Dear Friends, Dear Rafikis,
Let's Celebrate! This month, Rafiki Ya Maisha celebrated its 10th anniversary! Ten years on, we are thrilled to announce that our Chepkanga school graduated with a class of 97 students this November. As you may recall, our new Koshyn school broke ground in February and is putting finishing touches on its’ first building with 4 workshops. The Koshyn school will be ready to register students in January 2015.
As 2014 is coming to an end, we would like to share with you this years' accomplishments. From February to November, which corresponds to the Kenyan academic year, 97 trainees have followed classes. Below are some key points:
You have contributed to a fantastic success this year. Our efforts have paid off. Let us see this as a first step. Many more are needed. One wing is now completed and three more are needed. Additional workshops, dorms & washrooms, refectory and sports fields are also programed.
We are filling a dire need in the emerging economy of Kenya by giving basic education and technology to the rural youth. They are learning to support themselves. The social economic fabric lies in the hands of small & middle business.
To close, I want to thank one and all for your participation in this grassroots project and for your belief that 10 years can build a solid International-African partnership. I’m proud of our collaborative success at this anniversary time. Aren’t you?
Progress is unstoppable: the fist wing of our building has the roof structure! The rains did not deter the carpenters from putting up the frame.The enthusiam of our local partners and your generous donations allowed us to overcome the unusually long rains and the impassable roads.
Wing I for 4 workshops constitutes the first element of the larger buiding. Three other wings will complete the main building and form a quadrangle with a garden in the middle. Paths from each corner will lead to the garden and to each separate wing.
The local members of Rafiki Ya Maisha and YOUR donations have galvanized young and old, enthusiasts and sceptics, parents and future students. WIthout your help this project would not be changing the lives of a whole community, left for naught for the past 50 years. Aren't you happy to participate in this successful project? The local community cannot thank you enough and would be happy to welcome you in Kenya anytime. Please continue your support until the school is built and up & running. Thank you.
Freshly dug trenches for 4 workshops filled with 3 rows of steel wires, 4" of concrete and 3 layers of natural stone blocks... 760m of piping connecting the future school to the SOIN Water project of Koshyn.....tons of sand, ballast, hardcore and murram waiting to be used: work has started.
Imagine the joy of one resident who exclaimed: "Nothing had moved here in 50 years, and now something is happening!"The local people and their children had not seen this much action in a long time.
Easter week-end was a festive occasion this year with the laying of the cornerstone. A big event organized by RAFIKI YA MAISHA on April 21, 2014 brought together area representatives, land donor, county and governor officers, neighbors and villager children. The youth of the community are pitching in as laborers.
The 4 workshops will allow between 150-200 trainees to enroll before January 2015, the beginning of the next school year. This is phase one of the main building; the next phases will come wing by wing.
We need your help and support to get the next wings of the building constructed so that the 500-600 youths of the area can look towards a brighter future. Isn't it wonderful to be part of this project?
Fresh field news:
The community in Koshyn, our second school campus, is putting a lot of energy into preparing the site: a pit latrine has been dug, a store and a watchman's house is being build. The local leaders, villagers and youths greeted the Quantity Surveyor and myself with prayers, songs and speeches.The youths in Chepkanga, our first school campus, gave the community a HUGE reason to be proud of them. The news here is noteworthy: St Joseph's church in Chepkanga received new lighting, a fully wood panelled office and a brand new gates, all installed by the young trainees of the Youth Polytechnic.
Rafiki Ya Maisha enjoys massive local, political and administrative support as well.
The fruits of these community efforts encouraged by your donor support is allowing everyone to be proud of their youth today. Thank you for believing that high school drop outs are full of potential. The gratitude and elation with the project is on all their faces. Look at our pictures: what do you think?
The Sergoek Youth Polytechnic is developping fast with fresh visibility on it's two campuses.
The first school campus in Chepkanga location with it's 108 students, government teachers and 10 classrooms/workshops is now a fully operational institution. It built 4 brick classroom/workshops this year and will add a Plumbing and an Automotive depatment next year while planning to aquire new land in the future.
A few milies down the road, in Koshyn location, the 5 acre piece of land is showing signs of activity. The community is eagerly waiting for the construction of the new school building to commence and have not lost one minute. The land title might have taken 2 years in coming, but things have been shaping up on the ground ever since. A new local committee is organizing the work, clearing the land and gathering donations in kind.
Hard core stones were donated by friends and is piling up in view of the future foundations; water was identified and will be sourced by the villagers by next June; electricity has been requested and will be connected in 2014 in a cost sharing project with the government. A few needed buildings will go up soon: a watchman's house, a latrine, a store/brick workshop which the community will be building this month.
This year with the new elections, the country has a new administrative profile and new players on the field. One of them literally came off the Chepkanga football pitch to become elected as Member of the County Assembly! We are proud of Moses Barteng and our local ambitous, dynamic and sporty youths! Aren't you?
Thank you so much again for your support. You've given courage and hope to the rural youths of Kenya. They cannot thank you enough and send their cheers for the New Year.
Best wishes, Claire
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