Newsletter November 2018

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.

pump repair -Siaya county
pump repair -Siaya county

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.

It's lunch time. Beans and maize today.
It’s lunch time. Beans and maize today.

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!

Morning assembly
Morning assembly

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.

This year's new intake of 4 year olds
This year’s new intake of 4 year olds

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.

The 2 new classrooms ready for 2019
The 2 new classrooms ready for 2019


Our grateful thanks go out to the many people that make these projects all possible.

Comments are now closed

Helen & Roger November 2018.


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17 thoughts on “Newsletter November 2018”

  1. My thanks to hellen & roger for your generously support for the community am one of the parent and we are appreciated what you have been doing. You have done a lot supporting our children in education,it is only God who can regard your,I also thank the family of richard God will bless you term of education the school is doing well. also Water is available in the locality.thank osiling org for you support keep it up.

    1. Thanks for your comments Moses and good to know that it is so appreciated by the community.

  2. Thank you Roger and Helen for the very informative update. The children look so happy in school.
    Your work with the water pumps is amazing and so important.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts Eunice. In 2009 it was estimated that there were 3500 broken hand pumps in Kenya so we are only about 20% through this backlog. I cannot understand any charity digging new wells and hand-pumps when so many are lie broken. A new installation is about 20-30 times the cost of a repair.

  3. Many thanks for the latest Newsletter. We are very grateful that we are kept informed of what is going on. Pleased to hear of the valuable work that Eric and his team are doing repairing the water pumps. Having spent some time in West Africa, we know that getting maintenance and repairs can be a real problem in the less-developed countries. Well done! (Pardon the pun.) Really enjoyed the short classroom clip. Clearly all the children are involved in the learning process. Pleased that the children are learning actively and hope that can happen soon throughout the school.

  4. Greetings Roger & Helen. Thank you for the hard work and also for taking the initiative and getting it done. We really appreciate you. Keep it up.

  5. Thank you so much Helen and Roger for this interesting newsletter….and the videos say so much about the qualities that Osiligi brings to the children’s education and general well being. What you do gives so much to do many… God bless you both,
    Best wishes, David

  6. Seeing the comment above, please let us know when the Warriors are due to return in 2019. Thank you for a very vibrant newsletter – I love those little videos, that bring it all to life for the sponsors.

  7. So interesting to see the children at work. They certainly look engaged. I was wondering about the balance of boys and girls. Is there a tendency for families to want their boys educated or do you try to ensure there are equal numbers? The mention of culture by Evaline is interesting.

    1. The school has an equal number of boys and girls. The challenge is to ensure that the girls are not taken away from school for early marriage. So far we have not lost a single girl for marriage.

  8. Thank you for another informative and thought provoking newsletter Roger. Thanks also to Helen for forwarding on Christine’s letter to us. We have noticed how much improved her hand-writing and English is compared with when we first started sponsoring her. It is wonderful to see, especially when you consider that English is her THIRD language! Asante sana.

  9. Thankyou for the letters from Rimas Diana, and Juius Nina, what progress they both have made, and also the photos, they both look very happy. I think you have both made a fantastic contribution to their lives.
    Just let me know what you need when you go out in February.

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