Connecting With Your Student
A. How often will I get letters from my student?You can expect to receive a letter from your student at least 3 times a year, coinciding with the student’s term break.
B. How often should I write to my student?We ask you to write to your student at least 3 times a year, when your student is out on break. However, you may write as many times as you wish to your student. Note that we do not have access to secondary students when school is in session, so your letter(s) will not be delivered until the student is out on break.
C. Can I send pictures?You may send pictures to your student. However, please avoid sending pictures of luxury items, such as houses, boats, and cars. These students are from very impoverished backgrounds, and it is hard for them to relate to such luxuries. Pictures of family, friends, trips, and pets are all good to send to your student.
D. How can I get letters and pictures to my student?Email your letters and pictures to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will ensure that your letter gets to your student as quickly as possible.
E. What are some ideas for things to write about in my first letter?For your first letter to your student, we recommend telling them a bit about yourself: where you live, who is in your family, what you like to do for fun, describe what’s going on in the pictures you sent them, etc. You can also tell them about why you wanted to sponsor them, and encourage them to do their best in school now that they don’t have to worry about being sent home for fees. Ask them questions such as what their favorite subjects are, what they want to do for a career in the future, who is in their family, if they have any pets, and what they like to do for fun. After this letter, conversation should flow naturally between you and your student. Email us at email@example.com for more ideas.
F. Still need some help with writing to you student?Download our Sponsor Writing Tips, with more ideas for writing your first letter and a sample letter, here
A. How often are Skype calls held?Skype calls are held 3 times a year, when the students are all gathered at Dream Children’s Home for holiday tutoring sessions. These sessions usually take place in April, August, and December.
B. Where are the Skype calls held?Skype calls are held at Moja Tu headquarters, usually from early in the morning to early afternoon. This is to account for the time difference between the United States and Kenya. Refreshments and snacks are provided. If you can’t attend at Moja Tu headquarters, you can also call in remotely via Skype.
C. What if I can’t attend a call in person?If you can’t attend at Moja Tu headquarters, you can also call in remotely via Skype. Our supporters live all over the world; we will work with you to make sure you get to speak to your student at a time and place that works best for you!
D. How do I sign up for the Skype call?RSVP to our event on Facebook, and/or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your preference of a 15-minute time slot between the given hours. You will receive 15 minutes to talk to each student you sponsor (1 student = 15 minutes, 2 students = 30 minutes, etc.). You do not have to use all your time to speak to your student; however, we ask that you do not run over the time you have signed up for, since other sponsors will be waiting to talk to their students as well.
E. What should I talk about with my student on the call?You can ask questions about their term, the subjects they’re taking, what their goals are for the future, what their favorite books, music genres, and movies are, what the weather is like in Kenya, what they’ve been doing on their break, etc.
F. What should I do if I experience difficulties on my call?All calls with the students are monitored to ensure quality and appropriate subjects are being discussed. If we see that you are having issues with audio or video, we may jump on to help you resolve these issues. If you are having difficulties thinking of things to ask your student, you can message us on Skype for suggestions. We want your call to be a fun experience, for both you and your student!
G. Still unsure about Skyping with your student?Download our Video Call Basics, with more ideas about conversation starters with your student, here
A. How often can I send care packages to my student?We ask sponsors to send in care packages for their students before we leave for the annual trip to Kenya. Usually, we ask for all care packages to be submitted to us at least a week before we leave so we can properly count and pack them.
B. What are the requirements for a care package to my student?We ask that you pack your items for a care package in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Please do not send liquid items in your care package, as these can leak. We also ask that you do not send heavy items like books or shoes, or any food items, with the exception of chewing gum or candy. Please try not to spend more than $30 on your student’s care package.
