“Exactly 6 months ago today, on 28 July 2016, my husband Jeremy passed away. Jeremy was a lovely, kind man and part of his legacy was a sum of money with which I have set up an education fund in his name for children in Kenya.
Jeremy loved Kenya – we were going to move there in the near future. He especially loved Samburu – the land and the people – and was embraced by all the people he met there. Just as he had taken Samburu to his heart – the Samburu people had taken him to their hearts.
With the money I am particularly keen to give young people – mainly girls – a chance to further education. I believe that if you educate a girl, you educate future generations.
Jeremy was always surrounded by strong women. His mother was a resilient, determined woman, and his three children – all girls – have grown up to be strong women too. And then there is me and my sister Shivani. Both of us are independent, determined in our respective fields – and know our own minds. Jeremy liked that and celebrated strength in all the women he met.
The fund has been set up with the help of my sister through her conservation organisation in Samburu: Ewaso Lions.
I think Jeremy would approve of a fund set up in his name – predominantly to give girls a chance to grow, learn, achieve, succeed and be independent. It is a legacy that he would be proud of.”
- Shalini Bhalla (Shivani’s sister)
Jeremy Lucas Education Fund
The Jeremy Lucas Education Fund is the new name and embodiment of the Ewaso Lions Scholarship Programme*. With the money raised through this fund, we will sponsor students from the Samburu region of northern Kenya to attend secondary school. The students will be selected on merit and one of the main sources will be graduates of the Lion Kids Camps.
In each intake, the main focus will be on sponsoring girls, giving them much needed education opportunities that they might otherwise not have access to. Each intake will also look at sponsoring one boy. An important part of the programme will be the regular monitoring of each student by Ewaso Lions Regional Coordinators, ensuring that they continuously achieve in their school work and are supported with any challenges that may arise. We will also ensure that the students receive relevant career advice and ongoing mentorship.
Introducing the First Intake – January 2017
On 28 January 2017 – to mark 6 months since Jeremy passed away – we launched the Jeremy Lucas Education Fund by announcing the first young people who have been awarded scholarships. Angeline, Veronica and Nicholas – all young teenagers – were unable to start secondary school at the beginning of January because they did not have the money to pay the school fees. These three young people were interviewed by the Ewaso Lions team and were chosen to be the first recipients for scholarships from the fund. The scholarship (£4,000 per child) will pay for secondary school fees, uniforms and books for the next four years. We are happy to announce that within a few days of being selected, the three youngsters have now been enrolled in schools and have already started their secondary school education.
Over the next few weeks we will introduce you to Angeline, Veronica and Nicholas – and also let you know how you too can support the education fund.
Watch this short video about the Jeremy Lucas Education Fund:
*About the Ewaso Lions Scholarship Programme
Ewaso Lions recognises the critical link between education and conservation. Tomorrow’s wildlife leaders must be equipped with a solid education today, empowering them to make informed choices to tackle the challenges facing Africa’s wildlife and people. Many students in this region finish primary school but lack the funds to attend secondary school.
Ewaso Lions is currently sponsoring five promising students to attend highly ranked secondary schools. Under the Ewaso Lions sponsorship, their tuition is covered for four full academic years. Our model also ensures that after the students complete secondary school, we work with the students to build up their careers.
To date, three students have completed secondary school under our programme. Samson continued with his education and was trained to become a wildlife artist. He now has set up his own art business and is able to support his family. Painoti was our second student who completed her education, and in 2017 will be attending Teachers College. Solomon Lenasalia recently completed his secondary school and will spend 2017 with Ewaso Lions developing his career and giving back to the community.