May 21, 2018

May Update on Solar Lanterns for Tana Students

Patricia studying at home
Patricia studying at home

Greetings all,

This quarter of the year we have been affected with floods where 70% of Tana River County  is being covered with water due to the current floods problem in the Country. Being in the Delta, we have been the most affected county.

However, we managed to get testimonials from Patricia and Ali as quoted below.

"My name is Patricia  from Vumbwe village. I am 15 years old. When I was still a student at Kulesa primary school last year I received a solar lamp from Tana River Life Foundation. I am taking this opportunity to say thank you to all of you for assisting me with the solar lamp.

Before I had the lamp, it was not easy for me to wake up in the morning for preps because there was no available source of light. It was difficult to use the lamp because of the cost of paraffin and it was a daily expense my family could not afford.

Besides providing more study hours, the solar lamp also helped my parents earn some income in charging our neighbours hand phones, which helped them pay for my exam fees. I did well in the primary school leaving exams last year and am now fully sponsored by Tana River Life Foundation in Form 1 (Year 9) in Sacred Heart Girls Secondary School in Mpeketoni, Kenya. 

Thank you all again.

Patricia John"

And Ali wrote

"I am Ali from Bubesa village in Mwina Location of Tana River County Kenya. My mother and brother are farmers. My father is mentally not well. I had many challenges when studying in primary school. We live in a small mud hut. Where we live, when it rains, our walls may be washed away and need to be repaired.

After school I have to help my mother look for firewood and fetch water and so have little time to do my homework until night time but there was no light at home. I continued with those challenges until by good fortune I received the solar lamp from Tana River Life Foundation. I was now able to do night preps and complete my homework. So even if I could not do my studies during the light time, but at night I was able to study without fail.

It also helped my parents as I was studying at night, the lamp allowed my mother to cook and do other things at home like weaving mats. After my primary school exams, I did not do as I expected, but the results was still good. I am now in Form 1 at Tarasaa High School and am partially sponsored by Tana River Life Foundation. I now know that in all hardship there will be relief. I want to be a lawyer to help my people know their right. Thank you all very much.

Ali"

Ali completing his homework using solar lantern
Ali completing his homework using solar lantern
Mar 12, 2018

The School is Growing

Mr Bauto in a classroom with new desks
Mr Bauto in a classroom with new desks

Greetings once again from Tana River Life Foundation and Buyani Secondary School in Chara Location, Tana Delta, Kenya.

In January 2018, the Tana River County government subsidized each student in all the public secondary schools in the county with a bursary of Ksh5,000 (US$50), making it possible for many more students to proceed with their secondary school studies this year. As a result, Buyani Secondary School, like all the other schools in the county, started the year with an increased enrolment, with an increase of girl students enrolled from 100 in 2017 to 129 in 2018. The total student population increased from 254 to 323 over the same period.

The toilet that we constructed with your support for the girl students in November last year was therefore timely and provided much relief in improving what would have become a dire situation affecting the girls hygiene and sanitation at school, negatively impacting their learning environment.

Rhova, a Form 4 student aged 19 years had this to say: “The toilets saves us a lot of time since it reduces overcrowding as in the past when we were all having to share the primary school toilets”. “Now that our toilets are within the secondary school compound, it also helps teachers monitor latecomers” she added with a grin.

“The new girls’ toilet has been very useful because we use the toilets to dispose the used sanitary napkins which helps to keep the environment clean. It also gives us the necessary privacy we need” added Mwanajuma aged 15 years, who joined Buyani Secondary School as a Form 1 student in January this year.

The large increase in students enrolling for Form 1 at Buyani Secondary School in January this year gave rise to a sudden acute shortage of classroom desks and chairs in the school. The Board of Management of Buyani Secondary School made an urgent appeal to Tana River Life Foundation in January for desks and chairs. Fortunately, we were able to provide the emergency assistance of 50 chairs and 50 desks from the furniture that was donated and shipped over from Singapore schools in 2017.

