Education  Kenya Project #39873

A new school for 500+ pupils in rural Kenya

by African Promise
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A new school for 500+ pupils in rural Kenya
A new school for 500+ pupils in rural Kenya
A new school for 500+ pupils in rural Kenya
A new school for 500+ pupils in rural Kenya
A new school for 500+ pupils in rural Kenya
A new school for 500+ pupils in rural Kenya
A new school for 500+ pupils in rural Kenya
A new school for 500+ pupils in rural Kenya
A new school for 500+ pupils in rural Kenya
A new school for 500+ pupils in rural Kenya
A new school for 500+ pupils in rural Kenya
A new school for 500+ pupils in rural Kenya
A new school for 500+ pupils in rural Kenya

More than two years after breaking ground on the new school, an important milestone in the life of the project has been reached in recent days with the final part of the existing school having been demolished.

This demolition has cleared the way for the dining hall and kitchen, work on which started last week and should be completed in time for the planned introduction of our 'Feeding Minds' school lunch programme at Mkamenyi Primary from April 2022.

Elsewhere, a final two (of a planned twelve) classrooms are now under construction, although work has been held up by a delay in the delivery of timber needed for the roofing frame.

Our Director was able to visit Kenya this month for the first time in two years and met face-to-face with the school management committee to discuss the remaining elements of the project which includes an expansion and upgrade of the pre-school unit (to include new toilets and a playground), a new block of boys' toilets, a girls' washroom and MHM (menstrual health management) facility, completion of the 150,000 litre capacity rainwater harvesting system, and extensive landscaping works.

As it stands, none of this work is funded and we still need to raise a further approximately £75k to complete the project as envisaged (hopefully over the next 9-12 months). We expect the majority of this to come from funders but if you would like to make a donation please click here.  

Finally, on a sad note, we are afraid that a small cluster of trees that we had hoped to keep as a link to the old school will have to be felled. These are in an area that needs to be excavated by about two to three feet to create the lower level of a two tiered central courtyard whilst their extensive roots risk damaging nearby buildings as well as retaining walls and pathways that we plan to build. It is a great shame as one of them in particular is a beautiful tree but upon completion of th building works we will plant many new trees around the school which, in time, will offer shade to buildings and pupils alike.

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Project team meeting with school committee
Project team meeting with school committee
Remaining part of old school before demolition
Remaining part of old school before demolition
Final two classrooms under construction
Final two classrooms under construction
Work underway on the dining hall & kitchen.
Work underway on the dining hall & kitchen.
Old girls' toilets to be converted to MHM facility
Old girls' toilets to be converted to MHM facility
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In the four months since our previous update in March we have carried out the following activities at Mkamenyi Primary, as part of our on-going redevelopment of the school:

  • Demolished an existing block of two classrooms and completed the majority of work on a larger block of three classrooms in their place (the 8th, 9th and 10th classrooms we will have built)
  • Provided a further 150 locker-style desks and chairs to bring to 300 the number we have supplied to date, enough for all pupils in the five upper primary year-groups
  • Supplied three free-standing cupboards for the offices of the headteacher/secretary, deputy headteacher & senior teacher
  • Supplied a high-volume laser-jet copier which means, for the first time, staff will be able to do photocopying on-site, significantly improving the day-to-day running of the school.
  • Resumed work on the girls’ toilet block, which had been delayed due to unavailability of tiles for the floor
  • Brought the new staffroom and offices into use.

With funds we have secured from elsewhere we will be able to start work in the coming weeks on the remaining two of the planned twelve classrooms – replacing another existing block of two classrooms – and, later in the year, on the kitchen and multi-purpose hall.

We are still actively raising funds to provide twin-tables and chairs for the three lower primary year-groups, to build a boys' toilet block and to install further guttering and rainwater storage tanks as a priority for subsequent phases of work.

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One of the office cupboards
One of the office cupboards
Delivering the photocopier
Delivering the photocopier
New staffroom in use
New staffroom in use
Latest classrooms under construction
Latest classrooms under construction
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The latest phase of our redevelopment of Mkamenyi Primary is nearing completion, with work due to commence almost immediately on the next. 

We had hoped to have this current phase - which includes a block of three classrooms and a block of twelve toilets - finished before schools reopened at full capacity in January but we've been setback by various problems including supply issues with materials as well as challenges excavating the waste pit for the toilets.

We have however been able to deliver a first batch of 150 new desks and chairs and also to complete the second fix electrical works in the new staffroom and offices, which will be in use once schools reopen in May after the school holidays which began this week.

With only six of the eight year-groups due to return after the holidays and schools not operating at full capacity again until the end of July, we have a window of four months to undertake work that would otherwise cause disruption to school operations. We will be using this opportunity to demolish an existing block of twin-classrooms, which we will replace with a new block of three.

