REPORT FOR THE KENYA TRUST
THE SALVATION ARMY, KENYA EAST PROJECT OFFICE
Njoro School: Njoro School for Children with Severe Disabilities is based in Njoro, a small village outside Nakuru, 180 km from Nairobi. The school is one of only a handful of schools in Kenya to cater for neuropsychiatric disabled children. The school consists of 68 registered children divided into 4 classes due to degree of development and mental age: Nursery, Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. The school compound consists of four classrooms and three dormitories. In the last two years, the Projects Office has completed an unfinished kitchen-/dining hall project and constructed one new dormitory building. These were officially opened by the Territorial Commander in November 2015.
Thanks to the support from the Kenya Trust we were able to support this project by purchasing the following:
New beds for the new dormitory. These were made locally through the DHQ. New mattresses were purchased by the Women’s Ministries Dept. This meant when the children moved in to the new dormitories, they did so with all new things. Under the previous arrangement, the children were extremely squashed in one dormitory, with some reports of children having to share beds because there was not enough beds. The dorm was divided between boys and girls by a temporary wooden divider. There was only one bathroom which was at the girls end. The boys had to use outdoor toilets during the night. The new beds now means that the living environment, as well as the sanitation and health of the children is greatly improved as a result of this intervention. It was very nice to provide all new facilities when the children moved into the new dormitories and as a result of the beds and mattresses they are now much more comfortable. This reduces the rate of infection and improves the behaviour management process for the children.
Tables for classrooms. Previously, all the classrooms were using single desks. This was completely impractical for teaching children with special needs. Therefore new long tables were bought. This meant that all the children are able to sit round the table together, either in small groups or one large group. They are able to interact with each other much better and learn and communicate together. The tables enable the teacher to engage and involve all the children at the same time and this has really helped the children as they develop their social interactions.
Mats for play and therapy. Alongside the tables, we also provided mats for playing on the floor and for therapy. The times when we have visited we have seen children rolling around and crawling on a concrete floor so the mats will give those with mobility issues a soft surface on which to play on the floor. The mats were specifically designed and ordered from a company that makes the mats for many of the international schools in Kenya. In addition, we have been negotiating with an organisation that has a mobile clinic, which offers a range of therapy services to children with disabilities. They have agreed to add Njoro to their rota. However, as it is a mobile clinic, a condition of this arrangement was that we have the appropriate equipment in place. The therapy mats will make such visits possible.
Educational Resources. In addition, we were able to provide a range of educational resources including games, paints, scissors, glue, posters for the walls, paper and reading books. This will provide enough teaching resources for the whole year and will help the teachers establish a more creative and effective way of teaching. We also gave a year supply of sanitary towels for the older girls.
In addition to this we were also able to purchase Educational Resources (similar to Njoro) for Joytown Primary School Special Unit
Future needs: The teachers are paid by the government and according to the head teacher of the school, all of the teaching staff have passed education in psychiatric special needs. This education seems not to be comprehensive and perhaps is one a few weeks long. This needs more investigation and new interviews with teachers. The school has no contact with a psychiatric-/neurologic-educated nurse or doctor. Special trained personnel are crucial to ensure the quality of the care. Heidie has been working with the Education Secretary in trying to improve some teaching and medical support but there is clearly some need for some specialist training.
Mathare Kosovo Community School – When the new building was launched in 2013, we decided to relaunch the school as a Community School. This means it provides education for children who cannot afford or are not able to go to school. We reduced the number of pupils and ensured that we only took the most vulnerable of children. Most of the children are orphans (being looked after by dependents) or from single parents families. Therefore the children pay little towards school fees. This causes problems for running costs.
In addition to this, we have had two attempts made to ‘steal’ the building from The Salvation Army. One ended up in court, the other was a physical attempt by a group who re-painted the front of the building and broke in and changed the locks. The local community took exception to this and dished out immediate community justice, resulting in two of the people who tried to steal the building being killed before the building was returned back to the Salvation Army by the community.
Therefore, this year we have used some of the funds to pay the teachers and provide some additional security guards during the immediate aftermath of the community incident. We also paid the reconnection of the water and the electricity for the school after the incident.
We accept that we need to find more sustainable ways of funding this institution but given the nature of the area (considered one of the most difficult areas in Kenya) and the vulnerability of the children, this will be difficult. We continue to explore ways to develop a sustainable and long term solution but we are grateful for the ongoing support which allows The Salvation Army to continue its mission in this area. Whenever we are able to take visitors there (which depends on the volatility of the atmosphere), they have always said that this is where The Salvation Army should be and the support of the Kenya Trust have enabled us to ensure this. We are grateful for the ongoing support.
