In summer 2015 we were able to fund work on the school buildings including painting the buildings. Most are constructed from corrugated metal sheets which left untreated would rust and give a poor working environment for the staff and children.
The James Murray Children’s Home continues to provide accommodation for 14 girls. Five girls who are now ex-pupils and were resident in the children’s centre are now being funded by the charity in a local secondary school. The local church and community also are funding a number of other ex-pupils in secondary education.
Funding to purchase additional mosquito nets each year has now been provided by local government freeing up some of our allocated funds. Additionally they have provided an opportunity which gives us an affordable insurance scheme to provide wider medical services for all children and staff.
Also last summer we built a Dining Hall at the school so the children had somewhere indoors to eat their meal. Prior to that they ate most of the meals we provide sitting on the floor leaning on either the fence or a classroom wall. In the wet seasons they retreated to their classrooms
At the same time we extended the electricity supply from the Children’s home and kitchen to now include all classrooms. It also went into the staffroom and the office built earlier.
This summer we have replaced the very first toilets we put on the school site. The old Pit Latrine style are nearing the end of their useful life and need to be replaced with slightly more sophisticated design which have a much longer working life expectancy. All pit latrine design toilets eventually fill up, but the new ones incorporate a type of septic tank in the bottom which increases their productivity and therefore their longevity. We take guidance from the local education and health authorities to make sure we spend funds wisely.
Flush toilets are just not viable when the only water they have access to is drawn from the well we dug when we bought the site.
We have just installed some playground equipment – swings and slides – aimed particularly at the younger children. The swings and slides have proved to be real winners at break and lunch time. What seems common place in the UK in rural Africa, is real luxury.