Simultaneously we hope to be able to supply another batch of 150 desks and chairs which would mean that all upper primary pupils have their own desk and chair.

Before the end of the year we also hope to complete construction of a further (and final) two classrooms, another block of toilets, and to at least begin construction of the kitchen and dining hall. 

We are particularly grateful to the Ratanben Zaverchand Kara (RZK) Foundation, who have provided funding for much of the furniture supplied to date and for the triple classroom block we are due to begin work on shortly, as well as a pledge of funding for the kitchen and dining hall.

Our immediate fundraising priorities include a further £6,000 for the next batch of 150 desks, as well as circa £25,000 for the final two classrooms and the second block of toilets. 

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"We thank you very much for the support you have given and are still giving us at Mkamenyi Primary. We do not know where we would have been, especially in these Covid days, were it not for your all-round support."

Joseph Maganga, teacher

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You are receiving this report because you currently donate to or have previously donated to this project via GlobalGiving or have registered to receive updates (for example, when voting for us in GlobalGiving competitions). If you no longer wish to receive these updates please click 'Unsubscribe' below. Please note that this will not unsubscribe you from receiving mailings directly from African Promise if you currently receive these.

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Some of the 150 locker-style desks and chairs.
Some of the 150 locker-style desks and chairs.
The block of toilets
The block of toilets
Inside the new staffroom
Inside the new staffroom
The next block of classrooms to be rebuilt
The next block of classrooms to be rebuilt
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It's a year this week since we broke ground on our redevelopment of Mkamenyi Primary School and what fantastic progress we've made in that time, despite the challenges presented by Covid.

The school now has five spacious new learning spaces, a large staffroom plus four private offices, as well as a gated entranceway, a pair of modern toilets for staff, and 40,000 litres of rainwater storage capacity; all completed at a cost of approximately £60,000.

Last month we began construction of three further classrooms as well as a block of twelve toilets, which we hope to have complete before children are due to return to school in January 2021. The new toilets will double the number of sanitation facilities at the school and halve the current 1:40 ratio of toilets per pupil!

Looking ahead, we have prioritised the supply of new classroom furniture as this is an area that was already a major problem even before Covid came into our lives. In these Covid-times, ensuring children have access to their own desk and chair (or, at worst, share a desk with just one other pupil) is critically important. Ideally we would like to at least furnish the eight new classrooms that we have built/are building before the scheduled reopening of schools in January but we will only be able to do this if we are successful in raising at least £20,000 before the end of the year.

Beyond that there is still approximately 50% of building work to complete including yet further classrooms, an upgrade of the existing pre-school, a kitchen and dining hall, and further pupil toilets and washrooms, as well as installation of at least 60,000 litres more rainwater harvesting and storage capacity, major electrical works and landscaping.

However we are well on course to have the project largely completed within the two-year timeframe that we set ourselves before we began.

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View from the northwest corner of the development
View from the northwest corner of the development

Our redevelopment of our eighth partner school at Mkamenyi Primary continues despite the Covid pandemic crisis, albeit the project has been disrupted by various measures that have been put in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

We had been hoping that the first phase buildings (including new administrative facilities) would be completed by now - in time for the scheduled start of Term II at the beginning of May - but delays in procuring materials as a result of social distancing and lockdown measures mean that this work is still on-going, although the term has not yet started in any case as schools remain closed as a preventative measure.

The vast majority of construction work is complete though and we hope to have the buildings useable by the end of June at the very latest, although final finishing including painting and glazing of windows will happen later.

We have adjusted our project plan since our last update in January. Following discussions with the school administration pre-Covid, we have prioritised the construction of new staff toilets to replace the existing pit-latrine facilities which are full and close to overflowing. These new toilets are also nearing completion and will be ready for use by the time that schools do eventually reopen.

Looking ahead, there is some uncertainty about when we will be able to begin work on the next phases of work given the measures in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 including a ban on community gatherings which we rely on for the collection of building aggregates (such as ballast and hardcore) that we need for foundations and for making bricks and blocks on-site.

Once we are in a position to begin work, we will be focusing on the construction of further additional classrooms rather than the new kitchen and dining hall as we had originally planned to and as reported in our January update. We feel that this additional classroom space will be of more benefit to the schools and its pupils in the short-term than a new kitchen and dining hall.

The front of the new school
The front of the new school
View along the corridor of one of the new blocks
View along the corridor of one of the new blocks
Staff toilet block
Staff toilet block
Inside one of the staff toilet cubicles
Inside one of the staff toilet cubicles
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Organization Information

African Promise

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Project Leader:
Charles Coldman
London, London United Kingdom
$410 raised of $321,352 goal
 
9 donations
$320,942 to go
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Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG39873

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