C. What are some suggestions for things I can I put in a care package to my student?School supplies such as pencils, pens, sharpeners, and erasers are always good to send to your student. You can also send clothing items, such as socks, underwear, and shirts in your care package. Inexpensive accessories like hats, watches, bracelets, and small purses/wallets are also good gifts that your student will hold on to for a long time. Every day personal effects such as lip balm, hair ties, and more are also good suggestions. If you sponsor a small child, a small gift like a stuffed animal may also be sent. Remember that you must fit your items in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Please also include a letter and pictures in your care package.
D. How can I get my care package to my you?You can mail your package to our PO box, at 2900 W. Anderson Lane, C-200 #219, Austin, TX 78757. You may also drop off your package at Moja Tu headquarters – email us at email@example.com for our address. If you are unable to either mail or drop off your package, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange another way to get your package delivered.
E. What if I can’t make a care package for my student?If you are unable to make a care package for your student, please let us know. We make care packages for all sponsored students so no one feels left out, and we would be happy to do the same for your student. You can make a $30 donation to cover the cost of your package and let us know if there are any particular items you would like us to include in your package to your student. Please do try to send in a letter and pictures for us to include in your package.
A. How often do you visit Kenya?We usually visit Kenya once a year.
B. When are these trips usually held? How long are these trips?These trips occur in the spring, usually from the end of April to the beginning of May. They usually last for 2 weeks.
C. What do you do on these trips?A number of professional and leisure activities occur on these trips. We meet with students applying for sponsorship, host a tutoring session with the students in our program, conduct counseling sessions and motivational talks with the students, buy tons of supplies, shoes, clothes, and other needed items for our students and partners, and meet with parents and guardians. We also like to have fun, usually by taking the students who did well in their classes on an award trip, hosting a talent show for the kids, and having a big party with all the students.
D. What if I want to join you on a trip?Email us at email@example.com for more information concerning flights, cost, packing, and the itinerary.
A. When will I receive updates about my student?You can expect to receive a packet with updates about the program and your student 3 times a year. We usually create these packets after the students join us for our holiday tutoring session and have their one-on-one counseling sessions.
B. What is included in this packet?You can expect to receive an organization letter, as well as a letter and report card from your student, in every packet you receive. Once a year, you can also expect to receive a detailed summary of your student’s academic progress and personal growth. After we return from Kenya, we often have small gifts from some of the students to their sponsors; we will reach out to you if there is a gift that cannot be delivered by mail for you.
C. What if I have questions about the information in my packet?Don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you ever have a question about any of the information contained in the letters, report cards, or other updates you receive in your packet.
D. What if I don’t receive my packet?Email us at email@example.com to let us know if you do not receive your packet. If you live outside of Texas, it may take several days or weeks to reach you. We will work closely with you to ensure you receive updates about how your student is doing.
A. What are inappropriate subjects to write to/talk with my student about?Please refrain from asking your student to purchase anything from or for you. It goes without saying that you should also avoid sensitive subjects like race, sexual orientation, and politics. In return, students should not be making requests from you for extra gifts or money. We screen all letters from sponsors and students, and will reach out to you to let you know if you should rewrite your letter without mention of a certain topic.
B. Can I send money, gifts, etc. to my student?Please do not send any extra money or gifts to your student. Your sponsorship payment should cover your student’s educational and personal needs, so there should be no need for you to send extra money to them. We also cannot guarantee that any gifts you send outside of being delivered by us will reach your student, as the Kenyan postal system is very unreliable.
A. What are the different levels of sponsorship for students?There are three levels of sponsorship for a student, corresponding to what level of education the student is currently in. Each level of education has a different cost associated with it, depending on the fees associated with completing this level of schooling. These levels are as follows: i. Primary: $50/month, totaling $600/year. ii. Secondary: $85/month, totaling $1,020/year. iii. University/College: $175/month, totaling $2,100 year. Sometimes, students decide that they do not wish to proceed to secondary school or university/college, and would rather attend a vocational or trade school instead. In this case, we will calculate the total cost associated with going to school and inform you of this cost.
