Phoenix help to fund Kenyas KAG School for a toilet block with running water

In 2011/12 The Rotary Club of Horbury & Ossett Phoenix joined forces with the Emley African Education Project to jointly pay for the construction of a toilet block for KAG School.

President Roger Parkinson told fellow Rotarian Jim Donnan that he wanted his overseas project for 2011-12 to be directed at the KAG School in Mzambweni. Jim and his wife Rosemary, who are the founders of the Emley project discussed this with the leaders of the school and it was agreed that a toilet block was desparately needed.

All of the children at school are taught personal hygiene and together with the provision of clean water, the installation of modern toilets is a massive step forward in the continuing struggle to improve personal and family health and well being.

Rosemary and Jim Donnan show us around the new block.

In 2012/13, the Rotary club of Horbury and Ossett Phoenix, under president Mike Gill, lent further support, and enabled more steps to be taken to improve health and sanitation.

Firstly, piped water was installed to the toilet blocks and to the school for general use, obviating the need for bucketed water from a nearby well, or water collection from the roof. This necessitated the digging of a trench about 300 m long from the main road .Secondly, a large concrete septic tank was built, to which all the toilet facilities have now been connected, a considerable improvement on the ‘pit latrine’ system. Thirdly, the original toilet block has been enlarged and modified to enable it to be for the sole use of teachers and girls.

Breakfast Club

January 2013 saw the start of the ‘KAG’ breakfast club. It had long been a concern of the head teacher,Harrison, and the trustees, that many pupils were arriving at school early in the morning having eaten nothing since the previous day. They generally rise at 4.30 to 5am, have a long journey to school , sometimes walking all the way, and sometimes walking a considerable distance to catch the school bus. They arrive at 7 to 7.30,with the main meal of the day given at 12.30. With an empty stomach ,the difficulty of having enthusiasm for lessons and education cannot be overestimated.

40 pupils who would benefit from breakfast have been identified and are being given a bowl of maize porridge before school starts.

This has been made possible by a donation of £500 from Horbury and Ossett Phoenix Rotary Club, and will fund the club for 1 year. It is to be hoped that this will improve the general wellbeing of the most deprived children and enable them to profit more from the education offered.

it has proved to be a great success and has made a great difference to many children . The trustees of the charity have made it a priority to be continued. Donations for this are always welcome as there is high demand, particularly in the economic climate currently in Kenya.

You can sponsor a child at the Breakfast Club for just £25 a year

Pupil Sponsorship

The club, and some individual members, have continued to sponsor children to attend school. These are the very poorest and would otherwise be unlikely to attend . They have an early start and often have considerable distances to walk before school. It is these children particularly, who were turning up each day visibly hungry, who are benefitting from the breakfast club mentioned above. The sponsored children write to their sponsors on a regular basis.

New Library and Computer Room

Library and computer room

The children were magnificent in their efforts to help us complete the building and decoration of a library and computer room. The shelving is now being installed and we have many boxes of books ready to be displayed and for the children to read.

We were very fortunate to have funding from The Rotary Club of Horbury and Ossett Phoenix to enable us to partition off one end of the library and make a secure room for the installation of desks and computers. This will be an excellent addition to our teaching aids allowing the children direct contact with the big wide world. We are very grateful to the Rotary Club for funding the computers and desks and for their continuing support in many ways.

Computers are not found commonly in ordinary schools in Kenya, at least in Primary schools (up to age 15). Computer literacy is important everywhere for young people and the RC in 2013 kindly gave a donation to enable computers and computer room furniture to be provided. These are refurbished computers supplied by an Irish Charity, and their provision included training for the teachers, some of whom had no experience in this. This has turned out to be very successful, and has met with great enthusiasm from the pupils. It is to be hoped it will lead to better performance at secondary school (if it is possible to attend at all!), or may lead to better prospects on the job market.
We have been informed that the school is not yet on the internet, as further funds are needed for this. This involves purchasing dongles at a cost of approx £200, and then, of course, usage costs.

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