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Latest Sad News April 2018

We returned from a very successful trip to Kenya on Thursday having done eye tests on over 150 people and given out 140 pairs of  recycled spectacles. Rosemary took three groups of girls, teaching them how to make washable reusable sanitary wear, and another group of women from Samburu who travelled for 2 hours to get to the school for a day of tuition.

On the way to the airport the huge destruction of houses ,shops and other building brought us to tears.  It looked like a war zone, many houses cut in half ,even an appartment block left hanging dangerously. We had seen some of this in Ukunda town near our hotel and had been told that the ministry of transport had in the 70'S earmarked the road for expansion and apparently compensated people. There is no dispute that the road needs to be built and in the long term will bring jobs but it is sad that no one thought to make sure no one built within the 25 foot road edge. The buildings were marked with a cross and within 24 hours demolished ,not giving the occupants  time to remove the walls themselves so blocks could be reused.

We were told on Wednesday our Nursery school would have its boundary wall and trees removed which was expected . It had been built in the year 2000 a considerable distance from the road edge so we were safe or so we believed. Late Thursday afternoon ,after we had arrived home,in the UK, Harrison our headmaster, informed us that a cross for demolition had been put on the classroom nearest the road. This was quite different to what had been previously told. Early in the morning Harrison went to the school to move desks and the blackboard and pleaded with the constructors to give us 24 hours to remove the floor ( newly tiled recently ) and the walls and roof so they could be reused for rebuilding. This was refused and the bulldozer destroyed the school which had been used for 18 years.

The other 2 classrooms are more or less intact, and we will have to use them next week when the school goes back . In the long term, however, it is clearly unsafe for a Nursery School to be next to a widened major road. We have therefore decided to rebuild the Nursery School on the Primary site which is well away from the road and where it is quieter and safer. This will cost approximately £10,000.

We are happy to announce that we have already got pledges of over £1,000 but there is still a long way to go.

As you can imagine any donations would be appreciated and immediately put to use.

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 The church building was saved . Look at how much land was taken. They left the foundations and a large tree in front of the building. They have now started to build the new road and it goes no where near even the wall they demolished. This was done with no compensation leaving 3 and 4 year olds exposed to a busy road.


Thanks to the very generous donations from friends and sponsors a new 3 classroom nursery was built in 3 months on the site of the primary School well away from the road.

Prayers at the foundations of new Nursery School

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Graduation takes place each November when children in kindergarten class 3 graduate to Primary School. Also children who are in class 8 take Kenyan exams to proceed to Secondary School and they leave KAG School and so graduate. This is a great celebration and gowns are hired a cake is bought and certificates given. Some years important people are invited and in 2016 the local politicians came.

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APRIL 2019

We returned from a very successful trip to Kenya in April This year we travelled with 2 Rotarian friends Gill and Bob. This year we did 4 sessions of eye testing  on over 190 people and gave away nearly 200 pairs of  recycled spectacles. Rosemary  and Gill took one group of 25  girls, teaching them how to make washable reusable sanitary wear. This was in a local Secondary school where 3 of our former students were attending. Each girl were thrilled to go home with a rucksack, flannel, bags to put in clean and soiled items and a full kit plus what they had made. All these items had been made or donated by sponsors in the UK and USA. We were pleased to receive thanks from the headmistress who said we were an inspiration to her girls.

After the sad situation of the demolition of 1 of our Nursery classrooms in order to widen the road,  we can inform you that, as expected,  the road is going no where near the classroom destroyed and the church has not had to remove its porch. We have however started to adapt the 2 remaining classrooms into accomodation blocks for the older boys who board. This will avoid the school paying rent and a new toilet, washroom and well have been built. The whole site has now been fenced. see photo.

Thanks to the amazing generosity of many friends and sponsors a new 3 classroom Nursery opened in September last year on the Primary site. This was able to be done thanks to a parent of a child at KAG School who sold the school some land at a very good price which gave enough room for the Nursery to be built.

It is looking very good with a tiled floor and new desks thanks to Horbury and Ossett Rotary Club. 

The government in Kenya has just introduced a new curriculum in Nursery Schools and has said that no formal teaching should be done until Kindergarten 1 and 2. The youngest class should just play. This seemed strange to the Kenyan teachers but they were very fortunate because Gill is a consultant teacher in the UK specialising in Early learning and she was able to give expert advice. We tried to move the teachers away from the TV and get the children to learn through play. We all went shopping in Mombasa to buy what we could to help. Gill with our help set up play stations in the classroom. She set up sand, water, paint, play dough, jigsaw and games, skittles stations and we had taken out a hopscotch some balls bean bags and skipping ropes. Unfortunately the quality of toys in Kenya was poor , chinese plastic and will not last long we will have to take out better quality next year. To complete the play facilities a sponsor had donated money for some swings a roundabout and a slide to be built while we were there in Ukunda and they were delivered before we came home.

