Our 10th Blog of Christmas described the system for admission to St Bernadette Mary School for the new school year starting in January 2013. George has worked endlessly to ensure all the home visits were completed as Mr Pius had then to choose just who the lucky children were to gain a place in the school.
Here are the extracts and photos of two of the successful children who have gained a place in KG1, the first is Zawadi:
Zawadi Salim was born out of wedlock to a young girl who left the family home following the birth of her daughter and has no contact with the family. This often happens in Kenyan Culture but luckily Zawadi’s grandmother took over the mantle and cares for the young child.
Dama Salim her grandmother is partially deaf and elderly. Dama cannot communicate either in English or Kiswahili but only in her local mother tongue , Giriama. The old woman does manual work on a nearby farm and earns Ksh 500/= per month which is about £4.40 so it is impossible for her to be able to pay for Zawadi to attend even a local government school due to the admission and examination fees and the cost of the uniform.
They share one room in a Swahili House with no beds but thanks to scheme run by the Kenyan Government they are provided with free nets over the two mattresses to prevent mosquitos from biting during the night and spreading malaria. The cooking is done outside and whilst there the grandmother was cooking some vegetables for their lunch. In the photo below you will see Zawadi with her prize possession a toothbrush.
Despite all this little Zawadi is a bright and happy child, she explained that she wants to learn and understands how difficult life is for her grandmother who struggles to provide one meal each day for the child never mind an education. We believe this child is indeed a needy case and recommend she is awarded a place in the school.
The second story is an extract from George’s report about Mapenzi’s home visit.
Mapenzi Mwandika is the only child of Cecilia Mwandika. The mother got pregnant while still going to primary school which forced her to drop out of school, for now the mother is working as house help in Mtwapa where she earns ksh 4,000/= per month (about £30 per month) the majority of which she gives to the grandmother to care for her daughter Mapenzi and her five nieces & nephews as Cecilia’s sister has died.
The grandmother looks after her six grandchildren including Mapenzi. It is a very hard life for the old woman as her only secure income is the monthly salary Cecelia earns in Mtwapa. Mapenzi is a happy child and seems very content although they have very little material possessions, you may notice many cooking pots in the photo below but I did not see any food to cook in the house.
The soft spoken elderly grandmother has big mud house but the walls are almost falling a part. There is no running water or electricity. She does farming on a small plot of family land to provide vegetables for the family but it is done using old methods which depending wholly on the natural rainfall which is being affected by climate change and often does not get any produce whatsoever during a full month.
Due to the very visible hardship this family suffer on a daily basis we would recommend that Zawadi is awarded a place at St Bernadette Mary School as the child will blossom and her life will be enhanced by attending the school.
Below is a photo of the two young girls along with a further 36 children who will be starting St Bernadette Mary School in January 2013. It is impossible for us to comprehend what it is like to try to survive as these people have to do each and every day. Life is very difficult with many children not surviving until school age but the ones that do then often cannot go to school due to the high cost of School Fees, Examinations Fees and School Uniforms.
Thanks to the generosity of our donor family at St Bernadette Mary School we are now able to offer these children along with the orphan children from The GLO a good quality FREE education where hopefully they will be able to seek employment and escape the poverty trap that is keeping the local population uneducated.
In the words of John Lennon
“You, you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us, And the world will be as one”
It is our dream that all children including the poor & needy throughout the world will be as one receiving three meals per day, a roof over their heads, an education and a secure & loving environment where they can flourish and we do believe education is the first step towards equality for everyone!