The roof has been on our minds for some time. Since we wanted to build a solar system, the roof has to have a certain stability. It was very important to me that we plan the construction with Swiss standards. This way we can guarantee the safety of the children and also install the solar system without any problems. However, the planning was protracted because it was not as simple as we expected. Together with architects, carpenters and engineers we tried to construct an optimal roof for our desires. But in Kenya they do not use the same wood mass as here and the constructions are also different. Another problem are the length of the timbers and the availability of wood in general. Therefore, we had to adjust everything in detail and prepare it in such a way that it would also fit the builders in Kenya. Now we have a finished plan and the construction will start this week. I would like to thank my friends Lukas, Aland and Walter as well as everyone who invested a lot of time in this roof and helped us a lot. Thank you very much, that is not self-evident!
We actually expected to be able to put the classrooms into operation earlier respectively to finish the roof earlier. Unfortunately, this did not work out and led to space problems, as we were able to welcome again all classes and especially new students for the new school year (started in July). Therefore, we had to improvise and to combine some classes. As the temporary tin buildings were still standing inside the new walls, we were able to refresh them with small repairs and set up a temporary roof in the new classrooms. In this way it was possible to put at least two of the new rooms into use.
The temporary roof
We have diligently continued building the classrooms and now all the walls are finished. At this time only the roof has to be installed. A large part of the construction costs went again to levelling and filling the floors. As you all know, our school is situated on a small slope and therefore it always takes a lot of material until the rooms are all on the same level. In total we needed 17 lorries with corals for CHF 1’023.-. The next step is the cementing of the floors. We want to have more stability than the floor of the first building in order to prevent possible cracks. For that reason, we will cement in a wire mesh. The more complex construction method naturally drives up the price. We have to calculate around CHF 600.- per room. Thats CHF 2’400.- for all rooms. We are trying to do the floor parallel to the roofing, because both are crucial for the registration of the school. However, for the finishing we are dependent on further donations, otherwise we are not able to continue the construction work.
Our big goal for this year is to install a solar system and finally have electricity at our school. We have written a concept for this project, which we are now discussing with local suppliers. As we have lost a lot of time with the roof, the planning for the solar system has also been delayed. However, the contact with several companies has already been made and I think we are on the right way. The installation will then take place in October together with the Mathys/Hürzeler family. They will take care of the project. We can’t wait to finally have electricity in our school and be able to use it for cooking and digital lessons. It will be another milestone for our school. We are also planning to have computer science lessons with laptops for the students in the future. We are already organizing that. We would like to construct the solar system in such a way that it can be expanded. In a first step, we can secure the basic supply and at anytime we need more electricity, we have the possibility to upgrade the system with additional components.
As already communicated in the last article and also on social media, the Family Mathys/Hürzeler will travel to Mshomorni in October to support us direct on site. Pascale, Sascha and their children Vivienne and Sebastian will stay one month at our school to lead the solar project, to support the construction work and also to participate in the classes. Their journey has already started several months ago with the collection of donations and soon they will be on their way to Kenya. In June they have organized the jumble sale in Kestenholz, about which you can read more below. Within the jumble sale they could present their family project in a TV-report on Tele M1. We are really looking forward to the project!
TV-Report on Tele M1
Pascale, Sascha, Vivienne and Sebastian held a jumble sale in Kestenholz in June. The support from whole Kestenholz and many acquaintances was reasonable: The self-made flyer has been sent out by the school management to all school-age children in the village to help publicise the event. In this way, many used toys were collected and, through a sponsor, even a carload of new toys, which they then sold on the village square. There were no fixed prices, everyone could choose any amount they wanted to pay. The entire proceeds will of course go to our school. Alongside the jumble sale the people could help themselves to the rich dessert buffet, for which several families of the village had baked cakes, muffins and other delicacies. And the children enjoyed the bouncing castle, which was sponsored by Spar. Thank you very much! As we still have toys left, Pascale runs a toyshop a few days a month. The opening hours will be communicated here: Spielsachen Flohmarkt Kestenholz. We would be very happy to welcome you! The shop is located at the Gäustrasse 54, 4703 Kestenholz.
Overall the jumble sale has raised an incredible amount of CHF 3’695.-.
other construction works and expenses
In the chart below you can see our expenses in the second quarter. Due to the great support with many donations, we were able to invest a lot and to push ahead with the construction. Since the new building is bigger, we have adapted some details compared to the first building and we will invest more money in the roof, the costs for the second building are much higher. For us the quality of the buildings is very important, as they should also last for many years.
In addition to the construction works, we were able to buy new land. This is important for us because we have now completely built on our land and we need more space for our further projects. The new land has a total area of 630 sqm. There we would like to build new sanitary facilities to provide clean and modern toilets for the students and teachers. We have paid half of the bill and the rest we will clear in December. We really need new sanitary facilities as the old ones are really past their prime. We have done some repairs on the old toilets so that we can last their lifetime until we get the new ones.
The student number has raised from 130 in January to 190 in August and therefore we had to had built new desks again. This has costed us CHF 270.-. As soon as the new classrooms are ready we will certainly add more.
We equipped the teachers and students of class 5 with new text books. The books are very important so the teachers are able to prepare themselves for the classes and the students can do exercises. Of course, we try to provide all classes with the necessary books.
|Plot of 630 sqm, first rate||CHF 2’170.-|
|10 desks||CHF 270.-|
|Child Care Facility License||CHF 85.-|
|2. Building, bricking and floor|
|Toilet repair||CHF 115.-|
|School books class 5||CHF 300.-|
|Temporary roof||CHF 77.-|
During the last months we have received a lot of donated goods and we will prepare them for transport in September. Therefore, we have to sort all clothes and pack them into cardboard boxes. It’s planned to send about 500 kg of goods, depending on the shipping charges. As already mentioned in the last article, we want to use a budget of CHF 2’000.-. For the financing of the transport you are welcome to make donations with the subject “Donation transport”. We would be very grateful for your support. The kids are always very happy when they receive new shoes, clothes and school material. It always feels like Christmas for them.