Reception class 2020

Newsletter April 2021

The above photo shows last year’s school intake of adorable 4 year olds. Their pristine school uniforms will not stay clean for long.

Hot off the press: The Primary School Exam Results (KCPE) have just been announced. Our school has excellent results and is number 2 out of around 130 schools in the Kajiado West sub-county. Our highest mark was 416, the same as the top performing school in the county. The highest mark in Kenya was 433. Many of our pupils are now eligible to go to the best performing secondary schools in Kenya. When you consider that these children are all from the poorest backgrounds, most with illiterate parents, who would not have gone to school without their sponsors’ help, this is an amazing achievement.

We mentioned in the last newsletter that the school had been closed for most of 2020 due to Covid-19. The Government allowed 2 classes to return at the end of the year and all classes to restart in January 2021. The 2 lost school terms will be regained over the next 3 years via shorter school holidays. Our next class of 4 year olds will be starting in July. We need 25 new sponsors to support this class. Can you be one of them? (see the end of this newsletter for details).

Goat with mask.
Protecting the goats.

It is a year since we were first sent this photo from the Maasai community. Covid has hit every country in the world but Kenya has been fortunate in that the death rate has been relatively low so far, although a 3rd wave has just begun. Schools are set to start the next term in May. We will wait to see if this actually happens.

The exam class
Class 8 – their last day at school

In March the charity reached an important milestone: our oldest pupils who started in 2012 finished their Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education. Maths, the first paper, caused a few nerves but once in the swing Teacher Rispa said all pupils were “full of enthusiasm, so positive about the questions and had hopes of doing well.” All other pupils and staff were banned from the premises during the exams, a Kenya wide rule to prevent teachers divulging the papers to pupils or helping with the exams. Only external invigilators can be on site and since applying this new rule we note that grades in many of the top performing private schools have slipped. A private school can charge much more if they are top of the exam tables. It’s extraordinary that the entire class actually sat those exams. Dropping out of school is very common in our Maasai community due to lack of money for fees, pregnancy and cultural reasons. This success is thanks, in large part, to our sponsors for their financial support and to the staff for their tireless effort and encouragement. Osiligi rarely gets involved in secondary school but our sponsors and pupils are all keen to continue so we will trial it with this class. Our school has a reputation for excellence so all eyes are now on the results of our flagship class. No pressure there!

First time in a swimming pool
A swimming pool – a first for the children.

Prior to exams it was nose to the grindstone with, to us, a punishing revision schedule: 5.30 am to 9pm, six days a week for many weeks. Pupils had to fit in handwashing school uniforms and cleaning their dormitory but this isn’t unusual in Kenya. Class 8 and their teachers had surely earned a rest from books so we gave them a day of fun and swimming at the local country club just before the exams. During the weekends, the club is usually only the preserve of wealthy Nairobi business men and their families. For our pupils, now aged 15 and 16, this was their first time in a pool – girls in the paddling pool and boys in the deeper one. Naturally no one owned a swimming costume.

A pump repaired at Bacho Primary School
Bacho Primary School pump – repaired and working again.

We are happy to repair broken pumps anywhere but we are especially pleased when we are asked to repair one at a school or clinic. We know that a school pump will give water to pupils and staff at the school but many will also serve the local community so the 1 pump may supply more than 1000 users. The other advantage of a school pump is that it will have a local management committee that will look after the pump for many years to come. Since starting the pump repair project, we have now repaired more than 1200 broken pumps.

Collecting water from the Osiligi Pump.
We installed this hand pump about 10 years ago. It is still being used by the local community

Actually, our own school pump broke down for a few days so the children were set to work fetching water from a village hand pump about 1Km from the school. We installed this pump about 11 years ago. It is still in daily use. You can read about how we constructed it here.

Dadio and Joshua outside their hut.
Two orphans, Dadio and Joshua outside their grandfather’s hut

Many people reading this newsletter know the Charity through being entertained by one of the Maasai Warrior tours. For almost 20 years, the Osiligi Maasai Warriors have undertaken an annual UK tour which, besides being a wonderful experience for the audiences, also promotes the work of the charity. Because of Covid, the 2020 and 2021 tours have had to be cancelled. No tour means fewer new sponsors so we are now looking for people who are kind enough to sponsor a child. Only children from the very poorest families are sponsored and for many attending school it is the only time they regularly receive a filling hot meal. The sponsorship cost is £20 a month. The photo above is from 2010 and is of Dadio, an orphan. We sponsored him to attend school soon after this photo. He is one of the class 8 children in the top photo, who has just taken his end of primary exams. We hope to continue sponsoring him through secondary school.

