Education  Kenya Project #22951

Improve education for 2,500 children in Kenya

by African Promise
Improve education for 2,500 children in Kenya
Improve education for 2,500 children in Kenya
Improve education for 2,500 children in Kenya
Improve education for 2,500 children in Kenya
Improve education for 2,500 children in Kenya
Improve education for 2,500 children in Kenya
Improve education for 2,500 children in Kenya
Improve education for 2,500 children in Kenya
Improve education for 2,500 children in Kenya
Improve education for 2,500 children in Kenya
Improve education for 2,500 children in Kenya
Improve education for 2,500 children in Kenya
Nursery pupils at their 'graduation' ceremony
Nursery pupils at their 'graduation' ceremony

After the disruption caused by Covid-related school closures last year, the 2020 academic year has finally come to a close in Kenya for all pupils, nearly 19 months after it started. 

But after a holiday period of just one week, the delayed 2021 academic year has already started in earnest with schools now operating at full capacity for the first time since March. There still remains around 20 weeks of learning between now and the end of the calendar year, with the academic year then due to carry over into the first quarter of 2022.

We continue to do whatever we can to support our partner schools and to keep staff and pupils safe in the face of a worsening Covid situation nationally in Kenya.

Our supply of food for the lunch programme has continued uninterrupted and foodstuffs for the first half of this latest term have already been delivered to schools, much to the delight of headteachers and school management boards.

“Lots of appreciations to African Promise for the continued support of the feeding programme in our school.”

With the dry season biting and rain not having fallen in parts of our project area since the beginning of May, we have been supplying clean water to those schools where reserves of rainwater have been exhausted and/or where other water sources are insufficient or too unreliable to meet demand. This includes our latest partner school at Mkamenyi Primary where rainwater presents the only viable source of clean water and where we aim to add a further 100,000 litres of storage capacity over the next few months, as part of our on-going redevelopment of the school which, in recent months, has included the addition of further new classrooms as well as the provision of furniture and equipment for classrooms and administration spaces.

Adding to the investments we made in Covid-prevention measures at the end of last year, and earlier this year, we have recently provided our schools with further funds to purchase cleaning equipment and PPE, either to add to items purchased previously where they were insufficient or to replace exhausted supplies. We will continue to do this for as long as is necessary.  

Having been supporting teacher and support staff salaries in full up until January and subsequently at 75%, our contribution reduced to 50% as planned in April, with schools responsible for making up the other half with funds collected from parents or elsewhere.

Our work at Mkamenyi Primary has remained the focus of our infrastructure development programme in recent months but with funding secured for many elements of that project and with expenditure falling in areas such as teacher salary funding, we are turning our attention back to improvements that need to be made across our existing network, and we have a number of projects earmarked for the coming months.  

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Cleaning equipment purchased with our funding
Cleaning equipment purchased with our funding
A delivery of clean water to a school
A delivery of clean water to a school
New school at Mkamenyi Primary taking shape
New school at Mkamenyi Primary taking shape
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Schools in Kenya have been reopen at full capacity now for three months and we have successfully navigated our way to the end of the first of four proposed terms in 2021.

Class 8 pupils are this week sitting their national primary (KCPE) exams and we are wishing those pupils across our partner schools and beyond the very best of luck after this most challenging and disrupted of years.

We continue to do all we can to help our eight partner schools maintain as safe an environment as possible for both children, staff and visitors. Our investment in Covid prevention measures is now worth almost £14,000 including more than 100 free-standing, mobile hand-wash stations, hundreds of items of cleaning equipment and PPE (including digital thermometers), soap, hand-sanitiser and detergent, and a waste-incinerator for each school. Since January we have provided 50,000 litres of clean water to those schools which rely solely on rainwater and where these reserves have been exhausted. Other partners have provided face masks for all pupils as well as additional supplies of soap.

Since schools initially reopened in October we have once again been providing food for an in-school meal programme across all of our existing partner schools. Anecdotal evidence from headteachers suggests that the guarantee of a daily lunchtime meal has been a key factor in attendances returning to close to 100% very rapidly following resumption of in-school learning.

We have been able to maintain our financial support towards the payment of teacher and support staff salaries, funding these in full for November and December (after schools reopened) and at 75% currently (with contributions from parents making up the shortfall). We plan to reduce our contribution to 50% from April onwards but this will still be above pre-Covid levels and indeed we have taken the decision to extend this support package to our eighth partner school at Mkamenyi Primary. In total we are now contributing to the salaries of around 75 teachers and support staff including cooks and security guards. Ensuring schools are adequately staffed is going to be crucial to getting learning back on track.

The focus of our infrastructure programme remains on the redevelopment of Mkamenyi Primary where we are now appoximately halfway through the proposed works. However, where funds are available we continue to invest in the fabric of our other partner schools, building both new facilities and helping them to maintain and upgrade existing ones, particularly prioritising WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) facilities given the current circumstances.

Whilst schools have remained open thus far, with cases rising in Kenya and a vaccination programme only expected to reach 30% of the adult population by June 2023 (although they are prioritising key workers including teachers over the age of 50), there is clearly much that can change. Whatever happens we will continue to stand with our partner schools, their staff and their pupils when they need us most.

