During the most recent trip to Kenya we have embarked on a very exciting new project which we are looking forward to telling you about.
Many of you may remember a project called Bethel Children's Care Centre from new blogs on this website. We have been working with them for some time now, using the centre as a base for handing out your clothes and shoes donations, as well as supporting them with some educational materials such as exercise books, pencils, sharpeners, rubbers etc.
The project is based in the residential area of Mtomondoni, in the home of the founder, Elizabeth and her husband, Bill and provides nursery level education to young children in the area. Schooling in Kenya is done in three stages; nursery, primary and secondary. Completion of each stage is necessary for progression to the next one, however primary level is the only level which is provided free of charge by the government. Bethel, therefore, provides a crucial service to aound 80 local families, educating more than 80 children aged 2-6 in kindergarten (nursery) level schooling such as basic maths and english in preparation for primary schooling at the local government school.All the children who attend are from very poor backgrounds, with many being from single parent families, orphans or affected by HIV/AIDS. Therefore the facility is extremely useful to local parents or carers, especially those from single parent households, or those caring for orphans, as it enables them to go out and work during the day to put food on the table, whilst the children are looked after at Bethel.
Bethel charges just 100/= per month (around 70pence) which is enough to cover basic facilities such as pencils and paper, exam papers, desks, benches etc, whilst still being affordable to the local community.
However, the small amount the children and their families contribute is not adequate to pay wages for a teacher; meaning that Bethel have had a succession of volunteer teachers all in temporary roles and many underqualified for the job.
During the trip this time, with the assistance of the friends of Milele group fundraising here in the UK we have managed to take on a nursery teacher named Janet Dawa who will work at Bethel on a trial basis until the end of the year. If the trial is sucessful and funding can be secured long term, there is the hope that we will extend it indefinitely.
We also gave out many of the school uniform clothes which had been donated to the project, so the children have something smart to wear to school!
Thank-you to everyone who has donated so far, it will make a huge difference to very many children.
We would like to create some links between Bethel and some schools in the UK to help fund the teaching project. If you are a teacher at a school and would like to help us or to find out more, please don't hesitate to get in touch with Amy on 07950329398
Amy and Rich