Another 300,000 people in Kenya with access to clean water. This is the total number of people helped since 2014 with the hand pump repair project. Eric and his team have now passed their 650th pump repaired. A few of these have since broken but more than 95% are still pumping clean water to needy communities. We have recently obtained funding from the Eagle Foundation to continue this project throughout 2019. Our target is to repair 1000 broken pumps. Why some charities install pumps then leave them to break is beyond our understanding.
Late October, the end of the school year in Kenya. Schools will re-open early January. You are probably thinking “why such a long holiday?” The answer is simple – cheating. Early November is the time for final exams for primary and secondary schools. In the past, cheating teachers have helped pupils obtain a high mark in the exams so now everyone not sitting the exam is forbidden to be in the school. Now, a government employee hand carries exam papers to the school. Once the papers arrive, the exam will immediately start. Kenyan newspapers report that 20,000 armed police officers have been sent to schools to try to stop the cheating and so far, 24 teachers and 4 policemen have been arrested for cheating.
We are still 2 years away from having an exam class so Osiligi Obaya school is remaining open for the eldest 3 classes until the end of November. The teachers are giving their time for free. The 80 children gain an extra 4 weeks of education plus a mid day lunch and they avoid all the household chores like collecting water, firewood or walking with the goats. You can see why the children love coming to school!
We have a vacancy for 1 more teacher for 2019. We invite 4 teachers for interview but soon word gets around and 10 hopeful teachers turn up on interview day, some from as far as 12 travelling hours away. It is a visual reminder of just how difficult it is in Kenya to find a job. We talk with university graduates who are unable to find work despite the many years of education. What tribe you are from and who you know is often more important for a job interview than what you know. In the past, this Maasai area of Kenya has had very few educated people. This means any business coming here has to import educated workers from outside. Once our school children pass their exams, the pool of educated people will greatly increase in the area.
As mentioned in the last newsletter, Margaret, a Scottish head teacher has been helping the school move to a skills base curriculum along with modern teaching methods. We have seen such a difference in the school. Now, classrooms are full of colour, children’s work and learning aids. Older pupils used to be passive, now they are enthused and learning actively. Look how engaged the children are in this video of a maths lesson.
We are amazed how supportive the children’s 200 sponsors are. Many write letters to their sponsored children and all those children write back. Here are some short extracts from the children’s letters and some videos:
It started raining this October. When it rains people grow crops and animals get enough food. I like to continue learning to help my parents and myself in future. I am thinking to go to college because it will take me far. I like working with computers. I like singing.
A few more comments in letters from younger children:
I am happy when my mother buys for me books.
I am sad when there is not food at home.
I am happy when my father takes me town.
A video about the children’s lives. Please remember that they are speaking in their 3rd language:
Finally, thanks every one who helped with the money needed to build the next 2 classrooms. They are almost finished and will be ready for the start of the school year in January 2019.
Our grateful thanks go out to the many people that make these projects all possible.
Comments are now closed
Helen & Roger November 2018.