Sponsorship is very rewarding and you are giving a child a chance of an education. You can nominate a boy or girl and you will receive up to date regular reports on your child, drawings and letters from them and the teacher’s class reports throughout the school year. You can send letters to them if you so wish. Each sponsor has their own online folder link where all the letters and drawings as well as photos and teachers reports can be viewed at any time.
New sponsors will receive a Welcome pack. It will include a profile of the child and their family as well as any other information we have. If you can help please contact Tracey at tracey.osiligi@yahoo.com or 07719811774 or visit the sponsor page.

Osiligi Maasai Warriors
The Osiligi Maasai Warriors during one of their UK tours.

So what about the next Osiligi Maasai Warriors Tour? The group is very keen to return and we are hoping to schedule a six-week tour in the late summer/ early autumn of 2022. A full itinerary will be published in the spring of 2022 on the tour website

You are welcome to leave a comment below.

The Osiligi Team, April 2021

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21 thoughts on “Newsletter April 2021”

  1. Congratulations all round. Such wonderful news and everything achieved in spite of the stresses and rules surrounding this awful covid19.

    1. Thanks for your kind words. Everyone has had to find new ways of working and it has been challenging for our teachers having to take work to the children in the bush. Hopefully, normality will return soon.

  2. Thanks for this latest up-date. Excellent news about the exam results, particularly in view of the Covid-19 situation. Like you (but in West Africa, mainly Sierra Leone and Nigeria), I have come across broken pumps with no one taking the initiative. Training local pump tecnicians is the obvious answer. Do you get to visit your trainees on and off to gee them up and also to confirm their status in the community?
    Keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Keith
      Eric and Jean normally visit their team 2 or 3 times per year to give support and to quality check the repairs. Of course, they have not been able to be in Kenya for the past 15 months but we are all looking forward to the day when travel is possible again.

  3. Wow! Those exam results are truly amazing! We have a school to be justly proud of achieving such success against so many odds!

    Many congratulations to the staff and students involved – be very proud of your success, as you deserve it.

    1. Thanks Steve. Yes, the teachers and children worked very hard to achieve these results. The highest achieving school in the district was a boarding school so it will be a challenge to beat them.

  4. You are doing so well! It is indeed along time since I saw your team at Cromer Parish Church. Congratulations on your results in such a difficult time.
    Sadly I shall be retiring in July and the last pupil who has shared Tipatet’s journey will also leave school then. I look forward to still hearing from you and will continue to support you, but alas only from boring me!

    1. Best wishes for your retirement from teaching. Thanks for your continued support for Tipatet over the years.

  5. Wow! What incredible results. A huge well done to you all. And just so lovely to see the swimming pool fun. Happy faces. What a great start for these young people.

  6. Well done everyone So what of Shadrack now, Will he not ned continued sponsoring? Please let me know, and what the cost would be.

    Eliaw

  7. An amazing start to a very cold and grey day: you do not only brighten the lives of everyone connected with your school, but those of us far away. Thank you!
    Congratulations on everything that you achieve: I have very happy memories of the Masai dancers visiting our church in Somerset and it is wonderful to read yur news.

  8. Thank you for all the good news in your latest newsletter. I was overjoyed to hear about the exam results.

    Many , many congratulations to all students and teachers who have worked so hard to achieve this success. It is truly outstanding and well deserved!

    Thank you for your ongoing and tireless work with repairing and maintaining water pumps. It is truly life changing.

    Halina.

  9. It is fantastic to see how the projects have progressed over the years.I have such fond memories of my visit with Evan some eight years ago and I catch up with the troop whenever they come to England.Congratulations on the excellent exam results and I pray the Community will remain well and safe.

  10. Wow – a stunning result to be the second-placed primary school in 130. And 1200 pumps working again! The charity is making such a huge difference to so many people’s life there; not just the schoolchildren. I’m very touched, and a really heartful well done to everyone.

  11. Thank you so much for doing for me what I cannot, but I’m so proud to be associated with this community. Well done, so many congrats to the pupils and teachers for the splendid exam results. And for the water pumps. Fantastic. And for you all, who work so hard in this work. Thank you

  12. A truly uplifting newsletter. Staff and students must be so proud of their achievements. It’s also an exciting time for the children who are moving into Secondary education.
    The 1200 repaired pumps is a triumph for you Roger. The Charity is changing lives and I’m very happy to play a small part in it.
    Many blessings.

  13. We are so happy to hear the wonderful news about the pupils’ achievements. So glad to be part of this. Truly grateful for your effort in making this possible. Many thanks for keeping us updated. God bless.

  14. Great news indeed, the pupils, teachers, staff and our sponsors contributed towards this great achievement! congratulations to everyone you have given our school a good name

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