“Three years ago, when I was in Form 1, we were all congested in one class of 80 students with insufficient desks and chairs, with three students sharing one desk meant for a single student. We thank Tana River Life Foundation for their donation of furniture over the last three years as it has greatly reduced classroom congestion enhancing our learning environment. The furniture, especially the chairs also help during school functions, e.g. during parents meetings and academic clinics” says Riadha, aged 16 years and in Form 3.

Mr. Bauto, is an alumni and was also the first head boy of Buyani Secondary School when it restarted in 2013 after being closed during the ethnic clashes in 2012. He completed his studies in November 2015, performing very well in the national examinations. He is now employed by the school Board of Management to teach Biology and Chemistry and will commence tertiary studies leading to a Degree in Education during the school holidays starting April 2018.

Mr. Bauto has this to say to the donors: “On behalf of the teachers and students from Buyani Secondary School, and I being the first beneficiary in many ways in 2013, I would like to appreciate the numerous development assistance received from Tana Rive Life Foundation since we restarted. I am grateful for the continued support and even the most recent assistance.

The toilets which were recently constructed has helped improve school hygiene which was affecting the morale and confidence of the girl students. In addition, helping provide sufficient classroom furniture definitely has an impact on the academic performance of students in Buyani Secondary School. Thank you all sincerely.”

On behalf of the entire school fraternity, we join Mr. Bauto in thanking each one of our donors who has helped support us in one way or another in this long journey of REBUILDING BUYANI SECONDARY SCHOOL.

 

Be blessed abundantly,

Maxwell Jillo – TRLF Volunteer

New Toilets at the School
New Toilets at the School
Mwanajuma a Form 1 student
Mwanajuma a Form 1 student
Riadha a Form 3 Student
Riadha a Form 3 Student
Meeting with Mr Bauto an Alumni and current staff
Meeting with Mr Bauto an Alumni and current staff

Links:

Feb 20, 2018

Students did well in exams, thanks to the lamps

Bubesa Primary School Primary School National Exam
Bubesa Primary School Primary School National Exam

In 2017, Tana River Life Foundation embarked on a new project of providing Solar Lanterns for students from the most rural villages in the Tana Delta. This was to enable them to do their homework and revise their studies at night at home, as well as providing their entire household with extra “daylight” for productive work like weaving mats and tailoring.

We started with a community survey and selected three schools for the pilot project. The first beneficiaries were primary school students in their final year living in villages without access to electricity.

We recently re-visited the three primary schools to evaluate the impact of this assistance.

(a) Bubesa Primary School : 12 beneficiaries

At Bubesa, the solar lanterns had a tremendous impact on the performance of the students in the national exams last November. The graduating class emerged top for the first time in the Garsen North Zone which comprises of ten schools. The mean grade obtained by all the graduating students showed an improvement of 20.44%.  They performed best in Mathematics. All except one student progressed to secondary school in January this year.

The class teacher, Mr. Mohamed Omar Bona, organized the entire class into small study groups according to the location of their homes.  During the harvest season, when the students could not attend school regularly, the respective groups studied together at night on their farms with the solar lamps hanging from trees.

 

(b) Vumbwe Primary School : 17 beneficiaries

Students from Vumbwe showed a big improvement in the national examinations with an increased number of girls being placed in top National and County secondary schools in January this year.

 

( c ) Mwina Primary School : 21 beneficiaries

In Mwina, the parents organized local boarding where the students camped in school during term time, sleeping in classrooms. This enabled them study together at night. The students therefore only used the solar lamps during the weekends and school holidays. The impact was therefore limited, although the school still managed to get a student placed in the top ranked girls’ County secondary school for the first time in the past 3 years.

 

The project has had a tremendous impact on improving education opportunities for rural primary school children, especially if the program is well managed by the schools and parents. For 2018, we have obtained relevant data and statistics from the Ministry of Education for all the public primary schools in the Sub-County to map out our targeted areas for assistance. We hope that with continued support from willing partners, we will be able to Light up the Future of at least 200 students this year.

On behalf of all the students who benefited from this assistance last year, we thank each one of you who made the pilot project possible. 

 

Graduating Class of Bubesa Primary School
Graduating Class of Bubesa Primary School
Mohamed Ali first beneficiary of the Pilot Program
Mohamed Ali first beneficiary of the Pilot Program

Links:

 
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