Getting into the heart of the slums

We had our second ride in a tuc tuc today, driving through the slums to the primary school. Outside the school we felt a little nervous and uneasy. This soon changed when we got inside the school, to enter we walked between 2 galvanised buildings into a small courtyard with 6 classrooms around the outside.  We had a your around the classroom and as we entered they stood up and clapped before singing us a welcome song.  Singing and music features very strongly and the music is very happy, it fills them with hope.

We joined in five minutes of a lesson of class 5. They have recently been donated wood, which has enabled them to buy desk so they sit very proudly at their assigned place.  We sat on  the chairs and a girl opened the lid and  took pride  in her desk when we commented how tidy she keeps her station.  We walked into class six where we were introduced to class 6 , we asked them what their aspirations were and they talk of being lawyers, accountants and doctors.  Theyhave recently taken exams and the teacher shared their results, the top child in class 6 scored 80%. This result has only been achieved through the education the child has achieved through nursery and primary. At the moment the school stops at class  6 so the hope is class 7 will be introduced  before January as otherwise these children have nowhere to learn.

We got to feed the children their lunch, the school and nursery provide them 1 meal a day. This was introduced very early on as teacher found that children has no energy and attention as they had not eaten for days.  By having a cooked meal each day their concentration has improved tenfold , which  is proved in the results of their exams.

The nursery is preparing  for their graduation tomorrow. This is a high event, children have been singing and dancing to prepare. This afternoon we helped them iron their graduation gowns and sort through  ten big bags of rice.  We have to look through each grain to get out all the dirt, as you can imagine the Kenyan women were much  better than us as we took about ten minutes to look through one bag.  They have to do this because clean rice is just too expensive.

The day ended with more singing, we sung English nursery rhymes and we were  very surprised how many they knew, row row your boat, head shoulders knees and toes and if your happy and you know it.  They children all gravitated toward us as singing is their big interest.

Alice and James, the administrator and school manager. James is the school manager and his responsibility is maintainence and upkeep as well as working on the front line to rehabilitate children.  We met with them to discuss what we can do with all the donations we have received. The school is in need of sewing machines, last year there’s got stolen. The charity now has to fund a security guard to watch the school. We would like to buy them more, this would create people with new skills, ways of making money as well as finding something for children and staff to do in the holidays.  A small gesture can make such a difference so watch this space.