Celebrations at Mkuranga Primary School

You might remember last March we launched a special appeal to help Mkuranga Primary School. Here is an update of a very special celebration that took place on Wednesday.

There was wild applause as the Deputy District Commissioner revealed a plaque to recognise the help that Malaika Kids is giving to Mkuranga primary school. 57 of our Malaika Kids have been educated there. Filmed on local television, Madam Eugene (far left in green) was the host of the ceremony; she was supported by the school’s chairman (in red), Najma Manji (CEO of MKTZ), Francesca and the Mkuranga District Head of Education.

Malaika Kids has fixed and renovated classrooms that were left elict through lack of local funds; the classrooms are painted and new desks supplied. The children could hardly wait to be the first to rush into the new classrooms and sit at the new desks (and not sit on the floor as many did before).

Our keynote speaker wanted to test the new desk for herself (along with Najma and a teacher and pupil). The desks typically seat three; we have delivered 59, with a further 141 to be delivered over the next few weeks.

As important as classrooms and desks are hygienic toilets. We were delayed by heavy late rains that collapsed our initial pits, but now we have two septic tanks, one ready to go once enormous tree stumps have been removed, one already sealed. We hope to shortly complete the building of two blocks containing a total of eighteen individual toilets, including one for disabled and one for staff. They will look like this:

We were also able to donate a sewing machine to help with a basic vocational class that the school offers some school leavers. This was given unexpected and delightful prominence in the whole ceremony.

There were short speeches thanking both Malaika Kids UK and Malaika Kids NL for their fundraising generosity. The speech that had most impact was probably that from Francesca, who read hers in Kiswahili – much to the enjoyment of the large crowd!

After the main ceremony, we were offered a welcome cup of tea, enabling us to chat to the Head of Education about our hope that the local desk supplier can become accredited to train some of our children and be able to award qualifications.

Madam Eugene was then interviewed for local television, which was aired yesterday evening. She particularly wanted to thank Alison Clewlow, who got the whole project rolling. The reporter also came back to see the Children’s Village for himself.

The day was full of singing and dancing (largely initiated by a very happy headmistress), but with children delighted to join in whenever they were encouraged!

At the end of the morning, a huge crowd of people, including 2,500 children, gradually made their way back to classrooms or to their homes.

A day of appreciation from our neighbours, Mkuranga Primary School for the completion of the project that Malaika Kids’ supporters and management team made possible.