Attendance and Class work
The attendance was alright apart from 2 kids who were absent; it’s worth noting that these two kids are routinely absent. One of the kids who lives with the grandma has the challenge of showing up in school occasionally within the week, the other kid’s case is more of a parent-issue whereby the parent doesn’t like bringing the kid to school and creates excuses from time to time on the child’s sickness of which upon asking the teachers the kid seems perfectly healthy.
Despite challenges such as lack of adequate learning materials (textbooks etc.) teachers and learners have adapted to the new curriculum. We are working with parents and our partners to ensure we acquire all the necessary learning resources needed to successfully implement the new syllabus. What we need most is textbooks and workbooks which have only recently become available and they are costly. We estimate that it would cost Ksh180,000 (about US$1,800 / 1500 euros) for the school to give every child the necessary textbooks and workbooks.
We continued to encourage parents to make their monthly contribution (ksh500/US$5/4.2euros) to the centre, this remains a big challenge because of the hard-economic times that families are experiencing around here.
Health & Welfare
The rainy season has started in earnest creating a few challenges in Kariobangi and generally in Nairobi. There has been flooding causing some schools to close down and making some residential areas inaccessible. Luckily, this has not had a big impact on Hands of Love, in some instances, kids have come to school late because of heavy rains in the morning or left early before evening rains began. We were not able to access the public playground because it is currently flooded so kids did not have their usual Friday games. The roads are muddy and in some areas sewer lines have burst open so the shoes that we bought kids have come in very handy.
One more effect of the rainy season is that the days are mostly cloudy and as a result some of the classes become too dark.
With the rains it is a bit chilly and a few kids have a got a cold of flu. We are continuing to encourage parents to dress their kids warmly so that they do not get sick. Some kids do not have a good pair of shoes that would keep their feet dry and warm and others do not have jumpers. We would like to appeal for donations of these items so that we can continue to keep the kids health. There the risk of cholera or other gastrointestinal illnesses outbreaks so we are keeping an eye on that. Actually, one girl in preprimary 2 has been presenting with fever and vomiting this week. The headteacher is making a follow-up on the mother to enquire about the health needs of the girl.
We are still experience challenges with play area for children. At the moment kids use the hallways for play which is not very conducive. This matter is urgent now because in our inspection last month we were ordered by State Department for Education to increase the play area. Work has started on a proposed play area but it has been slow for lack of funds. This week we did some painting.
Meals were served on time. Kids are enjoying the improved menu and we are working towards incorporating fruits into the diet to make it healthier for the kids. Water was supply was restored this week but this came at big cost, nonetheless, we are happy.