Msambweni Primary School
Etatu has worked closely with Msamwbeni Primary School (MPS) since 2013. The school has over 800 children from Grade 1 to 8. There are also about 40 children in two pre-primary classes, introduced in 2018.
We support community teachers, six in all since 2013. Mr. Mlonda and Mr. Dzengo are our supported teachers at the moment. Their energy and commitment are remarkable.
We distribute school bags, filled with school stationery and a solar light. We were inspired by School in a Bag (SIAB), who funded our first two distributions. We now give bags out every year; to date over 3,000. The bags are made in Mombasa.
In 2018 we built a kitchen. It might not be sophisticated, but it serves an important purpose: the school now provides school lunches. Etatu cooks and provides lunch to all the final year pupils during their final exam, the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE.)
We help children identified as coming from particularly vulnerable families, by paying for some school costs, such as charges for lunch or exams and providing uniforms, books and medical expenses, as need is identified.
We run a jigger treatment clinic each term for those affected by this debilitating condition and after treatment provide them with shoes.
We work collaboratively with the pre-primary classes, particularly to ensure that creativity and play are incorporated into the children’s day.
We have refurbished a disused classroom, to provide a library, including installing a new roof, windows and electricity. We intend to supply furniture and books by the end of 2019. (photo: Bakari in the library classroom, with Mr. Mlonda, Mr. Dzengo and Sudi, who painted the mural. )
Initiatives & Impact
We assess the impact that our initiatives make on achievement and believe that these various inter-related initiatives make a positive difference.
In 2013, Msambweni Primary School was the worst performing school in Kwale Province in the final KCPE exams.
An inspirational new Headteacher and the initiatives Etatu became involved in contributed significantly, we believe, to the success of Msambweni Primary in the 2014 KCPE exams; they were the third placed school and most improved in the Zone. We were delighted. In 2017, MPS performed better than it had ever done before and over 30 children progressed to secondary school, many with national or county scholarships. At the end of 2018, over 60 children did well enough to progress and all have started secondary school this year. This is a remarkable improvement since 2013, when only five children from Msambweni Primary went on to secondary school.
Secondary School Sponsorship
Secondary School is not free. Few families can afford it. We currently help 67 pupils secure a secondary education which would otherwise have been impossible.
Etatu pays fees, provides uniform, books and healthcare and assists with transport costs or provides bicycles. Etatu organises competitions, enables pupils to go on school trips and provides a packed holiday programme of lessons and activities. Supported children take part in beach clean ups and voluntary work in the local community and enjoy our end-of-year gathering and prize giving with a guest speaker. Sponsored children seem to appreciate the sense of being cared about and that someone is interested in their experiences. The team in Kenya has worked hard and effectively to build positive relationships with school heads.
Forty-five of the sixty-seven pupils we help are girls. The effect of enabling girls to access and complete secondary school has been remarkable. We support girls at local schools in the area, including Kingwede Girls’ High School and Ramisi Secondary School, both boarding schools. Of those who left school at the end of 2018, only our second year of school leavers, three young women have gone on to University, two to Polytechnic, one has joined the Government’s National Youth Service for two years and four others have gone on to do short six-month diplomas in a variety of disciplines. All have sought and secured funding from the government or other sources to do this, something which is extremely competitive.
Sponsors build a relationship with a child during an important time in their educational development. The girls in the pictures are writing to their individual sponsors.
For further information, or to start sponsoring a child, please go to the ‘How you can help’ page of this website and look under the ‘Sponsor a Child’ heading. Alternatively, please contact us; we would be delighted to help.
We understand Secondary School is not for everyone. We also support vocational training for motivated, determined individuals.
The Community Learning Banda
At the request of the community and with donated funds earmarked for this project, we built a Community Learning Centre. Completed in 2014, the banda is used for meetings, self-study groups and lessons in the holidays. A LEAP grant from Better World Books enabled us to equip it as a community library, the first in the area. Training in library procedures and management was completed and books for school and pleasure became available to everyone. Provision now includes basic computer facilities. We buy a daily newspaper for the banda. This much needed facility is popular and widely used.
The community provided the land for this. It is an honour to be gifted with a location and trusted in this way. Please help us to maintain this site as a dynamic and effective resource for the community.
Milalani Special School
We are building a relationship with the Special Unit of Milalani Primary School. This part of the school is boarding and looks after and educates forty children with Special Educational Needs. It is staffed by two teachers and two pastoral carers.
We have been asked to help with the collection and storage of rainwater; at the moment the children have to cross over a main road to collect water themselves. A volunteer who visited Msambweni in the summer of 2019 has recently run a half-marathon to raise funds for Milalani and we hope to have installed gutters and water tanks soon. Thank you, Olli!
The reality of education in Msambweni; the reasons we are involved:
Children value school; it represents hope and future opportunity. Families strive relentlessly and make significant sacrifices to get their children into school. The obstacles that remain are enormous however: classrooms of eighty children with one teacher, no text books and three to a desk.
Teaching is in English, the third language for most children. Until recently, the Msambweni Primary School had no school meal facility; many children attempted a school day on breakfast alone, restricting their ability to concentrate and achieve.
Although primary school is free, school uniform is compulsory, as are various school levies, such as that for a night watchman or exams. Schools have a zero tolerance policy towards these things. Even when charges are suddenly made mid-year, children are sent home if late with payments.
A greatly interrupted schooling is also common due to illness, malaria, menstruation. Study at home is also impossible: no space, no floor, no tables, no light and still no books.
In these circumstances, it is not surprising that people from outside wishing to help often set up their own schools. Etatu has chosen not to do this. We support the efforts of local schools and offer help alongside them, in the community.
How your donation can help
Education is seen as a route out of poverty and is an important tool in the journey towards sustainability.
£5 a month sponsors a primary aged orphan for a year, providing them with school uniform, shoes, school supplies, a wholesome weekly meal and soap. It also covers the annual levy for night watchman and exams.
£10 provides a child with a pair of durable school shoes. Msambweni Primary is more lenient than some schools, in that children are allowed to school without shoes. Shoes however remain the best prevention against jiggers.
£18 supplies a sturdy school bag filled with stationery supplies & a solar light.
£60 means a child can be accompanied to the eye clinic for an eye test and buys a pair of glasses.
£100 supports a community teacher at Msambweni Primary for a month.
£420 sponsors a child for a year at a secondary boarding school. There are very few secondary day schools in Msambweni; transport costs render most of them prohibitive.