Getting ready for the new school year

The new academic year started in Kenya this week after a break of nearly two months but it has been anything but quiet in our partner schools over this time.

Our food supplier last week delivered nearly 15,000kg of dried maize, rice and beans – at a cost of some £11,386 – which will be used to provide a daily lunchtime meal to all 3,000 children for the first half of term. We begin the year with sufficient funds to cover the cost of the programme for the entire year (albeit at the optimistic end of our forecasts!)

Additionally, a wide range of repair and maintenance work has been undertaken at a number of schools since schools closed for the holidays in November using around £3,000 that we have donated specifically towards these activities. This includes repainting (inclusive of chalkboards), replacement of missing/broken window glasses and fixures, repair to steelworks including doors and furniture, filling of potholes in eroded cement floors, and so much more.

At Mkamenyi Primary, our eighth partner school which is in the fourth year of a £250,000+ rebuild, we have used the longest absence of children from classrooms since in-school learning resumed post Covid-closures to fit glazing to windows and to begin painting, including in classrooms that were constructed in the early stages of the project and which have already been in operation for more than two years.

The transformation of the central courtyard area has also been completed with the installation of rainwater harvesting tanks with a combined capacity of 60,000 litres and construction of retaining walls, paved pathways and an assembly ground (complete with essential flag post!). We are excited to see this space evolve in the months and years to come once trees, shrubs and grasses are planted and mature.

Projects will continue even now that schools have reopened, not only at Mkamenyi but especially at Jora Primary where we are building new toilets and a dining hall, and creating a new playground area for the pre-school children: it is fitting, in the month that we have turned 15 years old as a registered charity, that we are back at the school where our story originally began all the way back in 2006!