Upendo Nursery School.
Upendo Nursery School started the 2014 school year with its brand new building and secure spacious compound.
Upendo Nursery School (or Early Childhood Education Centre) was completed in December 2013 with the outdoor painting and the installation of the school’s gate. It is now up and running with four brightly painted classrooms, two sets of his and her latrine toilets and a full perimeter fence for greater privacy and security.
History of Upendo Nursery School
In 2007, the community of Sabaki village knew they needed a new school for their youngest members. Like many rural villages in the coast this village consists of mostly mud houses. There is no electricity or plumbing in homes. Water is carried in 10 or 20 litre jerry cans, often on women's heads, from a standpipe in the village. There are three government schools that serve this area but both are at least a kilometer away and one is across a major road, another across a river. Parents had to accompany their little ones on the hour-or-so walk which doesn’t leave enough time for their required daily chores (gathering water, hand washing laundry, collecting wood for cooking and preparing meals from scratch). Many chose to keep the children home until they were old enough (6-7 years) to walk alone.
Members of the community began a nursery school in 2004 in a one-room mud structure and later moved to a small cinder block house with three dark, cramped rooms. The school owned only 3 blackboards, a few desks and straw mats for the students to sit upon during their lessons.
Elimu representatives first met with the Upendo Self Help Group in 2010. Fundraising for a new building began in June 2011 and by November the latrine toilets were erected with the help of villagers as well as local labourers. In March 2012, local villagers came out to break ground and offer their effort to dig the foundation for the first classroom. By August enough funds were raised to complete the second classroom. So that in just over one year two standard-sized classrooms were completed!
The original budget was set at $25,000 in 2010. Over the three years of the project, the original parameters were expanded as additional funds became available. The final construction includes a full perimeter fence and gate around the entire compound, four full-sized classrooms and painting in the official school colours. The final expanded project cost just under $35,000. As with all Elimu projects to the end of 2013, all funds raised went direct to project needs. All project management by Elimu in Kenya or Canada was provided on a volunteer basis.
The running of the school is now in the hands of a volunteer school management committee including representation by Elimu. This village is responsible for the success of their school. They have benefited from seed funding to build the structure, and now must generate income through school fees and proper management to pay the teachers and sustain the project into the future. As the student population grows and the school can raise funds itself, new classrooms may be built.
This Project is Complete!
Our part is done. The fundraising effort was a success. We now watch closely as the Sabaki Community manages the school and increases their student population.
Elimu wishes to acknowledge the special support of Global Child Care Services Ottawa, Canada. Their unwavering commitment to this project was overwhelming. Over 65% of the funds for the project came through their efforts – a variety of individual fundraising activities run by their 9 child care programs. Thank you Global Child Care Services for helping to make Upendo Early Childhood Education Centre a reality.
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