TEACHING-EMPOWERING-MENTORING-BUILDING OPPORTUNITY Mission: to partner with individuals and communities in Western Kenya to support entrepreneurial activities, education and health through training programmes, scholarships, water and sanitation projects

Friday, March 11, 2016

Virtues training

Sixty more students were trained in Virtues at Masinde Muliro University. Head teachers and principals attended an introduction to Virtues, encouraging them to seek training for their schools.

Last sanitation project

The sanitation projects funded by Rotary International and by private donations closed this week with the handover of the boys' toilet in Ebukoolo. The boys were wonderful to work with as we explained the structure and use of the composting toilets and very appreciative of having more than one 'hole' and an old brick wall.

We then visited two other schools requesting toilets. Eshibembe has nearly one thousand students and their pit latrines are almost full (and smell to high heaven!)

Emwatsi has half the number of students but so few latrines (all without doors) that boys and girls have to share. The Head Teacher is afraid of closure by Public Health. The metal structure you see is the boys' urinal. 

Both schools would require more doors than in the normal blocks we install. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Education problems

Many generous people donate money to send girls and boys to secondary school where costs are mostly beyond the ability of many to pay. This is wonderful. As I have mentioned before, low cost day schools are springing up but are struggling because many families can't even pay the minimal costs of infrastructure, lunch, uniform and books.(About $200 per year) The government has introduced tuition subsidy which is helping a little. Also free primary has brought many thousands of children back into school.
However, the following statistics will emphasize the need for funds for job training to allow those who don't go, or don't complete, secondary to put food on the table.
Only two out of five students finish high school. In 2011 37% dropped out before reaching the end of primary (gr 8). An estimate in 2015 is that 18% of those taking the leaving exam in gr 8 would not be admitted to secondary. But in real terms 35% do not take a place in first year high school.
A boy or a girl who doesn't finish school (or who does finish but cannot afford university) can take one or two year 'trades' courses for as little as $500 per year, which is for boarding. Less if they can live at home. When we have had funds we have sent young people to driving school, tailoring, secretarial, motor mechanics, masonry, carpentry. This is a huge need which is not being met by any organisation that I am aware of.