UPDATE July 2018
Recent rains have highlighted again the link between weather and the health of the children. Malaria is seasonal but this year a significant number of our children have suffered from pneumonia. Fortunately the health insurance we pay mean they get hospital treatment when needed. Sadly one child died and we mourn with the family and the school their passing.
We are pleased to say that all the other children have made full recoveries and been released from hospital.
Following this we had a request from the school for Gumboots (wellies) and socks to combat the muddy conditions. These have now been funded and purchased and issued to the children.
As in the past years we saw increased profit from our sustainable project based on local agriculture. We have 100 acres under cultivation. This is a massive increase and gets the school closer to the level of sustainability we are aiming for.
The 2017 harvest was very good. The financial impact of this harvest will be very significant for the current year’s budget. (April 2018 to March 2019)
The school has 200 children on roll. Again in 2017 it excelled in regional and national examinations and remained in the top 10% of school in all grades (year-groups) examined. It was awarded prizes for its achievements across the age ranges. A real credit to the children and their dedicated staff particularly when you consider that without our school, most of these children would not have access to formal education.
The James Murray Children’s Home continues to provide accommodation for 14 girls. Girls who would in our terms be vulnerable children with safeguarding issues. Between ourselves, the local church and community, there is funding for a number of ex-pupils in secondary education.
In 2017 we also managed to get some local government grants to help with supporting these pupils in their secondary education. Girls from the JMCH are a high priority for this funding.
Towards the end of 2016 we started work on what will be the completion of the school’s classrooms. The school operates with six classrooms and a dining room. There are eight grades in the school plus a pre-school. Ideally each group needs it’s own classroom. This means building two more classrooms. The first was finished in April 2017. The photo shows the finished classroom.
By the end of 2016 we had completed the work of replacing the very first toilets we put on the school site. Work on this replaced the original Pit Latrine style toilets with slightly more sophisticated design which have a much longer working life expectancy. All pit latrine design toilets eventually fill up, the new ones incorporate a type of septic tank in the bottom which increases their productivity and longevity. We take guidance from the local education and health authorities to make sure we spend funds wisely.
In August 2016 we installed some playground equipment – swings and slides – aimed particularly at the younger children.
Recent changes in Kenyan legislation has banned the use of plastic carrier bags. This created a mini crisis as all the children in the school used them to carry books between school and home. A generous local Moi’s Bridge business man stepped in and has paid for the 200 bags the school needed. This was because they are impressed by what the school does for the children and their community. We are still working towards building the final two classroom sand hope that next year will see the next one built. It costs about £6,000 for the basic building.
Of course, none of the life changing work the school does would be possible without the support of the many people who make generous donations to our work.
We and the Moi’s Bridge community say a BIG Thank you! To all of you who support our work in Africa