 The Old Nursery

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Demolished Classroom            Remaining classrooms adapted for Accomodation     Classroom adapted awaiting beds  because of the split level a bar is put so the house      

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New Accomodation finished

The Nursery School

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New Nursery                                                    Sand Station                                                                 Play Dough Station                                              Water

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Jigsaws                             Animal dominoes             Come and Count                                 Come and Paint                                         Come and play Skittles

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                              In School eye testing

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Days for Girls

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                            Explanation by Gill and Rosemary                              Girls pinning and tackiing



 May 2020

We had intended to return to Kenya this year just before Easter and stay for the Easter celebrations. Luckily we had not booked early and as the time approached for us to book news was coming out about an unusual deadly virus spreading in China. We decided to postpone our visit and wait to see the development.

By now you all realise to leave the UK and go any where is impossible for the forseeable future.

We are in contact with Mr. Harrison the headmaster of the School on a daily basis so we always know how things are.

Here below is an update of all that has happened so far in 2020.

In January a very generous sponsor asked how he could help the school and what projects did we have in the pipeline. We mentioned that the refurbished computers bought 10 years ago were now almost obselete, several not being able to access the internet and although they have been maintained yearly the humidity and dust has taken its toll. We have taken out 2 old lap tops recently and bought 2 new ones which function well but obviously a class of 30 pupils need many more. The sponsor gave us money to buy a further 10 laptops which were very much appreciated.

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 10 New Lap Tops                                    Excited Pupils

 The Sponsor also donated a further £2000 to build an extra classroom which will be needed in 2 years time when the school needs to extend up to year 9. This is all explained in Angaza newsletter you can find under newsletters. This was built in January and will, in view of the new rules for reintroducing children back to school after Kenyans school closures, be extremely useful.

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 New Classroom                                                                               Tiled floor                                                   Sponsors

Due to some technically issues with the School name,  in January the School trustees in Kenya  decided to reregister the school with a new name.

In honour of all the fundraising done in the Uk and particularly the team of organisers in Emley they decided to call the school Emley Education Centre.

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 The School Bus was not large enough to cope with the increasing numbers of pupils so the old bus was sold and another larger bus was bought from a buisiness which had ceased trading.The School has taken on a small loan from the bank to pay for this.

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 New School bus


 At the beginning of March the Kenyan government decided to close all schools to take effect immediately. They also brought in social distancing and a ban on movement in and out of Mombasa and Nairobi. All public buses had to take fewer passengers and face masks were compulsory. All businesses closed and people had to remain at home with curfews enforced by a heavy handed police force.

All nonprofit making schools suddenly had no income and obviously this has caused severe hardship amongst teachers and ancillary staff who were unable to receive usual pay.The trustees have been very concerned about this situation but felt there was enough money to not incur debt like many schools in the area. Fortunately the local Titanium mine was still working during lockdown but their buses had to carry half the number of work force. The mine has hired out some of the local school buses including ours, so up to date the bank loan has been paid.

The charity has managed to pay the rent for all the teachers from the gift aid, and was looking forward to the school's opening in June or July. Unfortunately even though restrictions have been lifted and people can move about and visit shops and restaurants, the government has closed schools until January.On line lessons are available if you have internet or a tv but many of our pupils have no electricity, TVs or computers so cannot do this. As a result of this we have had long discussions with the trustees as to how all the vulnerable sponsored pupils and the older classes can continue with their education. We have come to the conclusion that the sponsorship money would reemploy half of the teachers at half their salaries until January. The rest of the teachers will get their rent paid.

The teachers are giving  lesson notes and setting tasks for all sponsored pupils and older students to collect weekly from school with social distancing. All those unable to come to school due to lack of transport will have work delivered. We are also trying to get permission to open the library and computer room.

Reports suggest that many schools in the area have permanently had to close through debt, and seem unlikely to ever open again. This has made many teachers desperate due to no income from March.

I am pleased that our sponsorship programme has enabled our vulnerable pupils to continue learning. It is also imperative that our top classes continue to study as some of them will be taking final exams in April next year after only a few months of teaching.

When the Schools return in January all classes will have to be reduced in size, all pupils will have to have individual desks and temperature checks must be done. All schools have to have hand washing facilities approved by the government,which will incur great costs for all schools. Our desks are all double desks and will have to be cut in half until we can buy new ones.Luckily our new classroom will be very important to help social distancing.

 We are confident that the school will succeed in overcoming these challenges, and continue to thrive.