Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni

by Acres of Mercy, Kenya
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Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Students Leaving for Home After a School Day
Students Leaving for Home After a School Day

Dear friends and partners,

The days have run by so fast and now we are in the middle of another school term already! The school population now stands at 112 with a consistent attendance of about 95%. However, the school had days when daily attendance was as low as 78%. This was mainly due to what seemed like a measles outbreak and the school had to take the necessary precaution of letting some children stay away from school.

The school is still observing set COVID-19 protocols and working to keep children safe and learning. The school feeding program still continues with all children deserving of meals being served lunch, thanks to our partners’ support.

Students, especially boys in eighth grade have been growing through a mentorship program that seeks to help them develop skills and abilities that will help them succeed through primary school and beyond.

This year we have 17 students registered to sit for the Kenya National Examination Council national test at the end of March 2022. The students have already been taught through 62.8% of content. Students’ motivation to learn is fairly high given the strategy to incorporate and respect physical education time within the school routine. Students have been more willing to push themselves with the reward of ensuring they don’t miss physical education lessons.

In the next months we will continue student mentorship and also involve the parents more in their children’s school life. The pre-school students will also most likely get an extra playing section to enhance play including gross motor skills. We trust that this will build the students’ socializing skills, co-operative learning and playing as well as improve their physical, emotional and mental health.

Thank you for being a part of these transforming experiences for the students and making them happen!

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Construction to Add More Space
Construction to Add More Space

Dear friends and partners,

It was in November 2020 that we last had a report to share. A lot has happened at the school, as we work on completing building physical structures and a learning environment that will help learners learn in an ever changing environment. With COVID-19 forcing us to begin finding new ways of working and living, it has taken us time to adjust to some of the necessary changes that we had to make.

The school reopened on January 4th for 2nd term and 3rd term respectively. For the first time in Kenya, our school calendar saw us having two years in one. This was confusing for teachers, management, children and every stakeholder had to be constantly reminded on the differences.

The school’s improvement goals remained as had been previously reported in the November 2020 report, namely; -

  1. Pursue student mentorship to motivate students and support them during their time at school
  2. Improve the level of Parental Involvement in their children’s learning
  3. Improving students’ fluency in reading and comprehension
  4. Improve teacher capacity to improve curriculum delivery and raise achievement of students and close achievement gaps for students not meeting expectations.

 Though interactions had been minimized in the school system as we followed COVID-19 management we still managed to still prepare students for their final examinations.

 We were also able to complete $4129 of buildings and sanitation, which also helped to expand the class capacity of class 8 students. The amount represents 40% of all spending in quarter three.

 Our library that supports literacy was also made more accessible, close to 2000 titles/ books were read by students, from the borrowed books records while 40 had been borrowed by staff members.

 The school was able to hold one parent’s meeting where 63% of parents participated. This is great progress from the 47% figure of previous attendance for the same period when we started implementing the school improvement plan. As at 25th February 2021, parent to children ratio averaged 1:2.

 In March, Class 8 completed their National Examinations, with 21 students, 12 girls and 9 boys transitioning from Primary level to secondary level. The rest of May will see them being selected to either join secondary education or tertiary training schools.   

 Grade 4 also completed their school year and will be starting Grade 5 in July 2021. The school is in the process of acquiring resources for the new year and needs about $500 for textbooks for this cause as it’s a pioneer class in the new CBC (Competency Based Curriculum) system.

 A new term begins on Monday, 10th May 2021. We look forward to partnering together as we try to achieve the goals aforementioned

Part of the Almost Complete New Space-December 202
Part of the Almost Complete New Space-December 202
The Completed New Space- March 2021
The Completed New Space- March 2021
Transitioning Class 8- Post Final Exam- March 2021
Transitioning Class 8- Post Final Exam- March 2021
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Reopening of Hope
Reopening of Hope

Dear friend/partner,

When the government announced an impending return to school, we set to prepare our learning environment to comply with the basic health protocols given by the Ministry of Health.

