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Employee charity spotlight: iManage's Matt Simpson working with Chaddy School, Kenya

Kelli Ryan

Internal Communications & Engagement Senior Manager

At iManage, we recognize that our work exceeds the scope of the office, and our commitment to excellence extends beyond our customer base to the global community. As a company, we value the notion of "doing well by doing good" and have company-wide imperatives to prioritize and support our passion for making knowledge work and closing the opportunity gap worldwide.

Through a monthly spotlight program, we highlight our global employees' philanthropic work and make a financial contribution to support those organizations and charities.

Recently (and virtually), we sat down with Matt Simpson, a knowledge engineer based out of our London office, to learn more about his work with the Chaddy School, a primary school in Kenya he has been involved with for over eight years.

Matt, what and where is Chaddy School?

Chaddy School is a primary school located in the slums of Mwariki in Nakuru, Kenya. This school provides free education to the children in the area who, without Chaddy School, would not have any access to schooling. The school teaches various subjects, including English, math, and their native language of Swahili. In addition to fostering the education of local children, Chaddy School also provides lunch for its students and food, such as large bags of rice, for low-income families in the area. 

Why is this cause important to you?

Early education is tremendously important for all individuals. Studies have shown it to be one of the most significant factors in determining future earnings. Without another primary school in the area, the children in Mwariki – many of whom have been impacted by the HIV epidemic – would be lacking the means and infrastructure to learn basic skills such as counting and reading. These foundational skills can genuinely transform their livelihood and open many new doors for their future careers and earnings.

How did you first get involved with Chaddy School?

In my second year of university, a friend and I began looking into charitable causes to contribute towards. Understanding and valuing primary school education's importance, we narrowed our search to schools in need of support. Wanting something "off the beaten path" to ensure that 100% of our time, energy, and funds were making a direct impact on the cause, I directly contacted Geoffrey Mbugua, Chaddy School's headmaster. 

And since then?  

In 2013, I traveled to Kenya for six weeks, staying with Geoffrey and his wife Eunice, who also teaches at Chaddy School. During my stay, I attended classes at Chaddy School and witnessed first-hand the impact of the provided education on the local children. In addition to working on the school building infrastructure, my friend and I crowdsourced £5,000 to purchase the land on which they built the school. 

With the land secured, Geoffrey and the other educators at Chaddy School were able to focus solely on their students' education, without worrying about rent prices or being evicted, as had happened several years prior. 

Why are you raising money for Chaddy School now?

The Chaddy School has seen great success since I was last there in 2013 and I have kept in touch with Geoffrey, who regularly sends me pictures and updates on the children at Chaddy School.

But like many impoverished communities, Chaddy School and the surrounding area have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Without tourism and volunteers visiting Kenya, the school has lost its primary source of funding, and even more of the families in the community are experiencing unemployment. The existing school is too small to accommodate the influx of students and is having to turn children away from its already crowded classrooms. 

What will the funds enable?

In light of these most recent updates, I am working on securing a second round of donations for Chaddy School. These funds will help Chaddy School grow its student body to educate twice the number of students it can currently accommodate. The money raised will help secure long-term rent for a second plot of land and secure the necessary building supplies and materials needed to furnish classrooms to support the growing school. 

Securing land and rent for Chaddy School is an essential step in closing the opportunity gap and providing necessary education for children who would otherwise be without such fundamental resources.

Addressing the socioeconomic divide is a core theme of iManage's charitable efforts, ensuring that we contribute to causes both in our own communities and globally, which will help close this opportunity gap and ensure all populations are supported and given a chance to thrive. For the children in Mwariki, this means maintaining a safe place where they can learn basic skills, providing otherwise inaccessible resources, and setting them up for successful futures.

Supporting Chaddy School

Are you interested in supporting Chaddy School? You can donate through the JustGiving site to support the school and students dependent on this institution.

Join our iManage family

Thank you, Matt, for exemplifying what it means to be part of the iManage family and living our core values! We are honored to have the opportunity to support the Chaddy School and cannot wait to see what is next.

Are you interested in joining our team of passionate employees? Be sure to check out our open positions and learn more about how a career at iManage can empower you to Make it Mean Something, both at work and in the community.

About the author

Kelli Ryan

Internal Communications & Engagement Senior Manager