We have spent a bit more time at the Bethel project during our visit this time, and have been really pleased to see them under the care of their founder Elizabeth blossoming into a fantastically successful school providing quality education to many of the areas poorest families.
Bethel now have 85 children who attend regularly in the babyclass, kindergartens 1, 2 and 3.
For the youngest children, Bethel provides the opportunity for parents to go out and find work during the day, meaning they can try to put food on the table at home.Before Bethel, this service was normally very expensive, making it unaccessible to the parents who need to use it most. Elizabeth's solution is to run the care scheme herself, and ask for only 100 shillings (around 80p) contribution per child per month, a sum which is achievable when paid in very small installments throughout the year.
For those in the kindergarten classes the school is providing an invaluable foundation before they enter the government school system. They are acheiving among the highest nursery school marks in the area, a huge achievement for an essentially free community school. This preparation for school will mean children from Bethel have the best possible chance of absorbing as much information as possible within the government school environment.
Upon joining the government school, Elizabeth still provides support for the children who have outgrown the programme, through after school hours tuition at the project.
Our volunteer, Billy, has spent a lot of time there and has really enjoyed working with the project. Elizabeth said that at first the parents were doubtful that their children would understand Billy's english accent, but dramatically changed their minds after seeing Billy's class achieiving the highest positions in the area in their entry to government school assessment! Billy is now considered a real part of the team at Bethel, he will be sorely missed when his time in Kenya draws to a close in January.
During our trip here we have been able to give out some of your donated clothes and shoes at to the children attending the Bethel project, and thanks to a donation from Micheal Wright have managed to buy 100 exercise books; 109 pencils; 10 sharpeners and 200 peices of chalk for use in the school, as well as some additional mosquito nets for the youngest babies!
We hope you enjoy the photos!
Amy and Rich