We have ensured we have the following: -

  1. Handheld infrared thermometers to screen students. We purchased one
  2. Sufficient sanitation, hand washing points and water storage tanks
  3. Sanitizers and soap
  4. Spacing within classrooms and staffrooms
  5. Nutrition and food safety
  6. Manning the point of entry/ recording health data for screened individuals
  7. Complete building of library and makerspace

The measures have been sufficient, allowing us to reopen school for 26 students, and 10 staff as we prepare for the rest who are expected to rejoin school in January 2021.

I take this opportunity to thank you our partners for enabling us meet the above-mentioned protocols thus ensuring our children are safe and protected, both within the school and outside of the school.

I look forward to our continued partnership to do more in terms of innovative interventions for to mitigate the negative impacts of COVID-19 within schools, school systems and the home.

We celebrate you! 

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Friday the 13th Just Before Lockdown
Friday the 13th Just Before Lockdown

Dear friends and partners,

I hope that you have all been safe!

This is our first post COVID-19 Pandemic report. So much of the world has changed since our last report in March and so has the nature of our work. Thank you all for having us in your hearts and for working through this period with us even though things changed so much for everyone.

They certainly shifted our work form the plans we had from the years start. As a reminder we wanted to accomplish the following goals, namely; -

  1. Pursue student mentorship to motivate students and support them during their time at school
  2. Improve the level of Parental Involvement in their children’s learning
  3. Improving students’ fluency in reading and comprehension
  4. Improve teacher capacity to improve curriculum delivery and raise achievement of students and close achievement gaps for students not meeting expectations.

When lockdown in Kenya was put in place on March 12th 2020, we had just done reviewed our plans midway through the term and were ready to shift gears to implement better for the remaining half of term, but this wasn’t to be.

As I write this report, our government has officially given the school reopen date as January 3rd, 2021. However, we repositioned ourselves to intervene in our immediate community starting with our children and their families and our staff and their families to provide food support and mitigate any negative impacts that was within our power and capability to do.

The following measures were taken by the Board: -

  1. Continue raising financing to cover our teachers and staff pay
  2. Give staff paid holiday, and find ways in which staff could work from home
  3. Provide food support to staff and their families as well as to students and their families
  4. Ensure communication is maintained between school and parents of students who were to take national examinations in October and provide learning plans to these students.

In the implementation of these decisions, the following has been achieved: -

  1. Staff salaries have been paid as ‘paid leave’ at between 50%-75% of Gross Pay
  2. Staff and students have been supplied with food from March 2020 (3 months of the pandemic). As of June 6th, we were reaching over 128 people monthly with food and necessary care packages, thereby cushioning teaching and non-teaching staff from being adversely affected by the lockdown.
  3. We started a vegetable garden farm to provide food during the lockdown period to a few staff with the hope that it will be transferred to the students when they return after lockdown is lifted.
  4. Now we will focus on a Literacy Program that will hopefully help our students recover lost ground better when schools resume in January 2021,a project that will involve a lot of teacher training and ICT use.

Currently, we are working on getting our school program ready to take-off when schools are given the go ahead to reopen. With the strict requirements and  guidelines being given, we hope to raise sufficient financing to support better sanitation, hygiene and protective equipment provision as well as add extra learning space, isolation space and extra staff (school nurse and security guard) to help manage the school in a new post-COVID-19 school environment. The organization will also ensure better nutrition support for students so as not to put students at risk due to the effects of poor nutrition at home. For these reasons we are engaging in learning what is working in other parts of Africa and the world for countries that have reopened to see the role of non-profits working specially with vulnerable children through schools and other school related programs.

With the level of partner flexibility already experienced, we know we will overcome the challenges ahead to ensure that we will continue to nurture children and ensure a safe environment for them to grow and establish their foundation to be productive citizens in a new world. Thank you for this kind of support, for your dedication and sacrifice as you have held out your hearts and hands to Acres of Mercy and continue supporting the vision to reach out to our children, and the adults working with them. You too are heroes in the frontlines f our work, and we salute you and celebrate you!

