Hi Friends of St Martins School and a Happy New Year.
We are grateful to have made it this far thanks to the support you have given us in the last year. We have made good progress and are looking forward to this new year with the intention of being the change we wish to see for the community and the students in our community here at Kibagare.
Climate Change has had a huge impact in our economy and this has negatively affected livelihooods. This is characterised by inadequate rainfall, high cost and unreliable energy , farmers becoming poor , increased food prices and a high cost of living. All the above are reliant on the rains and we haven't had much in the last three months.
Depesssion and mental health issues are also on the rise in this community we serve and the most affected are the children as they have very little to choose from and are forced to live with the much that comes their way on a daily basis.
As a school we are doing our level best to do the much we can and below are some of the much we have been able to do and achieve in the last few months.
School Feeding program: This is a key and important program for us as a school as it guarantees meals for most of the chilldren who would otherwise be forced in the streets in search of food. Our student population as of December 2021 was 789 children aged between 6 year and 15 years in Primary school. They are fed breakfast and lunch while at school. For the 22 weeks ending 23rd December 2021, when school resumed in July we were able to guarantee our children attend school without worrying about the lack of meals.
We have also continued with the Saturday feeding program every Saturday. Many children benefit from this program.As of December 2021, a total of 21,400 meals were served thanks to the support we receive for the feeding program.
Education: St Martins primary school and the secondary school have made good progress. We have 789 students in primary school, 187 girls in High school ( Boarding) , 42 teaching staff and 39 non teaching and surbodinate staff. School has been on from the 27th of July and we closed for the year on the 23rd of December.
Music and Arts has been introduced in the new curriculum that tests on competency and to date grades 3, 4 and 5 have done well in their national exams. This is a welcome move as it encourages students to pursue other career options after graduation.
We have also been able to help boys graduating from our primary school to further their eduction after primary school. 26 boys are in different schools thanks to this initiative and we have 5 boys who will be graduating after the national exams beind done in March 2022.
The graduating class of 2021, 77 boys and girls in Primary school and 66 girls in secondary school will be sitting for their national exams in March. We are preparing them for the same and we are hoping to have very good results come April 2022.
Fire Incident at School: On the 5th of August 2021, we had a fire incident at school. One of our dorms, a 200 bed capacity facility was destroyed in the fire. The top floor plus the roof which had solar panels to pump water used in the school was destroyed too. None of the students nor staff were injured in the fire. We have been forced to host the students in another facility though we may not have space to accomodate girls joing school as from April of 2022. This is because we will not have space neither do we have the funds to repair the damaged dorm. We have been able to repair the roof but there is need to repair and replace lockers destroyed in the fire.
Solar Panels Lost in the Fire Replaced: Thanks to the support, campaigns and donations we received after the fire incident at school on the 5th of August, we have been able to replace the panels lost in the fire and resume water pumping using solar. We had reverted to the national grid and this was very costly for the school for the months after the fire. Thanks to this we have been able to reduce our high costs on energy and at the same time have a clean and reliable source of energy. We are grateful to each and every one of you for the much you did to help us actualize this, Thank you.
Community Outreach Program: We have continued to support the community, and more the guardians of the children that we support. We have set up a revolving fund for the community groups, thanks to a donation from COPADO. This has encouraged more guardians to join in groups and come up with ways to support their families. 263 households are part of our community outreach program an increase from the 150 households we had initially. We have been able to offer interventions and trainings during group meetings and home visits conducted by our Mentor mother and the community coordinator. We conduct trainings on:
- Changing the poverty mindset
- Entrepreneurship and business start up trainings
- Financial literacy and linking business to finanacial institutions
- Positive parenting and family matters
- succession planning
Thanks to this trainings, 180 participants have been able to start and run small businesses thanks to the grants they receive from their groups. For the year ending December 2021, we had 17 active groups that have beeb able to save KES 2,328, 605 ( USD 23,800 ) and have been able to get loans of KES 1,026,023 ( USD 10,260 ) This is proof that with the rigt support and mindset, change happens!
We are still continuing to offer skills trainings to selected group members. The women are being trained on tailoring and dressmaking skills to have a means of generating and income for themselves. 4 trainees have graduated since we started and have been provided with a startup kitty to start their businesses.
We also support members of the community living with HIV and AIDs. 40 adults and 20 children living with HIV and AIDs are offered
- Psychosocial support
- Trainings and lessons on adherence and disclosure especially for children born and living with the disease
- Tracing ARV defaulters and linking them to a facility for counselling, care and treatment
- We offer food baskets to persons living with the disease who are unable to provide for themselves and their families
- We encourage women to screen for Cervical and Breast Cancer
- Sensitive the groups on COVID 19 and its effects on them as a vulverable group.
The challenge we have on achieving our target for the above group that is growing is the lack of a community space to conduct all the activities above. The cost of renting space is high and thus the need to have our own space built here at school. To build a hall will cost USD 45,000 and we have donations 0f USD 12,000 towards the same.
Sponsorships: We rely on sponsorships to run most of our activities. Ths guarantees that a child does not miss out on school, has meals, uniforms and access to e-learning and technology. Without this support, most of our students are forced to drop out of school and not get a chance to finish primary and secondary school.
We are verified on Benevity and also on GlobalGiving to receive donations and matching donations from some Employers. Our target is to have 500 sponsored by the end of this year. 400 students are currently under sponsorships in both our schools.
The annual cost of Sponsorship for a primary school child is EUR 550 and a high school student is EUR 1100. Thanks to sponsorships, we are able to guarantee our girls and boys attend school each year, reduce gender gap and wealth disparities and help in achieving universal access to quality education.
We look forward to hearing from you our donors on how best we can work together towards achieving our tagerts this year.
Thank you, best regards and A Happy New Year.
St Martins Primary School Band
St Martins Secondary School Football team
St Martins Primary School Feeding
Reinstalled Solar Panels for Pumping Water.