Dear Friends of Tumaini,
I arrived yesterday for a visit to the school and orphanage and wanted to immediately send a report to let you know the progress that is being made due to your support. The school and orphanage now have electricity, allowing the children to study and read in the evening. With the completion of the seventh and eighth grade classrooms, a new building has been constructed for administrative and teacher’s offices. The old teacher’s office is now dedicated to the Baby and Pre-Unit classes, so the youngest children have more room and a continued renovation will mean the little ones have a proper space for afternoon naps. In very exciting news, the new Administrative Building also houses Tumaini’s first Library! The text books for class are stored here, with two walls dedicated to Encyclopedic volumes, storybooks, and non-fiction texts. Soon the library will be furnished with tables and chairs so the kids can really use the space as a resource for continued learning. This will no doubt benefit all of the children, but particularly those who reside in the community who don’t have electricity at home.
Here in Kenya the national teacher’s union is currently on strike, and we are very grateful that Tumaini’s teachers remain dedicated to the children’s learning. There are six new teachers at the school, and the children really look up to them. As some of you know, Rose has shared with me in the past her eventual goal to raise the teachers’ salaries, to a more competitive level. The teachers are paid fairly, but as the budget does not allow for salary increases at the moment, Rose has instituted a system so that the teachers are awarded bonuses based upon the performances of their pupils’ monthly exams. This has motivated the teachers in the classroom, and improved morale, as well as performance of the teachers and students, so that now the teachers are competing with each other, too.
For the children’s fitness, a project is underway to level the soccer field and plant more grass, as we are now in the rainy season and it has become quite muddy. There are also two basketball goals, which are a new and fun addition. Cypress seedlings have been planted along the perimeter and fence line of the property, which will grow into a lovely green border, stabilizing the soil and also beautifying the security wall of the school.
As I have not visited in two years, I am amazed by all of the growth here at Tumaini, which could not have occurred without your help. I will be taking photos and videos during my visit, so you all can see the tangible results of the work you have encouraged, supported, and helped materialize. The children are all healthy, learning, and thriving and are so very grateful to their friends abroad.
On behalf of Rose and everyone at Tumaini, THANK YOU!
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Chair, Board of Directors