Following the strict Covid-19 restrictions being relaxed in Kenya and schools re-opening in January 2021, the end of the academic year was six months late with the last day of school on 16th July a reason to celebrate for everyone. It has been a difficult 18 month period as many of the pupils regard SBM School as their oasis in a world of poverty and insecurity, all were overjoyed when school re-opened in January 2021.

The final day of the academic year is always a time to reflect on the previous year and be thankful for what has been achieved, this year the festivities started with mass being celebrated by Father Yaa from Holy Family Church in Mtwapa. Then the annual prize giving was underway with pupils getting awards for their discipline and hygiene standards along with the normal categories.

Graduation this year was tinged with sadness as Madam Phelister is no longer with us, her death in February leaves a space that is cannot be filled in our hearts and although the children were happy marking their graduation to lower primary they remembered her in their prayers. Among the graduates were Lydia, Charlotte, Anne, Mary & Sherry, only Sherry remains at The GLO now as the other four girls have been reunited with their families and are living in the community now whilst still being supported by their sponsors.

For the first year since the opening of SBM School, Papa Kevin & Mama Mary were not in attendance on this special day, travel restrictions mean they remain in the U.K. but they were delighted to see who had won the “Spirit of SBM School”, our own Grace Lulu O’Malley from The Good Life Orphanage. From the little baby Mama Mary brought to The GLO on 28th April 2008 after being abandoned in Coast General Hospital to the young lady Grace has become, it was indeed a very proud day for everyone to see her receiving this formal recognition for her high level of discipline, excellent performance, active participation in co-curricular activities and her engagement with her fellow students and teachers. Although overjoyed with receiving the award, Grace as always remained very humble.

The Spirit Award was the idea of Brendan Coleman and Eileen Fray, both former teachers at Cardinal Langley School, we thank them both for their generosity and support since the early days, both have very strong beliefs on the importance of education.

Thankfully Nico our Chairperson of Board of Trustees was on-hand to assist Madam Jane our amazing Deputy Head with the presentation to Grace Lulu, he was also very proud as Nico has been helping Papa Kevin & Mama Mary since Day 1. He remembers Grace & Michael, our first two children, arriving at The GLO all those years ago from Coast General Hospital and the hurdles we had to overcome just to get the children.

For Mama Jane who is the mother in O’Malley House this is testament to the loving environment Grace has been brought up in, Mama Jane is such a kind woman but also offers great direction for the children in her house. Grace has only known love and security since arriving at The GLO and she has grown up to be such a well-mannered, humble young lady who also possesses a great sense of humour, we know she will succeed in her dreams.

A very special word of thanks to the ongoing support we receive on a daily basis from so many of you, because of this we are able to make this difference to Grace Lulu and our other GLO children & SBM School pupils. We can offer them security, education and an escape from the circle of poverty, and for that we are eternally grateful. Asante Sana to our excellent, dedicated staff at both The Good Life Orphanage and SBM School who work tirelessly to make life better for the children they encounter. With Hemed, our GLO Operations Manager & Jairus, our Head Teacher, at the helm both projects are stable and maturing to meet the ever changing needs.

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