A. What is covered for my student with my sponsorship payment?Again, this is dependent on the level of education your student is in. The breakdown of what is covered in your sponsorship payments is as follows: i. Primary schooling: this is the lowest level of education, covering classes 1-8 (equivalent to kindergarten through 8th grade in the United States). Since primary schooling is subsidized by the government, there are no school fees associated with attending primary school. Students in primary school usually live with their families and attend school during the day, just like students in the United States. However, many of these students are unable to be as successful as they could be because they cannot afford school supplies to help them keep up with school. For this reason, your sponsorship payments of $600/year, or $50/month, provides your primary student with school supplies (such as pencils, pens, notebooks, textbooks, and more), uniforms, backpacks, and shoes to attend school. ii. Secondary schooling: this is the middle level of education, spanning forms 1-4 (equivalent to grades 9-12, or high school). Most secondary schools in Kenya are boarding schools, meaning the students live in dormitories on campus when school is in session. Since secondary school is not totally subsidized by the government, many students who complete primary school are unable to afford the fees associated with moving on to secondary school. Students are also not allowed to enter schools without first proving that they have a prescribed list of items needed to live in the dormitories. Your payment of $85/month, or $1,020/year, covers all unsubsidized fees for attending secondary school, and provides your student with all school supplies, personal effects, and transportation fees to help them get to their schools. iii. University/college schooling: This is the highest level of education for students in Kenya, and covers a range of different programs, from Bachelor’s degrees to diplomas to certificates. This level of education is not subsidized by the government, and there are extra fees associated with finding lodgings, food, and transportation for students attending university/college. For your university/college student, your payment of $175/month, or $2,100/year, covers all school fees and living expenses. It also provides them with a laptop or tablet, a cellphone, and school supplies for the year. They also receive a small amount of pocket money to help them learn the value of managing their finances.
A. How do I pay for my student?We have several platforms through which you can pay for your student. These include PayPal, MoonClerk, and Benevity. You can set up recurring monthly payments for your sponsored student on these platforms with premade forms we have created for each level of sponsorship. If you would prefer to pay for your student’s school year up front, you can make a one-time donation of the total sponsorship amount via any of these platforms.
B. Can I just write a check?If you will be making monthly payments for your student, we ask that you refrain from writing checks each month. If you would like to make one payment covering the year, you can pay for this with a check. Please make the check out to Moja Tu and mail it to 2900 W. Anderson Lane, C-200 #219, Austin, TX 78757. You can also drop your check off at Moja Tu headquarters; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for our address.
A. My MoonClerk/PayPal/Benevity account stopped processing my payment. What do I do?Since these platforms send us an email about issues with payments, we are usually the first to know if your payment is unable to be processed. This is usually due to a change in card number, your card expiring, or some other issue along these lines. If we are unable to collect a payment from you, we will reach out to you via email to ask you to check your payment information on these accounts. If we are still unable to get the payment to process, we may ask you to switch payment platforms.
What if I don’t respond to these emails?We cannot help these students without your financial support. For this reason, we only allow a two-month window for payment issues to be resolved. If you do not respond to our attempts to fix your payment, we will need to end your sponsorship of your student and seek another sponsor. You will still receive a donation acknowledgement at the end of the year summarizing your donations made to your student.
A. What can cause my sponsorship of a student to end?Ideally, a sponsorship ends when a student finishes their university/college education. This is a long-term commitment to a student that will change their life forever. However, sometimes unfortunate situations arise that make continuing a student’s sponsorship impossible. These include ongoing discipline issues with the student, the student’s family deciding they no longer wish to allow the student to seek sponsorship, or circumstances no longer allowing you to continue your sponsorship of your student.
B. What if I need to end my sponsorship?Moja Tu will work with the student and you to ensure that the sponsorship continues for as long as possible, but we always understand if you need to end a sponsorship due to financial issues. Please email us to let us know that you need to end your sponsorship. We will cancel your payment and begin the process of finding a new sponsor for your student. Please also let us know if at any time in the future you would like to restart your support of our students. We would be happy to have you back!