Despite the troubles in Kenya Mikoroshoni School continues to thrive and to make good progress. The British Government’s advice against ‘all but essential travel’ to the coastal area of Mombasa means that all travel insurance is invalid when visiting that area. Because of the lack of tourists, hotels are closing and many workers have lost their jobs.
However, Evelyn Lyle, our Trustee from Edinburgh, decided to continue with her planned visit to Mombasa and recently spent 3 weeks visiting Mikoroshoni. We are very grateful to Evelyn for the time she spent at school and for the information she brought back with her.
In January 25 new children were admitted to KG1 class. Our admission policy is to take in the poorest children from Shanzu village.
Evelyn saw for herself the delight and excitement of KG1 when they received their new school uniforms, which are funded by our charity. The children felt so proud and went home looking very smart.
Evelyn also gave all KG1 a drawstring bag to keep their books in. They were so happy to receive them –
Two young boys were accepted into school after the official intake date because Headteacher Joshua had heard of their very poor situation. Evelyn accompanied Joshua on a home visit. The conditions were terrible – nowhere to sit or sleep, mouldy food in a pot and just a suitcase in the middle of the room, probably where the baby slept! I don’t think we can begin to imagine such poverty. The boys are now in KG1 and KG2 and have porridge each day and also maize and beans to try and build up their strength.
A bag of flour was given to every child to take home for the Easter holidays. This has become very important at holiday times and is very much appreciated by the families. Thank you to our sponsors who donated extra money for the flour.
Health & Hygiene
Evelyn was surprised one day to see a giant tub of tablets on Joshua’s table. These were for the deworming treatment provided by the Kenyan Government. Everyone, including the teachers, had to take a dose and all the details were carefully recorded.
The importance of handwashing is still being emphasised. and is being monitored every break and lunchtime by the caretaker and teachers.
Joshua is committed to ensuring that all parents visit the school on a regular basis so that he can explain the importance of regular attendance and can discuss the child’s progress and any problems they may have. Each day there are parents, usually mums, waiting to see Joshua.
The teachers take responsibility for running after school clubs which are very popular with the children. These include Scouts and Guides, Drama, Chess, Choir, Maths, Debating and Guidance/Counselling.
Repairs & Maintenance
There is always a continual need for repair and maintenance. During Evelyn’s visit the floor outside an upstairs classroom became dangerous and emergency repairs were necessary. The shelters in the playground also required repairs. More of the louvre window slats had to be removed. The glass is intact but the metal fixtures have corroded. At the moment these are too costly to replace. We have to prioritise the most urgent repairs and carry them out as funds allow.
Last year the Kenyan Government brought in a new law requiring all employers to contribute to the pension scheme for their employees. Overnight 6% was added to the school wages bill!
Standard 8 – Holiday Tuition
Pupils have no facilities at home to study in the evenings. (No table and chair, no light, no peace and quiet). So during the 3 week Easter holiday period the following timetable was put into place.
- Come to school 5pm-
7pm for lessons
- Sleep at school
- Woken at 4.30am for lessons 5am-
- Given food at school
- Pupils go home during the day
What dedication from both pupils and teachers!
We are all hoping that the situation in Kenya improves and that visitors will be able to return.
But in the meantime we think you can tell from our newsletter that Mikoroshoni daily school life continues, thanks to all the support you give.
You are helping to provide an education and food every day in a happy and safe place for 300 children in Shanzu village.
So a very big ASANTE SANA from The Trustees, Parents, Teachers and Children at Mikoroshoni Primary School.