We had an amazing and productive week, learning and growing together. It was a week of many change and many firsts. Elizabeth, one of the two new teachers was on duty and she did an excellent job coordinating various activities and leading the assembly – during which she taught us new Kamba (one of the over 42 local languages) songs. The other new teacher Justus led our weekly staff meeting. It was the first time the meeting was led by a person other than the director. Justus did a wonderful job leading the meeting and shared with us his experiences as a teacher in Narok. His experiences led to an open discussion on the ways we can make Hands of Love a better schools and led us to be thankful for what we already have,
Some of the Highlights from the week are –
1. Terry and Neal’s Visit
On Tuesday January 22, Terry and Neal Visited the School. Neal is a strong supporter of Hands of Love through our Italian Friends Direttamente. Neal had the opportunity to see and learn how the school works and shared lunch with us. In the afternoon he was taken for a close to three tour of Kariobangi neighbourhood where he met and interacted with six HoL families as they went about their daily activities. The tour included a visit to a neighboring school and Kariobangi Trader’s Market.
Neal donated a computer to the school and a bag full of clothes for which we are very thankful.
2. New Students
Two new students admitted in october last year reported to school this week bringing the total student population to 169.
3. Health and Welfare
On wednesday 23 and Thursday 24, Eleven students presented with severe stomach ache and vomiting and were taken to hospital where they were treated for food poisoning. We suspect that the source of the infections was from our kitchen as we had taken delivery of vegetables on wednesday and the handling may not have been done well because we have new staff at the kitchen. Immediate action was taken to correct this mistake and I am happy to report that by Saturday all the affected children had recovered and there were no new cases.
It was noted in the staff meeting that many of the children did have good school shoes. Many wear flip flops and some had shoes that were worn out.
In a case of suspected domestic violence a grade 1 boy had a serious septic wound on their index finger and was taken to hospital. It was noted that a pre – primary 2 girl who sustained burns on her hand last year still needed treatment because the hand had not healed properly.
Lastly on health, we have a girl with severe case of rickets and her legs are in constant pain. We are looking into ways of making her stay in the school comfortable and safe.
Monicah Saida, the girl with cerebral palsy reported back to school after a two weeks absence. It is a continuous struggle for us to convince her parents that she need to be in school.
4. Teaching and Learning
Attendance in the the week was good averaging 164 students per day. Teachers reporting time in the morning has significantly improved since new incentives were put in place in the first week.
Pauline, grade one teacher attended a workshop on teaching mathematics in primary organised by St. Pauls University, Limuru.
A number of parents complained that the work their children are doing in school was not challenging enough. This comes from a lack of understanding by parents on what the new curriculum entails. We plan to hold parents meetings beginning next week so that we can discuss this issue with them.
We have started to benefit from the new skills teachers undergoing training in special education have acquired. During the week the teachers discussed with the director and formulated plans to help the four special needs students we currently have at HoL.