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‘A Taste of Kenya’ to support education for Kenyan girls

September 25, 2019

Friends of Jane Adeny Memorial School for Girls will hold its fourth annual fundraiser on Friday, Oct. 11, 6 to 9 p.m. at Faranda’s, 302 Grove Street in DeKalb. Attendees will sample Kenyan food, be greeted with African drumming and celebrate the successes of the school. A fair-trade crafts market, quilt raffle, silent auction and cash bar are included in this unique and enjoyable evening. In addition, several volunteers who recently returned from Kenya will have first-hand stories to tell.

Founders of the Jane Adeny Memorial School for Girls and NIU Presidential Engagement Professors Teresa Wasonga and Andrew Otieno

Jane Adeny Memorial School for Girls (JAMS) provides a high school education “good enough for the richest and open to the poorest” in rural western Kenya, Africa. The school was founded by Kenyans who now live in DeKalb and return to Kenya every year to give back to their original community. The founders, Teresa Wasonga and Andrew Otieno, are Presidential Engagement Professors at NIU. Friends of JAMS is a DeKalb area charitable 501c3 organization with the mission of raising awareness, friends and funds for JAMS.

“Being in Jane Adeny has nurtured me to be strong and determined, and as I complete my studies in high school, I would like to be one who people can always depend on just as you have helped in financing my studies,” says a JAMS student in the class of 2019.

Another student, graduating in 2021, says, “I like this school very much. It has all the facilities that one may need to pursue [their] studies. We also have the co-curricular activities such as sports, drama club, music club, journalism club and science in which I am engaged in. We also have dairy house and greenhouse in which whatever we are taught in class concerning them we do and see practically.”

All proceeds of “A Taste of Kenya” will benefit the girls at JAMS through scholarships for needy girls and support for extracurricular activities such as music and sports. Funds will also go toward improvement of facilities for the entrepreneurship projects the students help run. Last year’s fundraiser supported scholarships and the furnishing of the new Resource Center’s computer lab, school library, teachers’ offices and community education meeting rooms.

Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online at or call the DeKalb County Tickets Box Office, 815-758-1225. Box Office hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 3 to 6 p.m. or leave a message.