August Update: Partnering with International Needs

As mentioned in our previous blog, we are delighted to share the news of our new partnership with International Needs New Zealand (INNZ).

Who are International Needs?

International Needs is a not-for-profit non-denominational, worldwide partnership of Christian organisations supporting each other to see transformed lives, families and communities in developing countries.

What does this partnership mean?

We can see that Ark Quest Education Centre will benefit from this partnership as it will lead to greater exposure to possibilities for further sponsorship of students and raising money for projects. This opportunity creates choices for current sponsors of children who will be offered the option of sponsoring through INNZ and thus qualifying for a tax rebate at the end of the year. General donors may also prefer to give through INNZ to receive these benefits.

What you also need to know:

100% of the donations given through Ark Quest Trust will continue to go directly to Ark Quest Education Centre. While International Needs deducts an administration fee of 20%, we feel the benefits of a wider donor base and the ability to receive a tax rebate will make this a valuable partnership.

If you are currently giving through Ark Quest Trust and would prefer to give through INNZ, please contact us at info@arkquest.org.nz. You can find out more information about INNZ by visiting https://www.innz.org.nz/where-we-serve

April Update: A Message from Calvine

The following communication has come directly from Calvine…

It’s our hope that you are all doing well despite the lockdown because of the global Covid19 pandemic. Our country has now confirmed 343 Covid19 cases, out of 17,492 samples tested, with 14 deaths across the country. At the village, the closest case is about 70km away, which is in Siaya, Nyanza province, our neighbouring province.

The government has been encouraging us to regularly clean our hands with soap or use sanitiser as often as possible, as well as to keeping social distance by staying at home. This is a very simple exercise at face value, but in reality, these families live from hand to mouth; they don’t have any food or cash to support their families. Many of them have no work and most families are struggling with hunger and poverty particularly at the moment. The possibility of sanitizers or soap is totally out of reach for them. These children have to go to the river to fetch drinking and cleaning water! They are only able to access tap water while at school, so we are really are trusting God for unique protection at this time. Our current focus is to support our teachers and pupils through this difficult season.

Recently, the government requested that we embrace eLearning during the time the children are at home. I was left wondering about the children at my village. How do they even access internet? This technology is beyond being a possibility for them!

Please pray for God’s protection for our village against the terrible effects of the heavy rainfall that is occurring in most parts of the country. Kenya is currently experiencing widespread heavy floods, with many homes being washed away. While the village has escaped the locust infestation, please pray that this does not negatively impact on the food supply for the village.

Thank you for the special donation which enabled us to buy materials to construct a door and 4 windows for the new classrooms. If you are interested in contributing toward a door or a window, please Ark Quest Trust know.

We wish you to know….

Calvine’s parents have both experienced some serious health issues recently, which has put added pressure on Calvine and Laura. Please pray for their continued recovery.

Child Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship Please Note: The following students have now all received sponsorship thanks to our generous donors.

Sponsorship to Secondary School

Students who have qualified to go to Secondary School by gaining the necessary marks in the Kenya Primary Certificate of Education (KPCE) exam. These students require funding to attend Secondary School for the next 4 years. Without sponsorship they will be unable to go to Secondary School, or attain any future university qualifications.

The cost for this is $1600 per year (approx. $135 per month) which includes full board, uniform, and stationery costs.

Class 8

Sponsorship to Attend Ark Quest Education Centre

Students who continue to attend Ark Quest Education Centre, and are unable to pay their school fees due to extreme poverty.

The cost for this is $520 per year (or $10 per week).

Class 7

Class 6

Class 5

Class 4

Class 3



November Update: The Walls Go Up!

Building Progress:

We have been extremely impressed with the speed at which the building has progressed since the team left. The building process in Kenya is extremely labour intensive since they lack the modern building equipment that we all take for granted. The team’s gift of a commercial concrete mixer certainly improved the efficiency of the pouring of concrete for the ground floor.Prior to this purchase, the mixing of the concrete was done on the dirt ground using shovels. It is exciting to see the walls going up and the first three classrooms drawing closer to completion. 

Year 7 Maker Fair Donation

Special thanks to the Bethlehem College Year 7 classes (7LAM and 7RRM) who donated the proceeds from their Maker Fair fundraiser to Ark Quest Education Centre.The funds will be used for annual maintenance on the water pump. This will enable the students to continue to have access to the only safe drinking water in the community.

June Update: Sporting Success at Ark Quest!

Sporting Success: Ark Quest students have recently competed against neighbouring schools in a sports tournament. This was an exciting event for the students who participated enthusiastically in sports such as:, football, volleyball and handball. For the first time in the history of the school, they managed to produce the top scorer in soccer. Damlean Shawn Lumasai, was a star player throughout the competition. Ark Quest  has been selected along with a few other schools to contribute to a zonal team to participate in the sub-county competitions.

One of the aims of Ark Quest, is to improve their games department. The students are thrilled to be able to participate in a growing range of sports activities.

Visit from UK Supporter of Ark Quest: Sarah Jackson, will be in NZ from 4-7 August, and we are excited to be able to meet up with her. Sarah is a school teacher in the UK, who has visited Ark Quest several times, and has generated a great deal of support for the school. Sarah is hoping to establish a Trust in the UK and has growing support amongst colleagues and friends.

Congratulations to Laura: We wish to congratulate Laura (Calvine’s wife), who has recently gained her Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering!! What a great accomplishment.


Celebrate with us!

We are delighted to share Calvine and Laura’s good news on the birth of their son, Ebenezer. He was born January 11th, prematurely at 2.3kg (approximately 51/2lb). While there were initial concerns about around his health, at six weeks Ebenezer is now a flourishing 4.1kg.  We hope you enjoy the photographs.

It was a joy to view Emily and Chris Johnston on TVNZ The Project last week. This interview highlighted the work of their parents, Brian and Grace, and the ongoing impact this has had on Ark Quest Education Centre. You can view this fabulous footage if you click on the link below.

We are grateful for your ongoing support, which has enabled us to respond to a significant need. The water pump at Ark Quest, which provides fresh water for the school, and the wider community, is currently in need of repair. With your help, we have been able to assist in providing the funds to enable these urgent repairs to be made. THANK YOU!

Building a Legacy

Grace and Brian Johnston spent much of their life undertaking humanitarian relief work in Africa. Six years after their unexpected death, their children Chris and Emily have returned to Kenya to maintain and improve the school their parents built.

Posted by The Project NZ on Thursday, 21 February 2019