February has brought sadness to the entire Good Life Orphanage & St Bernadette Mary School with the passing of dear Madam Phelister, it came as a shock as although she had not been able to return to school when it reopened we did expect her to return soon. Sadly her health deteriorated and we received the news of her death early on Tuesday 16th February.

Phelister joined the teaching staff at SBM School in June 2015, from her first day she showed a level of experience, confidence and a level of maturity that made her a valued employee but most of all her compassion for all children shone through. She always had a smile on her face and the welcome children, staff and visitors received on entering her classroom was heartwarming.

Being a Pre-primary teacher in SBM School is not the easiest of roles, many of the children have never left their homes and villages before starting school so are often frightened, especially the boys who in Kenyan culture are spoilt by their mothers. They have never seen a toilet or running water, it is all so new to them but Madam Phelister along with Madam Paula made them feel secure and they quickly gain confidence, all our PP1 & PP2 pupils, past and present felt this sense of belonging once they encountered Phelister.

For Michelle and Lawrence going to SBM School was a big milestone, never before had disabled children shared the same classroom with able-bodied pupils, Phelister embraced the idea and was very open to any new teaching methods that would help. She was also very vocal on equal rights for our girls and was on-hand to advise our older girls on many subjects relating to the culture in the area as she was a local lady who was very much respected by everyone in the community.

Madam Phelister leaves three sons, Teddy, Evans & Titus and her husband Witto, our GLO & SBM Family have been there to support the family, they helped arrange the funeral and our pupils were very keen to attend the burial to pay their respects for a much loved teacher. Evans and Titus attend SBM School where the teachers and pupils will ensure they have friends around all the time. Our wonderful SBM School staff choir sung their goodbye at the funeral.

We are all devastated to loose our friend Phelister, we remember her smiling, caring for the children and just being a lovely person, R.I.P. you will be missed by all.

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