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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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One of 106 free-standing hand-wash stations
One of 106 free-standing hand-wash stations
Cleaning equipment for one school
Cleaning equipment for one school
Cleaning and disinfecting toilets
Cleaning and disinfecting toilets
Almost complete classrooms at Mkamenyi Primary
Almost complete classrooms at Mkamenyi Primary
Delivering clean water to school
Delivering clean water to school
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Schools in Kenya have finally begun to reopen after seven months of closures due to Covid. Having initially been told that the 2020 academic year had been written off and that schools would not reopen before January 2021, the announcement by the government a couple of weeks ago that schools would reopen last week for primary years 4 & 8 pupils, caught us slightly on the hop.

Since then we’ve been busy bringing forward plans that we thought we had at least another 3 months to implement and I’m pleased to say that thanks to the support we have received from a wide-range of donors over the last few months we have been able to commit to the following package of support for our partner schools to help them create as ‘Covid-safe’ an environment as possible for pupils and staff. This includes:

  • The provision of an initial batch of 40 pedal-operated hand-wash stations (five for each of our eight partner schools);
  • Cash grants of £200 per school to purchase essential cleaning equipment and PPE;
  • The construction of a waste incinerator in each school;
  • Provision of sanitary waste bins for girls’/ladies toilets;
  • Supply of liquid soap, hand-sanitiser and disinfectants/detergents;
  • A contingency fund of £1,000 to provide clean water if-and-when other supplies are exhausted

Additionally, we have also taken the decision to resume our school meals programme for the 450+ children who are now back in school. Food is currently on order and the programme will hopefully be back up-and-running before the end of the month. Once it is so, we are also planning a distribution of food to those children who remain at home and will remain so until at least January.

Since schools closed we have been able to maintain our financial support for schools so that they have been able to pay 50% of the salaries of non-government-employed staff who have been at home, and 100% for those that have remained on full-time duty. We are increasing our package of support so that more staff who are now returning to duty will be paid their salaries in full. Once schools have fully opened and teachers have a full timetable of lessons we have committed to further increase funding, where necessary, so that those staff can also be paid in full.

Elsewhere, we are now over a year into the redevelopment of our eighth partner school at Mkamenyi Primary and despite the challenges posed by Covid we are making good progress. We have already completed a number of classrooms and toilets, with more under construction, and are in advanced discussions with a private family foundation about funding for the next phases of work.

These remain challenging and uncertain times and the situation is very fluid in Kenya but we are grateful that thanks to the support of our donors we are in a position where we can be flexible and able to be there for our partner schools, their pupils and their staff when they need us most.

 

*You are receiving this report because you have previously donated to this project via GlobalGiving or 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.

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School gates will remain closed until September.
School gates will remain closed until September.

It is now nearly three months that schools in Kenya have been closed in response to the Covid pandemic but following the latest government announcement over the weekend we know that children will not return to the classroom before September.

With school closures extended, our feeding programme will remain suspended for the time-being, however we continue to support our partner schools in other ways and over the next three months will work with them to help them prepare for the 'new normal' and to ensure they are as well-equipped as they can be to help control the spread of Covid, including through the installation of additional hand-washing facilities.

Our emergency support of staff salaries has now provided schools with nearly £8,000 in cash funding to ensure that around 70 teachers and support staff not on the government payroll continue to receive at least part of their salaries, where the absence of funds from parents which usually fund 50 of these posts would otherwise mean they would be going without pay. We are committed to providing this funding for as long as schools remain closed and, if necessary, to increasing our contribution further still to ensure that staff receive 100% of their pre-Covid salary as soon as they are back at work. 

Elsewhere, our building programme continues - albeit in a scaled back form - including on the redevelopment of our eighth partner school at Mkamenyi Primary. The first phase of this project, which includes the construction of four (of the eight) new classrooms, admin facilities including staffroom and offices, and some toilets and rainwater harvesting facilities, is nearing completion and we are looking at what work we can undertake next with the funds we have available and given the current Covid measures in place, including the ban on community work which is vital to the collection of locally available building aggregates. 

These are challenging times for us and for our partner schools, their staff, parents and pupils but we are grateful to those of you that continue to stand with us, and them, during this crisis.

Existing hand-washing facilities at a school
Existing hand-washing facilities at a school
Front of the new school at Mkamenyi
Front of the new school at Mkamenyi
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Children returned to our partner schools at the start of January for the new school year after the long Christmas break.

Some returned to find further improved learning environments after work we were able to undertake during the holidays but all returned to classrooms with teachers and the guarantee of a daily lunchtime meal for another year thanks to our continued support of a lunch programme and commitment to provide funding for the salaries of at least 17 additional teachers.

Our extensive, on-going project to rebuild our eighth partner school at Mkamenyi Primary will be our focus this year and for much of 2021 but simultaneously we will continue to invest heavily in our existing network of partner schools to further improve the learning environment for the thousands of disadvantaged children they serve.

We have plans to construct at least two dining halls (plus a new kitchen alongside one of them) and new toilets (as well as incinerators for disposal of sanitary pads) at a number of schools this year, and to upgrade a couple of playground spaces.

We also hope this might also be the year when we finally launch a pilot of a school kitchen garden/farming project as we explore ways our partner schools can become more self-sufficient and generate other streams of income.

We look forward to bringing you more updates as the year unfolds over the months to come!

Site for a proposed dining hall at Kiteghe Primary
Site for a proposed dining hall at Kiteghe Primary
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Organization Information

African Promise

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Project Leader:
Charles Coldman
London, London United Kingdom
$12,354 raised of $25,000 goal
 
139 donations
$12,646 to go
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Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG22951

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