In February Evelyn one of our Edinburgh Trustees went to Mombasa for five weeks. One Saturday she organised a ‘fun morning’ for some of the children who came in specially for the activities. Some visitors from UK had arranged to visit school that day but unfortunately their taxi driver could not locate the school. The children, however still enjoyed the activities that Evelyn had planned. They enjoyed dressing up as pirates searching for treasure although they seemed a bit confused to find that the treasure was chocolate coins, not real ones! The villagers were amazed to see Evelyn dressed up as well! They also had great fun putting jigsaws together-
Evelyn also accompanied Kinder garden 3 on their trip to the nature park. They saw lots of emus, giraffes, donkeys and antelopes. An unplanned extra was when a bees nest was disturbed and three children and the guide were stung! At the end of the morning they all enjoyed juice and bananas.
The teachers were delighted when Evelyn gave them each a wind up torch. ‘A gift from God’ said Teacher Doris. The torches were provided by First Bus Group in Edinburgh.
In March Yvonne and John our Trustees from Manchester spent two weeks in Mombasa.
The cooks have changed but the food remains the same. The cooks change each year to give different women in the village a chance of work. They always work hard and produce food for 300 children each day. They then wash up and leave the beans to soak for the next days meals. We found the two women washing up the porridge cups in the shade at the side of the cook house. Inside the cookhouse two enormous pots of maize & beans were boiling away on the charcoal burners. This was the lunch for the older classes.
A local Middleton School wanted the children at Mikoroshoni to have a treat. Joshua said juice & biscuits would be a real treat so this was arranged a few day before the Easter holidays. Thanks to extra donations from some of our supporters we were able to once again provide every child with a bag of maize flour to take home for the holidays. This is really appreciated by the families as school is closed for three weeks.
Health & Hygiene
The importance of hand washing was stressed last year after a visit from Government health officials. The main problem is to be keep up with the amount of soap being used. The answer seems to be to buy a large 5 litre container of green liquid soap at a cost of 300 Kenya Shillings (£2.30). This will last for about a month. The soap is poured into small empty plastic water bottles and a hole is made in the lid. Now it’s just a case of encouraging the children to ‘wash their hands’.
Polio is now almost eradicated throughout the world with just a few countries where it is still endemic. Kenya has been free from Polio but recently there have been 14 cases in Refugee Camps near the border with Somalia. The Kenyan Government is vaccinating all under 5’s throughout the country and this was taking place at Mikoroshoni while we were there.
We thought that the pump for the well needed repairing but fortunately only a minor alteration was needed to the timer that regulates the filling up of the tank.
In the near future we will need to begin repairs:-
The fencing put up in 2005 is now full of very large holes, the louvre window frames also installed in 2005 are in desperate need of repair. Some of the glass needed to be removed for safety reasons. The woodwork all needs varnishing.
This repair work will have to be done in stages as funds allow. The fence is about to be replaced as a matter of urgency for security reasons.
Twenty seven children joined our Kinder garden 1 class in January. They were chosen in September by the committee and come from some of the poorest families in Shanzu village.
Thanks to a very generous donation from one of our supporters every one of these children has been provided with a school uniform, shoes & socks and a PE kit.
When the Easter holidays began the teachers had two training days. This was to improve their Maths teaching skills and was organised by the Government.
In April some of our chess club members went to a tournament in Mombassa. To our great delight three of the team came back with trophies & medals. Emmanuel Juma won all six of his games. Andrew, the chess coach took Emmanuel to an International tournament in Nairobi to gain experience. The competitors were from all over East Africa and Emmanuel won 2 out of his 8 games. Quite an achievement for all our competitors who, two years ago, had never heard of the game called chess.
Because of the recent problems in Kenya the Foreign Office has issued advice about avoiding certain areas of Mombasa. Unfortunately some of our supporters have had to cancel or amend their travel arrangements. Others who have booked for later in the year are hoping the advice will change. So many people in Kenya depend on tourism for their living – tour reps, hotel workers, taxi drivers & the beach boys who have no customers for their wooden carvings. No tourists mean no money, and for Mikoroshoni no visitors and fewer new sponsors.
ALL THE TRUSTEES WOULD LIKE TO SAY A VERY BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU WHO SUPPORT MIKOROSHONI