What is ACCES?
We at the African Canadian Continuing Education Society (ACCES) have been raising money to provide scholarships to underprivileged Kenyan post-secondary students for 25 years. Our mission is to alleviate poverty in Kenya through education. We’ve put a focus on sustainability and “Kenyanization,” that is, we want to enable graduates to generate income in ways that help them pay-it-forward. Currently, our graduates have amassed to the point that they have started their own organization in Kenya to raise their own funds to help students.
ACCES was founded in 1993 by Beth & George Scott as an organization dedicated to education.
By 1998, a group of ACCES scholarship graduates initiated a literacy program in poor rural communities that had no schools, called LIFA (Literacy For All). After several government grants to build brick and mortar schools, they have since been handed over to the public school system, and are thriving, in communities that are also thriving as a result of the community development programs that were part of the government grant projects.
Today, there are more than 3,000 Kenyans that have graduated with an ACCES scholarship, an alumni association with an endowment fund sponsoring students on its own, and an award winning Kenyan organization that has empowered 14 communities to become self-sufficient. Well Done!
Who We Are
The ACCES board of directors is comprised of a cross section of Vancouver teachers, business owners, financial professionals and communication experts. With such a varied group of expertise and experience, ACCES is well served, stable and highly efficient.
Our Kenya Advisory Committee is comprised of local Kenyan business people, ACCES graduates, and the ACCES Programs Director. They provide valuable local insight and make informed recommendations to the board in Canada on operational and programmatic issues, ensuring that ACCES not only runs efficiently, but effectively as well.
ACCES is a duly incorporated and registered charity with Head Office in Vancouver, BC Canada. The board of directors governs major ACCES decisions, approves all programs, provides input and guidance for organizational decisions and sets policy and direction for the Executive Director who has oversight for both Canadian and Kenyan operations. The board in Canada is also the official board for the registered organization Kenya, meaning that there is only one organization, registered as a charity in Canada and as a Community Based Organization (CBO) in Kenya. The board of directors are not paid for their services.
The Executive Director is the only full time staff person in Canada.
In Kenya there is a Program Director, overseeing the work of the coordinating staff, Community Management Committees (CMCs) and implementing partners. The Kenyan Program Director also sits on a Kenyan Advisory Committee (KAC) that provides local oversight on behalf of the Canadian Board of Directors, working together to address local issues and provide input and recommendations to the Canadian Board regarding programming decisions, policy and other essential operational components. The KAC includes local Kenyan business owners, several ACCES scholarship graduates from the ACCES Alumni Association (AAA) and the Program Director. The AAA members include a lawyer, a university professor and an education sciences consultant. Both the Program Director and KAC report directly to the Executive Director in Canada.
ACCES has an annual financial audit conducted by an independent auditor. The annual report for the previous year is available on this website as a PDF, as well as in printed form upon request.
ACCES has established robust financial controls for the work in both Canada and Kenya, requiring official receipts, detailed expense tracking, monthly reporting and approval system for expenses over $2,000. Combined with real time online bank account viewing, ACCES tracks and manages expenses to the highest standards.
ACCES keeps administrative costs reasonable, without compromising the quality of work, the fulfillment of the ACCES Mission, or the ability to manage the day-to-day operations efficiently and effectively. We do not compromise the achievement of our mission through arbitrarily low administrative costs. ACCES pays fair wages to its staff, while holding them to high standards of accountability and performance.
ACCES operates with a 100% model, which means that 100% of public donations go directly to the field to fund ACCES programs. We depend on private donors to cover our staff and operating costs in Canada.