BIC East Africa, in partnership with Save the Children, has embarked on a mission to support education across the country by distributing at least 400,000 pens to learners.
Learners in public primary schools in the counties of Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Turkana, Bungoma and Nairobi have been picked as beneficiaries.
Also, those in the Dadaab Refugee Camp will get the free pens in an exercise aimed at contributing to the quality of education in line with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number four.
The SDG goal states that governments have to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
In Mandera, Save the Children Programme Manager Abdalla Shariff said a total of 60,000 pens were donated to various primary schools across the county.
He said the pens will benefit most vulnerable learners identified by the respective school managers.
Resources a major challenge
“The partnership was formed as a response to the lack of resources for less privileged pupils in the country,” Mr Shariff said, noting that lack of resources remains a major educational challenge in Kenya.
In a statement, BIC East Africa Marketing Manager Paloma Lengema said the company is keen on promoting education across the country.
“Education is one of our key areas of focus as BIC. We are committed to supporting communities and we are focused on improving learning conditions for needy students,” she said.
Ms Lengema noted that lack of resources in the education sector affects the ability of pupils to learn and achieve their goals in life.
“We have been partnering with renowned and like-minded institutions like Save the Children so that together we shed light on this crucial pillar in society and close the gap in the unavailability of school materials,” she said.
Pupils who received the pens expressed their happiness with the donation.
“I am so happy after receiving some pens from BIC and Save the Children. At least my mother will not have the burden of getting me a new pen for some months now,” Habiba Hassan Ali, a pupil at Mandera DEB Primary Schools, said.
Another pupil, Abdiqafar Ali said the donation came at the right time as he was planning on how to approach his mother over a lost pen.
“My mother sells vegetables at the market but struggles to get food for the five of us. I was wondering where to get another pen after I lost what she struggled to buy for me. I am happy,” Ali said.
Support needy pupils
The partnership is aimed at supporting and elevating learning conditions for needy students and helping children across Kenya access the material they need for quality education.
“Throughout the years, BIC has placed a high priority on supporting and empowering students by providing the right tools for them to express themselves and reach their full potential,” Ms Lengema said.
BIC East Africa has since launched an initiative dubbed “Buy Me and BIC Will Donate 1 Pen”. Under this, the company donates a pen for every product it sells across East Africa.