Monday 9th May 2011 was a milestone we never thought we would see. From the day we opened The Good life Orphanage we always knew the next link in the chain would be a school as educating children is the only escape from the endless circle of poverty. Thankfully a very generous family from Manchester placed their trust in us and funded the wonderful St Bernadette’s & St Mary’s School.
Kevin & Mary
Finding the land was difficult as we really wanted a plot near to the GLO and luckily we purchased a 1.5 acre plot adjoining the orphanage. From the first block was laid everything went to plan, our builder did a fantastic job and with Kevin overseeing the work any problems were dealt with immediately and apart from the delay in getting the power connected the actual development of the project went like a dream. Again as the funds were already in place we were in a very strong position to negotiate prices and keep costs down and with a very experienced and professional builder the school is built to the highest specification.
Kevin overseeing work
Interviews were carried out between November to March and with the help of Sister Gertrude who is the Head Teacher at Loreto School in Mombasa and Father Delagho who is heavily involved in education matters in Mombasa Dioceses, we chose our staff. Both Sister Gertrude and Father Delagho knew exactly what qualifications were the most suited to our project and their advice & guidance made our quest for staff much easier than we imagined.
The cumulation of all this work came together on 9th May when the first children enrolled at the school, again this was a fraught few days for Remi Mwasi and the other staff at the school, hundred of children turned up begging for a place, all were vetted and only the poorest gain a place where they get “free education” which is unheard of in Kenya. Whilst the government state there is free education, the state schools often have up to 120 children per class with limited text and exercise books. Our classes are limited to 30 per class with every teacher qualified and a text book for each child. Also the children will get a free uniform, a cup of porridge each morning and regular medical checks which is very important to the pupils who live in abject poverty.
Outside Gate Green 9th May 2011
Remi Hassled by the parents
The children were selected using very strict criteria i.e. their housing, their parent’s income and employment status. The trusted village elders, the local GLO staff, the local public primary school headmaster and the local chief were all consulted to find the most needy children from the surrounding villages. Further to this, the above people were told that we would be conducting random home visits in the next 3 weeks to double check if the child was from a poor background.
A Happy Mama
A Gaunt Mama & baby
There was much excitement and even more disappointment when the names were read out, the successful pupils and their families were overjoyed. So along with our children from the GLO the school became a place where children are given the best education possible and to many of the children its a haven of security where they are getting a chance to hopefully escape the poverty trap they were born into.
Teacher Tumaini
Cynthia & Paula KG3

Privacy Preference Center