Beyond Vision Foundation
Beyond Vision Foundation was born from a case of mistaken identity when Jackline Musyoka, the founder of Beyond the Vision School in the Tassia Slum of Nairobi Kenya, was told about a man named John Skoog. She was told that he held workshops for teachers and that she could find him on Facebook. The John she messaged is a contractor, not a teacher, but her request for help went to the right place. John Skoog and his wife Karen Skoog committed themselves to help her in the mission to break the chains of poverty through educating and uplifting the children of the Tassia slum.
"And they shall be called The Holy People, The Redeemed of the LORD; and you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken." Isaiah 62:12
The History of Beyond Vision Foundation: A Timeline
Jackline Begins Teaching in the Slums.
Jackline Musyoka visited a slum in Kenya and became aware of the need for education. She dedicated herself to breaking the chains of poverty through education and began teaching and mentoring slum children.
Jackline Opens BVCS
Jackline founded Beyond the Vision Community School (BVCS) in the Tassia Slum of Nairobi Kenya after more than a decade of involvement with the children of the slums. Jackline simultaneously founded a non-profit movement called Beyond the Vision Initiative (BVI) as a means to organize support for BVCS.
John Offers to Provide for BVCS Students
Jackline was running the school on a shoestring budget and was having difficulty keeping the children in the classrooms and teachers paid. The school was funded through Jackline's contacts and her own pocket and funding was growing slim. The children were hungry and unable to study and she was having difficulty keeping the children and teachers safe due to the dangerous environment of the slum. The situation was becoming dire and the school was at risk of shutting down.
The small staff of teachers were also in need of training and support. An acquaintance knew of a man providing teacher's workshop and recommended that Jackie contact him for help. Jackie messaged him on Facebook but the man she messaged is a contractor, not a teacher.
The man, John Skoog, was unable to help with the educational aspect of the school, but he offered to send gifts to the children, or money to buy gifts for the children. Jackie appreciated the offer, but the children were starving, and food was the greater priority. When she told John this, he was willing to help, and he and his wife, Karen, sent money for food.
John and Karen continued to provide funds for the feeding program for Beyond the Vision Community School.
John Verifies BVCS
John had an opportunity to have the school verified when he saw that Sanna Lee, the daughter of an old friend, was in Nairobi doing humanitarian work with her foundation. John called Sanna to ask if she could go see the school. She agreed, and contacted Jackline to arrange a visit. Jackline eagerly agreed to show her the school.
Sanna’s visited the school and met the students and teachers. In a message to John, she told him that she had thought she was done crying for Kenya, but what she had seen there had brought her to tears once again. The school was real, the children where precious, Jackline was a warmhearted and sincere person, and the slum was worse than she could have imagined.
John and Karen Establish Beyond the Vision Foundation (BVF) to Support BVCS
In December of 2017, John and Karen Skoog formed a 501c3 called Beyond Vision Foundation so donations could be accepted to help the school. The Skoogs continued to fund the school and collected some additional donations but remained the main donors for the operation of the school.
The security of knowing there was regular revenue arriving each month gave Jackline the security she needed to grow. Jackline expanded the feeding program and hired more teachers.
The Gideons International delivered bibles to the children in 2017. The Bible is taught as part of the regular syllabus in Kenya and is required by law.
John Visits BVCS and the Vision Expands
In November of 2018, John made a trip to Kenya with Sanna and her foundation, Love Kenya Foundation (formerly Lee Sisters Foundation). John was finally able to see the school that he had been supporting for 3 years. He was able to see the children be promoted to the next grade and make presentations on what they learned for the parents, teachers and the guests from America.
In 2018 there were four children that graduated from eight grade. John watched them receive their certificates in a moving presentation. This could have been the end of their education, but for the first time in BVCS history, all of the graduates were sponsored by American BVF donors to attend boarding schools for secondary education (high school).
The school structure is akin to simple farm outbuildings made of tin roofing and wood boards. John is a man who can look at something that needs to be fixed, form the answer in his head, and fix it with his hands. He recognized a serious need to devote funding to improve the facilities, and he and Jackie made some short term fixes and developed long term goals for the school building.
The facilities were deteriorating, but attendance was growing, and it became clear that there was a need for more and more funding to support the growing BVCS program.
BVCS Grows and Jackline Visits America
Jackline joined the Embakasi Rotary Club in Kenya to gain more support for the school. The Embakasi Rotary Club began the process of reviewing the school and agreed to provide all the cargo containers, labor cost, bathroom facilities and kitchen to improve the facilities if the school could be owned instead of rented. It became apparent that BVF would need to purchase the land that the school was built on in order to improve it and expand with the student population. This became a major fundraising goal.
Seventeen students graduated from BVCS in 2019, meaning that the school's graduation rate was up 325% from the previous year, and the need for funding to send successful BVCS students to secondary school was greater than ever before. The school had 260 students and 150 children on the waitlist to join. John had initially planned another visit to BVCS in 2019, but it became clear that there was a need for Jackline to travel to America to explain the vision and the need to American donors.
Jackline arrived in America in November of 2019.
John, Karen, and Jackline were interviewed by Moody Radio Spokane, 107.9 KMBI-FM.
John and Jackline were interviewed by Tim Saxon and Steve Wohlberg at White Horse Media. They created a free youTube video promoting BVCS.
Jackline met and spoke with donors in the Newport and Chelan Rotary Clubs.
Jackline completed a presentation about BVCS to the Northwest Christian Schools.
BVF donors provided funds to sustain the primary school program, scholarships for five of the BVCS graduates, and a private donor provided a $10,000 donation towards the purchase of the BVCS property.
Jackline registered Beyond the Vision Initiative (which had been the non-profit supporting leg of BVCS since 2013) as an official Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Kenya. This is the Kenyan equivalent of a 501(c)(3). BVI was officially recognized as an NGO on December 20th 2019.
To learn more about Beyond the Vision Initiative, please check out their website at BeyondTheVisionInitiative.org
BVCS Graduates Go To High School and BVCS Launches a Community Outreach Program
Seven BVCS graduates received scholarships to go to secondary school and the rotary club became much more involved in to work of BVCS. The school was becoming extremely crowded and the parents of some students took the initiative to construct an outbuilding as an extra classroom using some loose sheets of metal.
BVCS responded to COVID by reducing the operations of the school initiating a community feeding program. Many BVCS students attend school because they do not receive food at home. Initiating a community feeding program allowed BVCS donors to still provide for the student body while also nourishing the Tassia community. BVF donors provided funds to feed the Tassia community and BVCS volunteers distributed the food to local families in need. BVCS also launched a smaller feeding program to support the locals in Meru, Kenya.
BVCS provided education on sanitary practices to prevent the spread of COVID. BVCS also provided handwashing stations.
Jackline gave a presentation on the success of the BVCS model to the Rotaract Club of Milimani.
The Rotaract Club of Milimani went to BVCS to provide Christmas cards and mentorship for the students.
Beyond the Vision Community School was featured by KTN News Kenya for the educational program and COVID relief efforts.<