We had an incredible year. The support has increased from all sides and I’m really overwhelmed about the amount of people who are interested in that project and who are helping us. I have started with the small idea to support Harrisons school and to offer the children a better future two years ago. And today we are near to finish a second permanent building. I would have never expected that back then, but it makes me all the happier to see how far we have come and I’m convinced that we are able to achieve much more. The schools in Kenya have been closed from March until the end of the year except class 4 and class 8. For the building process it wasn’t that bad. So we were able to push the construction work forward without having to worry about the children. We were allowed to welcome the classes 4 and 8 back in our school in October. The reason for the partial opening of the schools was that both classes are having final exams in March. Since the roof of our new building was finished at that time, we could already teach them in the new classrooms. Of course, the floor and the walls weren’t ready, but for teaching it worked very well. For the first time in their lives, the students were able to go to school in a permanent building!
At the beginning of the year we had classrooms without roof and unfinished walls. In this year we wer able to build the roof, to cement the floor, to lay down electric conduction, to install doors and windows and to welcome the first students into the classrooms. A complete success!
For the school start in January we had to spruce up the old classrooms respectively the iron sheet building. To build the walls of the new foundation, some parts of the iron sheet building had to be removed and the floor reversed. So now we had to level the floor again, fix the metal sheets all around again and put the desks in the rooms. We were very busy at the end of December. As you can see from the pictures, I was on site myself and gave everything with shoveling and hoeing!
Arrival Donation transport
On the 23rd of December our donations reached Harrisons home . It was a long and hard process. From the packing over the shipping until to the release and the transport from Nairobi to Mombasa, it took more than one month. The hardest part awaited us in Nairobi at customs. As in Kenya corruption is a widespread and official evil, it caught us of course also at the airport in Nairobi. Without a bribe there was nothing for us to get in a foreseeable time. Our transport would probably still be there in the storage today. After two days filled with discussions, a long waiting time, a lot of back and forth and a lot of bribes, we finally managed to release the 165 kg donations and bring them to Mombasa. As there is a curfew in Kenya starting from 10 p.m and we could not leave Nairobi before 4 p.m, time was not enough for us to be in Mombasa before curfew. So we had to deal with the police several times on our way back. Since we had the donations with us, they didn’t come down too hard on us. Totally exhausted and tired we reached Harrisons home at 1 a.m. and put the parcels into his house. There they are now waiting to be handed over in January. All in all we drove more than 1000 km. Harrisons brother was kind enough to help us out with his car.
Just before Christmas we started a Christmas campaign, where we gave people the opportunity to donate school supplies for our school. There were four different packages at different prices. Half of the amount was used for school supplies and the other half went towards the construction work. Due to your support we were able to buy pens, pencils, exercise books, rulers, erasers and many more stationary, with which we will surprise the students in the first school week. These school supplies are very helpful for us and we are really grateful for your support. Not all parents are able to buy enough exercise books or stationary for their children. Therefore, donations are helping us a lot. So the kids are having the opportunity to learn under better conditions.
It really dears to my heart that all donors know exactly what is happening with their money. That is why I always communicate openly what we use the money for and how high the expenses are. Very important to know is also that all administrative costs are covered by myself, which means that always exactly 100% of the donated amount is invested in the school. The financial report includes also the annual report with the figures of income and expenses of our school. I would like to present to you these figures here. This year we have received an incredible amount of CHF 8’800.- of donations! This money we have used as follows:
|Renovation tin building||CHF 615.- (KSH 61’500)|
|Wall||CHF 1025.- (KSH 102’500)|
|Filling and leveling of the floor||CHF 2’900.- (KSH 290’000)|
|Roof||CHF 782.- (KSH 78’200)|
|Doors and windows||CHF 1’000.- (KSH 100’000)|
|Window frames and plastering||CHF 350.- (KSH 35’000)|
|Foundation of the new building||CHF 3150.- (KSH 315’000)|
|Total||CHF 9822.- (KSH 982’200)|
The deficit equates my personal donations.
As I wrote in the last article, our next goal is to completely finish the first building. This includes the gutters, the window shutters, minor interior work and the painting. We have now obtained a quote for the gutters and we will start the installation in January. As the government is demanding running water and we only have the water tank at Harrisons home, we have decide to realise a water project. We will build an underground water tank for about CHF 2’000.- (KSH 200’000) so that we can collect rainwater. This water will then be able to supply us all year around! This will be another big step for our school. After that, we want to continue working on the new building. As this is being built on the same site as the old tin building, we can only continue the work up to a certain point. We want to finish the construction during the summer holidays, where there are no kids on site.
Another highlight will be the hand over of the donations in January. We will hold it as a part of a big school party with lots of music, dancing and food.