Maiani Clinic : The building for Maiani SA Dispensary for completed in April 2015. During a recent inspection by the Ministry of Health it was described as the best facility in the district in which it sits (Mukaa). Along side the clinic, we were able to persuade the government to fast track Maiani up the list of the Rural Electrification Programme. Work commenced on the necessary work to take electricity from Salama on the Mombasa Highway (approx. 12 km) and initially made good progress. However due to issues between the Rural Electrification Authority and the contractor and work stall when it was near completion in March 2015. Despite various attempts, including talking with the Governor of Makueni, the local MP and the Minister of Health. This has only recently been resolved and work commenced again at the beginning of December. At the last meeting with the local District Health Authority, we agreed that we would open the facility on 1st February 2015. The government will provide one nurse and a range of drugs and vaccinations, while The Salvation Army will be responsible for the equipment (which we have funding from the UK for) and all the laboratory / security running costs. To date, we have raised funds for 2 years running costs. As requested, the Kenya Trust provided a contribution to this for which we are grateful. The funds have been transferred into the Maiani Running Costs Reserve and each month THQ will give a small grant to the clinic for the first two years. Once the clinic is up and running and properly registered (it can only be fully registered when it is running and inspected) then it can access more funds from the government and Churches Health Association of Kenya.
We apologise for the delay in this project. It has been frustrating for all of us, particularly as it is outwith our control. We will work hard now to ensure the Clinic opens as planned but the additional time has been helpful in giving us time to raise the additional funds for the running costs, which gives us some breathing space during the registration period. During this time, we have also trained 46 Community Health Workers who will support the clinic with practical work and community health prevention.
Joytown Primary School for Children with Disabilities Printer: A new laserjet printer was presented to the chaplains at THQ Prayers for Joytown Primary School. This industrial printer replaced the broken down small printer that was currently being used at the Primary School.
Territorial Band trip to Tanzania: The territorial band were asked at the last minute to attend the commissioning in Tanzania, as the band who had planned to go were refused visa. Between the band they were asked to raise KSH250,000 to make the visit. We offered a donation to help them while THQ matched this and the members of the band raised KSH150,000 within a short space of time. The feedback from the Tanzania was exceptionally positive and they were grateful to have the band being able to worship with them and also provide a real visible presence during their ministry in Tanzania.
Sponsorship of Priscilla Njeri: During one of visits to Njoro we met one girls who we felt was much better suited to the learning environment at Variety Village. We felt that while she had physical disabilities her mental capacity was much stronger than the other children and she could cope with a more strenuous education, which would hopefully help her to support herself as she moves towards adult living. We were able to sponsor the transition from one institution to the other. We agreed with the parents that they would continue to pay the KSH5,000 they were paying at Njoro and we would pay the balance of schools fees to ensure she got a better and much more suited education. Priscilla is doing exceptionally well at Variety Village and a full report will be given by the Centre Manager when she completes next year.
Funds sent in November 2015 (GBP6,400)
Projects being worked on:
Kibera Kitchen: We are in the process of finishing the kitchen at Kibera Nursery. To date, the following work has been done
- Floor tiles have been fitted
- Windows repaired
- Tiled work surfaces have been put in
- Cupboard doors have been fitted
- Sink, tap and water installed
There is remaining work to be done in December, which includes painting the kitchen, finishing off the plastering on the top of the wall to seal them and tiling the classroom floors.
Our water engineer from the WASH Project, James Nzyimi, has also visited Kibera Nursery and made a proper design plan to ensure proper construction and sanitation. Unfortunately, heavy rains have been experienced in Kenya during November and December which means it is not possible or feasible to construct the bathrooms until the rains have subsided. We are planning to commence the construction of the bathrooms in January 2016.
Kabete Children’s Home: We also plan to take the children on a Christmas / New Year trip as a treat for them.
A full report and I&E will be sent when the work has been completed.
Kianamuthi Classrooms: We also acknowledge receipt of GBP4,000 as first instalment of work for Kianamuthi School (full project proposal sent). Work on this will also commence once the rains have subsided in January 2016). We have made all the necessary arrangements in terms of contractors, materials and decant arrangement but will need to wait until the dryer weather to commence the work.
NB: This year Kenya is experiencing prolonged and increased rainfall resulting in heavy flooding in some areas. As an office, we have suspended any work that required digging foundations or pit latrines until January 2016
CONCLUSION AND THANKS
Once again, we are full of gratitude for the support given to the Kenya East Territory from the Kenya Trust. We recognize that the funds raised represent a lot of hard work and effort on the part of the Trustees and others associated with the Trust. Please know that you are making a real difference to lives of some of the most vulnerable and marginalized children and adults in Kenya. We wish we could share with you some of the stories of mothers losing their babies during difficult labour in Maiani, which would be completely preventable if a health facility was nearby. We wish you could hear the hope and relief the Maiani Clinic now have. We would wish you could have witnessed the pride of the parents as they saw their children graduate from the Nursery School at Mathare, something they never ever felt they could afford to give their parent. We wish you could see the joy on the faces of the children at Njoro as they play with their new games. Most of all, we hope you know something of the blessings your hard work brings to other. We continue to give thanks to God for His provision through His people. Asanteni Sana.
Report prepared by:
Richard Bradbury, Territorial Projects Officers
Capt. Moses Njagi, Asst. Projects Officer