In Kenya - Blog day 6
What a day. As always. Keeping constant contact with my boss and my parents for some extra support. It’s more difficult than you ever could imagine. At least for me. I really thought that I was prepared before I left the safe and sound home. But nothing can compare to here.
In between all those feelings I also feel that I truly have found my African family. I’m starting to feel safe here. Everyone (!!) is really friendly. We tried to spread our wings today, walking to the store by ourselves. No Kenyans that we knew where with us. We just walked. I was a bit frightened until we went out. Everyone is really friendly. Except the staring. Sometimes you just need to stop and say hello or shake someone’s hand. It’s like being famous, I have realized that I never could do that. It’s so exhausting. We talked about it this evening. How much energy it takes from you. We are sooo tired every night when we get back and we realized that it probably is cause we meet so many people. A totally new experience as almost everything here are. The way home from the shop a group of kids started waving (as they do as fast as they see you) and we went to the on the other side of the road and they were so happy. So happy that we took our time to meet them. They were so dirty. Small children between the age of 4-7. They were just running around the dirt and right beside a big road. It’s so sad when you think about it. I’m not sure how to handle all this when I get home.
First thing today was visiting Mkwenzi primary school. Meeting the teachers and the head techer. Kind of as the other meetings that we have been having. We have meet a lot of school leaders and teachers now. It’s still very interesting, of course, but it’s good that we are starting to finalizing the meetings with the schools. The survey that the students have been practicing is really good and I think the end result will be great!
After that meeting we went to a donated school that also had a place for the students to live. It was the most visionary school we have been to so far. The head manager started by presenting the school with “This school started in a heart, 15 years ago. In this woman’s heart” and then he pointed to the woman on the other side of the table. Jacinta, the woman on the other side of the table started to take in orphans’ in her home 15 years ago. A rented small apartment in Matuu and as time went they outgrew the apartment. Jacinta did put all of them in into public schools but as it turned out: since they didn’t have any parents and couldn’t pay the fee to stay in school. Instead they started to drop out of it. And since she wanted to make sure that they would stay in school she started to investigate on how she could make a home for the kids as well as putting them in school. So she started to find donations and started to talk to the government and as things started to add up the school was built 2005. The school is something else than we have been visiting up until now. It has sponsored medicine care and are in partnership with the Ministry of Medical together with support from the German agro action. They do medical screening on all the children. De-worming and taking care of the HIV positive kids. Approximately 25% of the kids had HIV or are living with a HIV positive guardian. They are taking as much care as they can of everyone within this 25% they even support with mental coaching and help.
Every year they get a new set of uniforms and when clothes are donated they get some of those as well from the school. They also provide the kids with 3 meals each day and sometimes they also provide the guardians with food if it’s needed. They also do their best to grow their own food. For example, they have 3 fish ponds and two green houses to grow vegetables in.
They also care a lot for the physical health so they keep having talks with each student to be able to make them gain confidence and do well both in school and in life. The HIV positive students also get the chance to talk to other HIV positive people one time each month just to give relief to the physical health. The school also support with small microloans between 3 000 KES to 20 000 KESH in a short time basis for when they are ready to leave the school. Everyone that starts to work at the school also has to sign a child protection plan. Every kid also gets offer a mentor since almost all of them lack a strong adult as a role model. Therefor the school offers a strong mentorship program. A very impressive school that has come very far. I think this might be the future of Kenyan schools. This is the way to do it and it was actually the cleanest school we been to. No trash lying around just a good environmental care. They also cared for self-producing and were using solar energy along with biogas (that they produce by them self). They had put the boys in charge of the rabbits which they use for food. The fishing pond also brings a lot of good food to the table. I am as you hear – very impressed of their way of doing it. This school is a role model. They still haven’t got a computer lab but that was next on their list.
The last school of the day (and the last in total, I think, at least for children) was very fun. The students felt that they already had very much information so there were no teachers interviews this time. Instead we had a lovely time with all the children that had come on their free day to meet us. The students did a very fun questionnaire were the kids could run to the yes-side or the no-side. Everyone appreciated it very much. They also got the chance to feel my skin and my hair (as they always do). Except this time, I thought that I was going to lose my hair. They were pulling it from every angle. I had to tell them to stop. I thought I would get some bold spots at my head. But it went well at the end. I still can’t get the excitement around us but I guess if I met a blue person I would be kind of amazed as well. I don’t know.
With love from Kenya,
Best Regards Rebecka