Mikoroshoni News – March 2021

We hope that you and your family are all keeping safe and well.

The children at Mikoroshoni are now able to go back to school for half days. Half of each class attends school in the mornings and the other half attends in the afternoons. They are also able to have a school lunch each day of maize and beans. The morning children have their meal before they go home and the afternoon children have their meal when they arrive at school.

Because of the Pandemic, schools in Kenya were closed for the first 2 terms last year (the school year in Kenya is from January to November). In order to catch up, the Kenya Government has stated that for 2021 and 2022 all schools will have 4 terms and hopefully in 2023 things will get back to the normal 3 terms. This is to be achieved by reducing the main holidays to a minimum and not having half term holidays.

All schools have had to purchase 2 or more Thermal Guns because the Kenya Government insists that the temperatures of all children and staff must be taken each morning on arrival at school. Also we have had to purchase additional antibacterial sprays and disinfectants etc. as this is necessary to keep everywhere in school sanitised. Government inspectors are going into schools to ensure all protocols are being observed. Obviously this has meant additional expense for our charity.  

Another additional expense we have had to cover over a number of years has been because the Kenya government decided to introduce a totally new primary curriculum. This has meant purchasing completely new sets of text books for all the classes in all subjects. The number of subjects range from 6 subjects in the older age groups to 10 subjects in the younger age groups. The introduction of the new curriculum has been staggered, starting with the younger children and is gradually working though the school as these children move up a class each year.  We have needed to purchase a minimum of 1 book between 2 children for each subject. We are grateful to those supporters who have contributed towards the cost of purchasing some of the new text books but we still have a couple of more years of needing to provide new text books before the new curriculum is fully implemented throughout the school.                  

As with all UK charities, the last year has been very difficult because all fundraising has been suspended and incomes from donations have dropped dramatically. Our charity income has suffered because of the Pandemic. The Trustees, along with Joshua, Mikoroshoni’s Headteacher, have had to make some very hard decisions to ensure the long term future of school.   We had to make the decision to close the Nursery Classes and to also, unfortunately, make 3 teachers redundant on the basis of ‘last in, first out’. As Trustees, we always endeavour to treat all the staff at Mikoroshoni fairly and so ensured they were given proper notice and full redundancy pay.

As Trustees, we are so very grateful to all our supporters for continuing to give their regular donations. Thank you.

We have also been so very grateful to those supporters who have previously organised fund raising events such as Sponsored Walks, Sponsored Cycle Rides, Afternoon Teas and also   many other individuals and groups and organisations who have raised money in a variety of other ways.

Keith, our Treasurer & a Trustee, is involved in a lot of charity work as well as all the support that he gives to our charity, ‘The Friends of Mikoroshoni Primary School’.

Since January 18th, Keith has been doing a ‘Virtual Walk’ from Lands End to John O’Groats which is a distance of 874 miles!  Since Keith started his ‘Virtual Walk’ he walks locally each day. He uses the Strava App on his phone to measure how far he has walked and his progress is logged onto the Online Site, ‘Endtoend Challenge’ website. The walk he is doing is labelled ‘LeJog10’. Keith is averaging 7 miles a day and his target is to reach John O’Groats by 30th June. Every 100 miles he receives a Virtual Post Card which he places on Facebook so that followers can be updated on his progress. There is a link on the MPS website to the fundraising donation site (VMG).

As of Wednesday 10 March, Keith was on the M6 (Virtually of course!!) near Junction 27 (Wrightington area) and has completed 375 miles leaving 499 miles still to go.

The money Keith is raising is to go to the Feeding Programme to ensure the continuation of lunch time meals for the children when the present sponsorship comes to an end.

The lunch time meals are so important for the children because their families are so poor that often they go without eating for a day or two because they have no money to buy food.

We hope that one day in the not too distant future, the present travel restrictions will be lifted and some of our Trustees will be able to visit Mikoroshoni once more.

Once again a big thank you to all our supporters for your continued support for the children at Mikoroshoni.

From the Trustees and everyone associated with Mikoroshoni Primary School