Mar 8, 2021

St Martins School Update March 2021

Greetings from St Martins School.

It is our hope that all is well on your end. We all are looking forward to a good year. We appreciate the far that we have come thanks to the support we have received so far.

As a school, we have been in session since the fourth of January, this is the tenth week since reopening, and thus far it has been incident-free and on matters COVID - 19 for our school.

Education - Both schools have been on since January 4th, 2021. The population in the primary is 780 students currently while that of high school is 215 students. We have been able to offer education with the support of our teachers and staff in the last three months. This has greatly made a difference in most of our students from the Kibagare slum who have been without school for the better part of 2020. The long lay off has had a significant negative impact on their well-being and their education but we have tried to the best of our ability to make amends and we hope to have positive results at the end of term exams and also the upcoming national exams which are due to start from the 20th of this month.

School Feeding and the Saturday Feeding Program - We have continued to provide meals to our 995 students in our school for the last three months. It has not been an easy task with the lack of rain in the past year and the high costs of food. We provide three meals Monday through to Friday.

On the 20th of February, we restarted the feeding program for all the children in the Kibagare slum. this was due to the fact that most of the children in the slum have no guarantee of a meal during weekends and we thought it best to restart as the children were suffering due to the challenges they face on a daily basis including hunger. We have been able to feed more than 3500 children in the last three weeks who would otherwise go without a meal. We hope to continue with the Saturday feeding program in the coming weeks.

Community Empowerment and Outreach - We have been able to reach out to the parents and members of the community in engagements geared towards improving their lives. In the month of January, we have been able to 

  • Sensitize 50 households on the importance of teaming up and joining the initiatives we are working on in the community here
  • We have been able to classify households using our vulnerability assessment tool that is Highly Vulnerable, Moderately vulnerable, and highly vulnerable. On this, a total of 30 households were classified in Jnuary
  • Our community Coordinator has helped in the formation of two Merry-go-round groups.
  • 13 Voluntary, Savings, and Loanings Groups are still continuing with their meetings and savings.
  • We have been able to sensitize the groups on the importance of Micro Finance and Savings, Credit, and Cooperative societies
  • A group of 15 women weretrained in the month of February on Agribusiness. The training was on planting strawberries to help them earn and extra income
  • 189 parents have been trained in the Month of February on Financial literacy, succession planning, entrepreneurship.

Through our Community Mentor Mother  - A community mentor mother is charged with looking at the interests of Persons Living with HIV and AIDS. We still haves cases of Stigma in the community with regards to HIV and AIDs and with her help we are able to reduce cases of stigma and discrimination. In the Months between January and March, She has been able to

  • Check on 105 household within the slum and made follow ups on the same
  • 151 parents have been sensitized on the negative effects of Stigma and discrimination. The participants were also encouraged and told of the importance of having Cancer screening especially Cervical cancer
  • We have been able to help create a support groups for 23 persons who have tested and confirmed to be HIV positive
  • We are able to track viral load of our members and She has been able to help couples go for testing and counselling sessions.

It has been a busy 3 months and we are grateful of the fact that we are making strides in helping improve the lives of the children and the community here in Kibagare.

Your support and that of your contacts, friends and family go a long way in ensuring that we do the much we can and were it not for this support we would not be where we are nor would we be able to achieve the much we have set out for the year.

We do count on your support and feed back and we appreciate the much you have done and continue to do on our behalf.

Reach out to us via our contact for on our website here

Thank you,

Jan 21, 2021

St Martins School Update January 2021

New Toilet Block Construction - Ongoing
New Toilet Block Construction - Ongoing

Happy New Year!

Greetings from St Martins School and the community here in Kibagare, Nairobi. It's a new start, a sign of good time ahead. 2021 feels like a good year and we hope it is so for you and your loved ones in your respective countries.

School reopening: To start it off with some positive News, your efforts and donations to help us start the year has made what we thought impossible possible. We opened the school on the 4th of January 2021 after a 9-month layoff for all students. We had a trial phase in September - December of last year with a small group of students in grade 4, grade 8, and the final year students of high school. so far 765 ( 97%) students in primary school and 214 (95%) in high school have reported back to school. COVID and the long layoff have necessitated a change in the school calendar and a revision of the term dates in the current year. This is to help make up for time lost and how best to transition the students into the next class.

We are still yet to report a case of the virus here in the community here, nationally a total of 99 494 positive cases and 1799 fatalities have been confirmed as of Wednesday, January 20th. Our testing capacity is still low. As a school, we have adhered to all the measures put in place to help prevent the spread of the virus.

The education and well being of the students is our topmost priority. Most of our teachers and support staff have resumed their duties from where they left off. It's on the school administration to guarantee them a take pay home for the good work that they do. Our children also rely so much on the school feeding program, we have to ensure that the 979 students in both schools are guaranteed a meal Monday through to Friday and highly probable on the weekends. With the guarantee of meals, chances of missing school and being forced to fend for themselves will be avoided.

New Toilet Block, masks, and handwashing stations: The challenge of washrooms for the 800 students in primary school is being constructed and will be in use in a few weeks thanks to the donations received on the same to date. We have also been able to provide masks, handwashing stations, and sanitizers to the students and staff in the school. we hope to continue providing the same in line with the requirements set by the ministries of health and education.

