Gideon and Yvonne during the assessment
The special educational needs programme had suspended most of the school activities in the last 9 months of 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kirunguru special school had closed indefinitely as all learners had gone home, while Percy Davies had 2 young learners who stayed when the rest of the children are taken away by their parents as they have no families of their own. Through your generous giving, Raising Futures Kenya was able to continue to support the school in order to provide specialist care not only to Jedidah and Livingstone but also two vulnerable families who couldn’t afford food, due to the effect of the pandemic.
The good news is that schools in Kenya were all allowed to re-open from January 4th so students have been returning over the last few weeks. Two weeks after school reopening, the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) conducted a school-based assessment to assess the learning gaps caused by the prolonged closure of schools due to COVID-19. A selected number of learners from the two special schools participated in the assessment. These learners are in the intermediate class as they have the ability to reason, follow instructions and perform activities of daily living.
All staff from the two special schools attended a one-day training course on COVID-19 protocols and prevention measures to safeguard the children under their specialist care. The schools have taken all precautionary measures following the guidelines from health and education ministries to ensure that the children will remain safe and healthy throughout the school term.
Both schools have been working on income generating projects to enable them to earn sustainable income and reduce the dependency on external funding for the growth and development of the schools. Kirunguru had planted maize and fruit seedlings on the school farm which was cared for by the support staff throughout the long school break. At Percy Davies, the school had planted mango and orange fruit seedlings which are doing so well. Percy Davies school is now preparing to plant tomatoes and kales in their new greenhouse. According to the head teacher, the funding from Raising Futures Kenya has enabled the school to purchase all the necessary tools and equipment needed in order to start greenhouse farming. They are expecting to go through a training session with an agronomist from the ministry of agriculture on how to tend to vegetables in the greenhouse. Once the vegetables are ready, the school will be able to sell to the local community but also supplement their feeding programme hence provide nutritious meals to the children.
Apart from the farming, the school received funding in December to purchase a posho mill that will be used to grind maize, sorghum and millet to flour. The maize and porridge flours from the posho mill will be sold to the local people in the community, learning institutions and retail businesses. This will also reduce the expenses for the school as they will now be able to mill flour for their own consumption. The posho mill project also received a boost from a Rotary Club that will oversee the construction of a structure where maize milling will be carried out after the machine is installed.
Raising Futures Kenya is grateful for the generous giving towards the specialist care programme for children with disability. Thank you so much for continued support as we believe that children with special needs have the right to live happily, thrive and reach their potential.
Learners at Kirunguru washing their hands
Huge fruit on a tiny mango tree at Percy Davies!
Manure ready for planting in the greenhouse