To refurbish 2 classrooms
- Our Work
Though Manda Maweni Primary School is located in a coastal community on the mainland of Kenya, the easiest way for visitors to reach it is by water. From Manda Airport in Lamu you would travel for about 30 minutes on the Indian Ocean in a water taxi powered by a 15 hp outboard motor, bringing you to a small village of some 600-800 people living in simple thatch-roofed homes made from coral rock plastered with mud. A primary industry in this community is cutting building blocks by hand from a coral rock quarry and then shipping them on dhows to nearby building sites. From this village visitors would then walk on a trail through the bush for about 15 minutes to reach the school. It is a rural school in the truest sense of the word with no other evidence of human habitation in view. The next closest school is about 11 kilometers away which is the reason why this school was started in the first place. It began as a nursery school in 2011 and now offers classes from KG to grade 3 for about 100 students. The hope of the school and community is that they will be able to add one grade each year to the school up to grade 8 (the end of primary school in Kenya), thus providing a basic education for all the children in the community. The school currently has three teachers, but only one who is paid by the government. The other two receive a salary from the parents in the community based on their ability to pay. At the present time because of its small size, the school receives no funding from the government for operating costs. The teachers have to make do with what they are able to buy or make themselves or borrow from another school. What this means is that for several subjects there is only one textbook in the school – the teacher’s; in other subjects the ratio may be four students to one textbook. In spite of these hardships, the teachers are optimistic and the students are happy and excited to be in school. And yet while they are learning, they can’t be achieving their full potential under these difficult circumstances. The most pressing need right now, however, is additional classroom space for this school to grow into. The parents are eager for their children to have the education that most of them were not privileged to receive. They recognize that education is the key to a better life for their children. And they are willing to do all that they can to see that this happens: share the meager income that they earn and provide volunteer labour to build the classrooms. But this is not enough to buy the blocks for the walls, the tiles for the floor, or the sheet metal for the roof. This is where ABW, where you, can play a vital role in partnering with this impoverished community, helping them take a step forward and upward.