What a celebration we had as we officially opened the door to the beautiful new classroom! A group of 23 sponsors from Germany, USA and Holland visited Nakuru from October 27th to November 5th and we were able to celebrate as Loredana, one of the donors from the donating company, was able to cut the ribbons and unlock the door to the stunningly colorful classroom which was painted to match the company's logo. It was a touching moment for all involved and the tears of joy in Loredana's eyes were only to be matched by the cries of joy coming from the parents and teachers and other invited guests who all took turns flooding into the classroom.
Another classroom completed - 2 more to go! We can only hope that 2018 will be as successful as 2017 has turned out to be. So now that we have all returned home from Kenya - it's time to start working on finding ways to fund the next classroom so that we all have reason to celebrate again in October/November 2018.
We would like to start construction of the 7th classroom in April 2018, but we really have some fundraising to do!
HAND IN HAND WE'LL MAKE IT!
The school kitchen is nearly built and in a couple of months we hope to have it fully financed. So now it is time to begin making plans for the next classroom at the Live and Learn in Kenya Education Center's elementary school. Six classrooms have been built so far, although one of them is presently being used as an office and teacher's room. The next classroom will be one of the two most expensive ones as the office must be built at the same time because it will have the same roof. The eighth classroom with be connected to the mandatory teacher's staff room and the office. So we have some very important fundraising to accomplish within the next year and a half in order to have the school construction finished so that the now 5th grade will be able to move ahead yearly from the 6th to the 7th and lastly to the 8th grade classrooms while new children will be joining the program every year so that we will have 8 classrooms filled with 30 children per classroom. Once the 8 classrooms are completed the next step will be the kindergarten tract with 3 classrooms. So, we have plenty of work to get done.
As Art Williams once said "I never said it would be easy. But it will be worth it."
Once we have 330 pupils attending our own kindergarten and school you can be sure that it will be worth it!
Now that the school kitchen is in its last construction stages it is time to begin raising funds for the next classroom at the Live and Learn in Kenya Education Center in Nakuru, Kenya. The next two classroom constructions will be the most expensive ones as they must both be built connecting to the teachers' staff room and principal's office on one side and the Live and Learn in Kenya International office on the other side. The two end of the row classrooms and the offices must be built one after the other as they share a roof. We are hoping to begin construction by the end of August in hopes of having the seventh classroom and the teachers' staff room completed by January 2018 when the new school year begins. One of the finished classrooms is temporarily being used as an office and staff room until the actual office is built. Finishing this next classroom and office will mean being able to fully use the seven classrooms as classrooms for the children. At the moment we are able to provide classrooms for grades 1 through 4 and a preschool class. The 30 small children in the kindergarten class are now using a temporary wooden construction as a classroom. It may be up to the Kenyan standards in the slums, but it isn't up to ours. Our goal is to provide everything that the children need to break out of the vicious circle of poverty and we feel that the only way to do so is by providing the best possible education and educational environment. It is difficult to learn in the dark, gloomy, dirt-floored classrooms which are most often found in the slums - sitting on broken wooden chairs and being hungry and thirsty. We aim to provide high-quality education in a high-quality environment with outstanding teachers. This should be every child's right. And it is working at the Live and Learn in Kenya Education Center!
Our school motto is: Education is the key to the future.
This past trimester shows the Live and Learn in Kenya Primary School children as having outstanding grade averages in comparison to other school - both public and private schools - we are already one of the top ranking schools in the region. We have children living in unimaginably destitue conditions - and shining like stars on a clear night with grades that will surely pave their way to university and to a bright future.
So, let's get this next classroom funded and built and ready to be the environment pupils need in order to be all they can be - and do all that they can do - and it's all because of you!
...it was the cold and blistery evening of December 8th 2016 when my cellphone rings in the middle of dinner. At first I wanted to ignore it and just enjoy my meal - but then I noticed the phone number and picked up. It was Klaus, one of the owners of andré media. "I have some good news for you. My partner and I have decided to donate the price of a classroom - complete with the classroom furniture for the Live and Learn in Kenya Primary School". I nearly dropped my cellphone into my spaghetti! That is the type of phonecall that you daydream about. Two weeks later the official donation was made and transferred to the Live and Learn in Kenya Int'l bank account - 25.000 Euros - $27.000! That was enough to take care of the construction, the furnishings and a couple of nice meals for the children to celebrate with. Klaus and his wife, Tanja, smiled when I said that as soon as the architect and the Ministry of Education in Nakuru have agreed on everything, construction will begin - and is sure to be completed by Easter. Klaus and Tanja know me well as a die hard positive thinker - but they could not imagine a project like this could be completed so quickly. They were wrong...
Construction began on December 28th 2016 and was completed on March 14th 2017. In those mere two and half months the construction company worked so hard to build the classroom as solidly and as beautifully as possible - and they did an amazing job. The children and their teacher joyfully marched into their new classroom on March 15th 2017 - laughing, smiling and singing songs of happiness and thanks. The classroom was painted in the typical andré media colors, which is a favorite color for most of the children. Their teacher was so full of joy that she nearly burst out in tears during her first lesson in the classroom teaching the alphabet. What a difference a donation can make!
Although the classroom is in use, its official opening will be on November 4th 2017 during our annual visit to Nakuru. This time I won't be opening the door to the classroom. Klaus's daughter, Loredana will be with me along with a nice large group of visitors. Amidst the sounds of drums, singing, cheering and laughter we will once again share the joys of achievement togeher with all of the Live and Learn in Kenya Int'l children, youths, parents, staff, government and local officials and friends as Loredana opens the door to the classroom that bears her family's company's name. That will be another milestone on our way into the future stream of Live and Learn in Kenya Int'l successes.
...and now off to raising funds for the next classroom!!!
Please note that the written permission to use names and logos has been submitted.
The old year ended well - and the new year is beginning even better... A very generous donation has made it possible for us to begin construction for the 5th grade classroom already. If all goes well, it will be completed by Easter so that the children can move right in from the temporary classroom into a beautiful new permanent classroom. This was the largest donation so far - and will give us time to raise the funds for the now mandatory permanent kitchen that must be built as soon as possible according to the Ministry of Education in Kenya. So, it's back to the drawing board and hoping for the best so that we can get the classroom finished, a new one started and the kitchen built. But we are optimistic that 2017 will bring many big and small donations to make this possible. Our optimism and confidence about the future of the Live and Learn in Kenya Education Center is contagious. So - on to bigger and better things in 2017.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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