Oct 15, 2020

Phased school reopening begins!

Grade 4 student in donated mask ready to learn!
Grade 4 student in donated mask ready to learn!

This week over 30 children have returned to the Fountains of Hope School!

Our doors have been closed since March 2020 and it looked as though they would remain so until next January but on 6th October, the government announced that two age-groups in primary schools could return to school from October 12th!

On Monday, children in Grade 4, aged 10-11 years and Class 8, aged 14-16 years came back to school. 

We are following the Ministry of Education's guidelines to make our school COVID safe. This includes all children and staff wearing masks, children sitting at desks 1m apart and everyone having temperature checks when they enter the school. The school will also be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each day.

We are delighted to be able to meet with our learners  (masked) face-to-(masked) face again and we look forward to welcoming more students back soon. The government have suggested that other students may return to school in the coming weeks so we are preparing ourselves for that. In the meantime, we continue to provide food vouchers and home learning materials to our students who are yet to return to school.

Thank you so much for your support over these last few months of school closures. We are very aware of how challenging this year has been for people everywhere, thank you for thinking of us and standing with us. 

Oct 6, 2020

Sustaining our coronavirus response in Kibera

Families collect what they need from local shops
Families collect what they need from local shops

We're delighted to report that since schools closed in March 2020 we've provided 2,531 food vouchers to families hardest hit by the pandemic in Kibera. 

Numbers of Covid cases in Kenya have mercifully remained relatively low to date and the government have avoided a full lockdown. However, restrictions on movement, gathering and requirements for social distancing and PPE have taken their toll on the economy, many businesses are struggling and many people have lost their jobs. Many of our student's parents rely on casual labour and a lot of these informal jobs have not been available for a long time. 

When we surveyed our student's families, most of them were only eating one meal a day to stretch out their meagre incomes. “I miss the food I normally get at school, some days we don’t have enough food in the house” reported 10-year-old Alex, a student from the Fountains of Hope School. This is why we are providing a weekly voucher for families to collect the food they need from a local shop. 

We plan to continue providing these vouchers until January 2021 when schools are set to reopen. At this time, children will continue to receive two free meals each day at school. We still need £530 ($685) each week to make this possible, so please do consider making a further donation. 

We are so grateful for your support.

Sep 3, 2020

A new term, but schools remain closed

It's a new term, but schools in Kenya remain closed. Normally, we would be gathering for our start of term planning meetings and catching up with all our students, hearing all they got up to in the holidays. But sadly, we will have to wait until January when we hope the schools will reopen again.

In the meantime, we remain busy. Our teachers are supporting children's learning at home by sending worksheets home regularly for children to work on and return. Our partners, Vitabu Vyetu and Dignitas, are helping us with learning resources. The government have said that all children will have to repeat the year when schools reopen in January. As a result, some children are losing interest in their studies.

We are keen to keep the children engaged in positive activities so we have joined in the My Home My Playground Campaign run by Futbolmas Kenya. Our football coaches send out activity sheets to families each week full of games, craft activities and life skills lessons for the children to do at home with their family.

The social work team continue to check-in with each family's wellbeing and we have occasionally met up with small groups of children to check-in with how they are doing at home. Life is tough for many of our students at this time. All are missing their school friends, some are facing difficult situations at home, our staff are doing their best to ensure each child knows that we are still here for them.

Finally, with your help, we have been able to provide food vouchers to families every week throughout the school closures. So many parents have lost their jobs, these vouchers make sure our students don’t go hungry and relieve just a bit of the stress that parents are facing at this time.

Thank you so much for standing with us throughout this time. In a couple of weeks, from the 14-18 September, GlobalGiving will be matching all small donations (less than $50) by 50%. If you want to help us continue supporting our students as they remain home until January 2020. Please do make a small donation during that week on GlobalGiving. We are so grateful for your support.

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