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Library Makerspace Under Construction
Library Makerspace Under Construction

Dear Friends and partners,

The year 2020 started in earnest from day one. The following are some key indicators for our Education program -

  1. At the end of the year when schools closed in October 2019, we had a total enrollment of 142 students, 55% (78) were boys and 45% (64) were girls. There was a 15% increase for boys’ enrolment and 28% increase in girls’ enrolment compared to 2018.
  2. On 30th February 2020 we had an enrollment at the school of 121. Of these 44% (53) were boys and 56% (68) were girls. There was a 15% (21) drop in enrolment compared to February 2019.

This can be attributed the fact that we had a transitioning class that was exiting the school and no clear strategy and plan to ensure new admissions in the new year

  1. Of the 6 classes targeted for completion in 2019, we have completed 100% of Pre-primary 1, Pre-primary 2, Grade 1. 95% of Grades 2 & 3 is 95% complete with only lighting and a few fittings remaining undone. All the classes are currently in use.
  2. We transitioned 19 students at the end of October 2019, with 95% transitioning to high schools and vocational training centers.

 

A year ago, in February 2019, we set out to achieve the following goals. I have indicated how far we went with achieving them

  1. Complete the construction of 6 classes; 5 are generally three-quarters done, and have been roofed. 1 class has been tiled, painted and had glass windows installed. The construction of 1 will start from foundation level.
  2. Complete girls’ ablution block. In 2020 we will continue this goal by raising $1200 to complete its construction by end of July 2020.
  3. Complete building a Learning Makerspace for the school. The structure is halfway done and requires $2000 to complete. We target to finish this by August 2020.
  4. Install outdoor playing equipment for pre-school children.
  5. Enroll at least 150 children by the end of the year 2019. We enrolled 142, a 95% success. Our new target is to reach 170 students in February 2021.
  6. Skill and talent development are a core mission of the organization. We had the goal of students participating in cognitive games like Chess to build their critical thinking and logic skills. The Acres of Mercy Kings & Queens Chess club has now been active for more than a year. The club had an active membership of 15 students as at end of February 2019. We have 65% of all students active in club activities in the school program. For example, the Chess Club has an active pool of 20 students and a membership of 22 students aged 5-15 years. The club is fairly equipped with 14 chess sets. We hope to acquire 10 chess clocks and a demonstration board for $330 by the end of the year.
  7. Equip students with literacy skills through reading and comprehension interventions. Between January and February 2019 over 100 story books have been borrowed from the school library and remediation classes are ongoing for children without foundational reading skills beginning at phonetical knowledge and skills. By the end of the year 2019 students had borrowed 969 books. Our goal is to have 1500 books read by children by the end of the year 2020.
  8. Ensure children are attending school regularly and are learning. By the end of February 2020, 90% of boys were attending school regularly, a 12% increase from last year. Overall Absenteeism stood at 15.08% at the end of January 2020.
  9. We also had a goal to Improve parental participation in the school life of the children under their care. In January 2019, we have had 2 parents’ meetings with a parental attendance of 50%. In January 2020, parental attendance increased to 60% of the parent population. We are still working on achieving 85% parental involvement for our school programs. Our social worker visited 60% of parents and guardians in the year 2019.
  10. Our fundraising target was to increase the support to the children from $2554 to $5000 by end of 2019.  We managed to get to $4033 disbursed to the organization to support the children program, a success rate of 81%. We will maintain the $5000 target for the end of 2020/2021 year.

On behalf of the Board, the staff and the children of Acres of Mercy we thank you for your continued support. Let’s make 2020 with all its unprecedented challenges a successful year

Children Participating in Chess Club
Children Participating in Chess Club
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Organization Information

Acres of Mercy, Kenya

Location: Nairobi - Kenya
Website:
Project Leader:
Jimmy Oluoch
Nairobi, Nairobi Kenya
$22,548 raised of $50,560 goal
 
451 donations
$28,012 to go
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Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG6922

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