This has been a big year for our youngest sponsored child, Isaac, as he has started at BIG SCHOOL!
Isaac was previously attending Victory Academy, a small local kindergarten run by a wonderful woman named Madam Susan. Madam Susan runs the kindergarten (for around 80 children from 18months to 5yrs) out of her home and cares for all the children as her own. Isaac has now graduated from Victory Academy and is ready to start big school for the first time!
To read more about Isaac or Victory Academy check out our other blog posts:
Isaac was very excited when he moved this January into the Kindergarten class at Mtwapa Elite! He has his posh new school uniform and is feeling pretty smart!
Isaac is joining Kindergarten 2 at Mtwapa Elite, which is an excellent primary school, currently leading the way in the examination results for the whole of Kilifi County. He will be among family, since 8 of our milele sponsored children already attend this school.
To find out more about Mtwapa Elite, check out our previous blog post:
Isaac is settling in really well and we are starting some extra tuition for him with his kindergarten teacher to help him catch up with his reading skills. He has already made lots of friends and is in the same class as Riziki, another of our Milele sponsored children. Riziki and Isaac are neighbours and are already firm friends!
We look forward to hearing more about how he is getting on at big boys school – stay tuned!
I’d like to introduce you all to our youngest sponsored child Isaac.
We met Isaac 2 years ago when Isaac’s family received a donated food parcel. Isaac is a happy, confident and active little boy, who is very friendly and loves going to school & playing with the neighbour children.
Isaac lives with his younger brother Anthony and incredibly hard working mother. They all stay in a small rented room which is quite close to Victory Academy where Isaac and Anthony both attend school.
Every time we have met Isaac’s mother she has been working hard; either selling nuts, washing clothes or other casual labour. These jobs are often pay very little so Rieder is working with Isaac’s mother to see if Milele can help her to start a more profitable business. I am sure that with her hard work she will make the business a huge success.
For thew time being, Isaac will continue to attend Victory Academy as it is very close to his home and he is receiving a good level of education. When he reaches Standard 1 he will move to Mtwapa Elite Academy to join the other primary aged children sponsored by Milele.
Old Mac-Donald has been very busy in kindergartens in Mtomondoni and Mtwapa. Kids at Victory Academy and Royal Academy aged between 18 months and 10 years have had a fantastic time singing about it all!
Check out the video, it’s well worth a watch if you think you can stand three million verses of this song!!! Popular animals at Victory include kangaroos and rabbits… basically anything that jumps! My personal favourite are the lions!
Next this brave farmer visited Royal Academy where his farm continued to be a huge success, they even decided to add in some extra spontaneous clapping too! I love the elephants (especially one tall elephant on the back row who got a bit carried away and nearly caused an elephant-related concussion!) Keep your eyes peeled for the little girl on the front row, far left who is looking around her at everyone like they are extremely strange… I’ll have no part in this chaos…!
A huge thank-you especially goes to one sponsor for the special ‘Old MacDonald’ hand puppet that we have donated to Victory Academy, it was so exciting for the kids.
Yes I wilt! When even the palm trees are withering, you can imagine what the sun is doing to us!
Contrary to the opinion I had before arriving, everybody and everything works hard for a living here, whether it is a two-year-old starting school or a matatu taxi. I experienced my first matatu ride on Sunday the 13th (“black Sunday”!) For the uninitiated, these are Toyota Hiace vans with a driver and two passenger seats up front. Entry is via the sliding side door, there are four rows of three seats inside, very cosy. So, 14 passengers in all plus a conductor, although on Amy’s last trip she had a competition with her friend for the most crowded matatu ride. Amy smugly reported her entry of 32 passengers but was trumped by her friend with 36! In a Toyota Hiace! The truth needs no exaggeration in Kenya.
Now I bet you know some Swahili without realising. “Hakuna matata” (copyright Disney’s Lion King) hakuna = none; matata = worries. This must be where the name comes from, matatu – worry on wheels!
With so many people living in close proximity, one obvious problem is litter. There is no council refuse truck to clear streets so the locals sweep their own patch maybe twice every day and simply set fire to the pile, so the air is thick with the smell of burning, especially plastic. Just remind me of the smell the next time I complain about my council tax.
In spite of the circumstances the vast majority are very cheerful and completely honest. Once in a while you meet an exceptional individual like Madam Susan. She runs Victory Academy a daycare centre at her home for kindergarten aged kids. In theory parents pay and those that can do pay, but many can’t. Madam Susan draws no distinction, they are all loved, fed and taken care of. The parents are all doing their best to support her, as is Milele, thanks to your efforts.
Next time… ‘baby-faced robber’ and goats in the high street… no ‘kidding’!
Over the last few days, our main project has been to visit as many of the children in their homes as possible. This is useful in lots of different ways; firstly if they have already received a donation from us (many have received mosquito nets in the past), we can make sure that the family still have it and are using it rather than saving it for best; as well as taking some photos for you back home to see where your money has gone. Also, it gives us a really good insight into each child’s situation and how we can best go about helping them. It also invariably enables us to identify the families who are most in need of support and we have met some families who are really struggling in their daily life.
We have so far visited families with children at Victory Academy Kindergarten (kids aged 18months to 7years), Royal Academy Primary School (kids aged 18months to 13 years) and Rescue Foundation Mtomondoni (kids aged 18months to 15years).
One family we met today have a child named Munera who attends Royal Academy. She is currently living with her mother and two siblings, one of whom is severely disabled. In the same room live her aunt and her aunt’s two children as well has her grandparents. In total the family are nine and the room is roughly 2 by 3 metres.
At Rescue Foundation, we met children who are walking around 3km each way to school every day, without any shoes and at Victory we met many children who are orphans or from single parent families.
This is just a sample of the visits we have undertaken over the last few days, there are many more just like them.
After all the visits are complete, we will have the task of selecting families to receive the food parcels and mosquito nets which you have donated over the Christmas period. These will make a huge difference, so thank-you for your support.
On Monday we will be visiting children from New Life School in Mtomondoni, many of whom have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Keep checking the site for updates on everything we are up to.