Since the opening of St Bernadette Mary School in 2012 the whole social landscape has changed in the surrounding area. Now the poorest children have access to an excellent school offering a very high standard of education. Every year up to 200 children apply for the 30 places available in PP1.

January 2020 saw the intake of this years PP1 pupils, again it was very difficult to decide which child meets the criteria so stringent checks have to be made. Following the informal examination, Fraire our Social Worker visits the homes of the most needy children, we try to give the 1st born preference so its not just the same families each year. Three of the lucky children were Cute Zawadi, Benta Ali and Gabriel Kamau, here is a little about them.

Cute is 4 years old and the only child of Torina. Cute and her mother live with her grandmother, their only income is selling coconuts at the market in Mtwapa. It is not an ideal situation for Cute but she is a very happy little girl who is so keen to learn.

Benta Ali Rua is 4 years old, the 1st born to Rukia & Victor. She was born when her mother was very young and sadly Rukia developed complications following the birth dying one week later. There was a question over the care she had received in the hospital but as the family had no money they could not pursue a claim.

As her father was only young as well, Benta was therefore placed under care of grandmother and grandfather as the immediate guardians. The grandfather was the sole bread winner of the family so when he passed away in June 2019 the family suffered a huge blow leaving Benta’s grandmother struggling for an income.

The grandmother is so grateful that she is now attending SBM School as otherwise she could not have afforded fees for another school and Benta would have remained at home.

Gabriel Kamau was born on 10/05/2015 to Esther who is an orphan, she was cared for by Mercy who was our Operations Manager at The GLO. Esther works in a café at Shanzu for a very small salary so she was very keen that Gabriel would attend SBM School.

Gabriel has settled well into school life, like most of the boys who attend SBM School they are very spoilt by their Mamas and coming to school is out of their comfort zone.

For many of the children getting a good education, a school uniform, a PE Kit and a daily meal is a dream come true. SBM School continues to educate the most needy and provide a support network not seen in other schools in the area. This is their chance to escape the circle of poverty !!