an initiative by boys of Starehe to work in any Government Enterprise or Hospital for a certain number of days (mostly three weeks), during the holidays. Surprisingly, the suggestion was put forward by one of the boys during a senior Baraza in the school. It was in line with the idea that to whom much is given, much is required.
Under this scheme, students from either Form Two, Form Three or in the Starehe Technical Institute sacrifice their holidays to undertake a three or four week service free of charge. The student can do virtually any kind of work, ranging from cleaning , wheeling patients in hospitals, filing documents in offices, entering data in computer systems and so on.
At the end of the period, the person in charge of the Department where the student was working writes a report on the student’s activities over the period and makes necessary recommendations. The report is then posted to the School for filing purposes.
The Voluntary Service Scheme was started in Starehe in 1966.It actually came into being through a suggestion by a boy in Baraza (the school parliament).It is a way of paying back to the community what Stareheans have so richly enjoyed.
Research carried out at the Voluntary Service Scheme offered revealed the following amazing facts:
1. Since the scheme started in 1966,there has been an average of 900 jobs per year done in Hospitals, Clinics, Health Centres/Dispensaries, Government Offices, Libraries, Children’s’ Homes and various public and private organizations.
2. By December 2010 the Voluntary Service Scheme had completed 44 consecutive years of Voluntary Labour given to communities across Kenya.
3. This translates to 396,000 days of Voluntary Labour, or slightly over 10 Centuries (1085 years of free service).
4. No other school South of Sahara and North of Limpopo, or anywhere else on this planet has achieved this feat.
So far, the students have given service to approximately all the constituencies in the country. This period is bound to increase as more boys apply to undertake holiday jobs year in year out.
Our principle is straight, If you a given a cup of coffee to wash, wash it cleaner than any other cup that has ever been washed before. The principle was started by the founder of Starehe, Dr. Geoffrey Griffin, and has ever since kept the Voluntary Service Scheme moving.
The winners of the 2010 East African Community Service Awards (COSA) and the Volunteer of the Year Awards (VOYA) were recognized on Friday, 10th December, 2010 at a Gala Dinner held at the Sarova Panafric Hotel in Nairobi. The Awards held in partnership with VSO Jitolee and Ufadhili Trust seek to celebrate the spirit of community and the contribution made by volunteers in bringing positive change to society.
Starehe received a VOYA Award in recognition of exemplary service to the community in the Secondary Schools Category. This was mainly because of the Service Starehe Boys give every holiday to the community through the Voluntary Service Scheme.
Our students would like to improve their ability to apply skills, principles and concepts in the educational sector so as to effectively address developmental issues in Kenya with vision 2030 in mind.
Exposure and more insight to issues in education, health, gender and best practices, would translate into our youth’s quality input towards capacity building in provision of quality education and development for Kenya.
We welcome organizations to partner with us through the Holiday Job Programme; an effective tool for driving change in our youth ,giving them practical experience while at the same time mentoring them.
Please contact us to partner with Starehe through the Holiday Job Programme.