Student sponsorship: St Martins School is an oasis where 777 primary and 250 secondary students receive daily food, clean water, education, computer access, spiritual guidance, and much more. We employ 42 local teachers and 39 support staff.

We rely on charitable donations and operate as a non-profit. We are verified on GlobalGiving and also on Benevity to receive donations and matching donations from some employers. Student's sponsorships and renewals of the same help us to meet our financial needs. Our goal is to provide education with sponsorships to all our students and as many children from the Kibagare Slum. 

Annual Sponsorship for a primary school child is 550 Euros. This covers food (150$ yearly), uniforms and shoes (50$ yearly), E-learning program and materials ( 50$ yearly), Teachers salaries (250$ yearly), other school expenses ( 50$ Yearly)

Annual Sponsorship for a Secondary Schoolgirl is 1100 Euros. This covers food (200$ yearly), uniforms and shoes (100$ yearly), E-learning program and materials ( 100$ yearly), Teachers salaries (550$ yearly), other school expenses ( 75$ Yearly), boarding expenses ( 75$ yearly.

In communities like Kibagare, one in five high school girls are in school. Many are subjected to Early marriages and or abuse. If Girls are to finish secondary education, child marriage will be reduced by at least 50%.

We need help to grow our sustainable sponsorship community. Check out our website for more information on how you can help or email Alfred Aswan alfredaswan@gmail.com.

We are grateful for your support and the efforts you put in place to see to it that we make it through 2020 and also being able to reopen again this year.

We are looking forward to a good year and we are still counting on your support this year. The much that we have done, we plan to do, and hope to accomplish cannot be possible without your help. We appreciate you, your families, and your networks for choosing and supporting our cause and we will update you on our progress from time to time.

KIndly reach out with any questions, concerns, suggestions, and compliments. We value your feedback.

Happy New year once more.

On going class session in the new normal
On going class session in the new normal
Make 2021 great, it's worth the fight!
Make 2021 great, it's worth the fight!
Computer class in one of our Labs
Computer class in one of our Labs
Space to play
Space to play

Links:

Nov 3, 2020

St Martins School Update

Grade 4 Students in class under the new regulation
Grade 4 Students in class under the new regulation

Receive greetings from St Martins School Kibagare.

We are appreciative of your support to date and thanks to this support we have been able to reopen the school, albeit with a small student population in line with social distance requirements set out by the ministry of health and education here in Kenya.

We opened the school on the 12th of October 2020, this far the students have been in school for 3 weeks. The students who have been allowed back in school for in-person learning are those in grade 4, standard/grade 8 ( primary school graduates to transition to high school ), and Form 4’s ( Secondary school students in their final year. We have a total of 204 students, 26 teachers, and a handful of staff who are helping in the day to day running of the activities in the school.

On a normal school day, the total population for both schools is 1032 students and 78 teaching and non-teaching staff. Most of our students are from the Kibagare slum and most of them have been home since March 18th this year when school was advised to close. We still do not have a way forward if all the students will be reporting back, this is attributed to the fact that there has been an increase in the numbers of cases of COVID 19, and students and teachers are contracting this virus while in the schools. 

Here at school, we still count ourselves lucky that we are yet to have any cases to date and we hope this remains so. Of the 204 students back in school we have observed that the long layoff has had a negative impact, adjusting to the new norm of having to put on a mask every day is very hard on them, and in many instances, the teachers make it their role to remind them of the why things are as they are and advising them to ensure that they keep this masks on. Teachers also have a challenge teaching with the masks on.

The long layoff also has had a huge impact on the much progress that had been made prior to schools closing, and from the few assessments that have been done in the 2nd week after opening, we have observed that most of the students’ performance has gone down to levels we have not seen in the last three years, this will have a huge impact in the long run given 828 students have missed out on learning for the better part of this year.

Life in the slums and generally in Kenya as is the case in many parts of Africa and developing countries, children and their families face a lot of challenges. To list just a few

  • No guarantees of having a meal especially during this time where most economies have shrunk and massive job losses
  • Child neglect and child abuse
  •  Exposure to drugs, alcoholism, and domestic violence
  • Zero access to online learning and to help them learn from home
  • No space to play and experience what it to be a child

As a school, we do not have solutions to all the above problems, the much we guarantee our children is Education, Meals, space to play and learn, access to onsite medical care whilst in school, and teachers and staff who at times have to void the gap that is left by absentee parents.

Through the donations we have received in the last few weeks, we have been able to construct hand washing stations for the students in both schools and we have been able to provide masks, hand sanitizers, meals for the students in school.

We have had a challenge with washrooms in the school, of the 1032 students in the school, we only have 15 shared washrooms for both boys and girls in the school, the donations we have received will aid in helping us resolve this problem. Once this is complete we will have an extra 10 washrooms that will be used primarily by 306 girls in primary school. This will greatly improve their well being and dignity and create a conducive environment for them to be girls.

With your support, we have made it this far and we are glad to be back in session. The much that we are doing and hope to do cannot be possible without your help. We appreciate you for choosing and supporting our cause and we will update you on our progress going forward.

Kindly reach out to us with questions, concerns, and compliments. We value your feedback.


Thank you and best regards,

 

Sr Emmah Karanja, Directress St Martins Primary School.

Grade 4 Students in class under the new regulation
Grade 4 Students in class under the new regulation
Hands Cleaning Station
Hands Cleaning Station
Class in Session
Class in Session
 
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