Donate  
HomeAbout UsOur ProjectsHow Can I HelpNewsGalleryContact Us
 
   

 SCHOOL

SEPTEMBER 2008

When we discovered the school in September 2008 there were no resources, the walls were bare and the furniture was makeshift. But the children were happy and learning.


   
Inside one of the classrooms

 
   The makeshift furniture


           After the rain

During the following three months we managed to gather educational resources, toys and clothes and shipped these out to coincide with our return.


     T
he new furniture we bought

In February 2009 we returned to Kenya on a fact-finding mission. The two rooms used by the school were even more appalling than we remembered. One of the two small rooms held 22 children aged from 2 – 6 seated on the concrete floor whilst another six older children were cramped together at two dilapidated desks.This situation was immediately remedied by the purchase of sufficient small plastic chairs and new wooden tables to enable all the young children to be seated at a table.

The mould growing up the walls was, we discovered, the result of the flooding that occurred in the rainy season. Our plan to paint the walls and run the school from the existing building until land for a new school could be found was clearly untenable and efforts were made to find alternative accommodation

CHANGED PREMISES

Our second building was brand new but unfinished. Although not ideal it was a great deal better than the previous building.


             









               Almost finished outside


      Toilet used for builders rubble

We might still have been there today were it not for the fact that the headteacher had a different vision from us and we decided to part ways. We had been paying salaries to the teachers as well as college fees for in-service training and so unsurprisingly the other teachers decided to come with us.

So in August 2009 we had 3 teachers, no children and no building. Thankfully, the headteacher of another local school, Precious Kids, very kindly allowed us to rent a couple of small rooms in his school for one term until we could find other premises. This became a good opportunity for our teachers to learn from other experienced teachers. We left the name of the school behind and so in September 2009 Miche Bora (Precious Shoots) Primary school was born with 17 children.

BUT it was for one term only and December found us yet again without premises. At the last minute a small building was found with 3 small rooms a toilet and a kitchen.

 






            Inside a classroom

 


           outside the school

Numbers swelled to 40 which really was the maximum we could possibly take in such small rooms. There was outside space but the owner started to build on it. We knew that in January 2011 (the start of the Kenyan School Year) we would be unable to accommodate another intake and the search began again.  In August 2010 we found it and were very excited. We moved in September 2010. Our new building will suffice for at least 3 years, giving us time to pursue land and funding to build a school of our own.

 

NEW BUILDING

Our new building is brand new. It was built on the edge of the community as four apartments each leading off a central corridor. Each apartment has two rooms, a kitchen and a toilet. The rooms are not huge but will accommodate the 25 children per class that are our intention. This currently means that every class has a toilet and kitchen.
 


              Before the land was cleared of the maize

The landlord is very sympathetic to our cause and has been very helpful. His brother owns the land behind the school which he plans to build upon. At present as he cannot afford to do so he has very kindly cleared the land in order that it can be used as a playground. In January 2011, the start of the school year we had four classes as our new intake of KG1 (the equivalent of Reception children) began school and the others all moved up.

 
                     
 
                     Central corridor                                                                   Before we moved in

TEACHERS

We currently have seven excellent teachers, all of whom are qualified.

Irene
    (Our head teacher)
Sonery (Assistant Manager)
  
(Also MSP coordinator)
Mercy
(Deputy Head)
     
Agatha Noelina Seline
Janet, our Standard 2 teacher started in January and we currently do not have a photoraph

Our teaching head Irene has just completed in-service training for her ECD Diploma (Early Childhood Development). Sonery has just gained her ECD Certificate. The ECD qualification is recognised throughout the whole of East Africa and the training was paid for by Mustard Seed Project. Mercy has her ECD certificate whilst Agatha and Seline are both Montesori trained. Seline joined us in January 2011 from a local school where she was the deputy head teacher with lots of experience with the primary age group. Mercy joined us in March 2011 from a local school where she was head teacher. Janet, who has just joined us has her P1 Certificate.

In the summer of 2010 our teachers were joined for two months by Elizabeth Griffin a young Australian who had just finished teacher training in Australia and wanted to spend some time working for a small African charity. Liz was a great asset to the project as she brought lots of fresh ideas as well as considerable enthusiasm.


                       Elizabeth in class


    

             Teachers planning with Liz                  

 

IN-SERVICE TRAINING

In Kenya the school year is divided into three equal terms with four weeks holiday in between. Teachers spend 3 of each 4 week holiday at college doing training. They are also monitored in school and set tasks to complete. The course lasts for two years. At the end of this they sit an external examination set by KNEC (Kenya National Examinations Council). Their training is in Early Childhood Development which entitles them to teach 4 – 11 year olds. The qualification is recognised throughout East Africa. This training has been paid for by Mustard Seed Project.

 

BOOKS ABROAD

Books Abroad are a Scottish charity who send books to schools throughout the developing world. We were so lucky that they sent us 3000 books to coincide with their, and our own visit to Kenya. Many of the group came to visit the project and two, Donna and Catherine came and spent a ‘fun’ day with the children and staff.


  With some of our children


Donna & Catherine hand painting


            Playing games

 

CONDITIONS FOR PRIMARY EDUCATION

Primary Education in Kenya is for 7 -14 year olds. Since 2002 it has been free but only to those who have completed the equivalent of KS1 or Infants in the UK and this must be paid for. Those who cannot afford this are normally not allowed to attend primary school though some schools will make exceptions. This still means that they will join their peers who have already had 3 years education. Those who do attend government schools will be educated in classes of between 80 and 150. They must be able to provide school uniform, pay for books, pens, paper etc and also pay for something called tuition. This is afternoon schooling and is not optional. As a result many are still excluded.

MOST NEEDY

The decision regarding who can pay our fees is made by our teachers. All the children at our school are poor but most can make some contribution to their education and feeding programme. Many people are used to hand outs from the west but this does not develop a sense of responsibility. People do not value ‘hand outs’. Our project is about empowerment and giving people the skills to earn their own money then they can pay for what they need.

                                                                      Morning porridge   

NURSERY CLASS

The nursery class has two sessions with half of the children coming in the morning and the second group coming in the afternoon. It is staffed by a teacher and a teaching assistant in order to give the children the really good start that they need and deserve. They now have exellent resources and the large outside canopy allows much greater freedom and opportunity for learning through play.   

               

                                                                                                                                   

 
 
   
Updated February 2012  
 
 Sponsor Now 

50p per day will provide all educational costs and porridge for a needy child

 

 Give Now 

A gift of £3 will buy 10 bricks to help build Miche Bora Primary School

 

 Invest Now 

£320 could enable a young person to acquire skills for work

 

The Mustard Seed Project (Kenya), UK Registered Charity No. 1127935,
Company Limited by Guarantee No. 6778042 and registered as a Charitable Trust in Kenya.