October 31, 2017
Nkando Primary School - new twin school of the Margate Pastoral Charge on P.E.I.
(Formerly Margate United Sunday School, Southwest United)
NKANDO PRIMARY SCHOOL
Nkando primary school is located in the semi-arid area of Meru County approximately 39 kilometers from Meru town and 22 kilometers from Isiolo town. The head teacher is Mr. Kithinji who administers the school of 232 children with a staff of 10 teachers.
Most the pupils in this public primary school are from smallholder farm families who rely on rain fed agriculture for their livelihood. The rainfall in this area is mostly inadequate in amount and unreliable in frequency.
The school had a feeding program run by the parents but since most of the parents relied of rainfall for their farm produce, when it failed this past year they had no food to bring in for the feeding program thus no food was cooked at the school.
Uji (porridge) was made but only for the pre-school children which they have mid morning.
In June this year the UPEI nutrition team visited the school for a parents session on nutrition and meal assessment. The school at this time school could only afford to make 'githeri' made of maize or corn only which had been donated by the government. Since then FHF has donated maize and beans to the school thus affording the children some protein in their diet.
Since the school had a greenhouse that was not being utilized, FHF provided drip irrigation and technical support through its staff in Kenya.
The greenhouse now boasts of producing various green vegetables, tomatoes and carrots thus enabling the pupils to have a balanced diet. FHF also provided maize and beans to support the feeding program following continued drought in the area thus ensuring the children have beans in their githeri. The children now enjoy a delicious, nutritious meal, for some it is the only meal they will have for the entire day.
Githeri with maize only Githeri with beans and vegetables.
Even though the top of the greenhouse was blown away by the wind, (in the months of July to September this area experiences very strong wind) the vegetables are doing well.
The school received three water tanks and had gutters installed by FHF to collect rain water. These tanks have helped the school with a means to harvest rain water and a place to store water. This school is receiving a cookhouse enabling them to soon leave the smoke filled one they currently use, thanks to the Souris Village Feast.
The head teacher Mr. Kithinji had this to say, ''we are happy and grateful for all the assistance, it has enable our pupils have a balanced meal and it has also increase concentration of the pupils in class. During the first term when we had nothing to prepare for the children we used to have at least two or three cases of children fainting due to hunger, others would doze in class and when asked they would say they haven't had anything to eat or drink that morning or the previous evening. When FHF provided the maize and beans as well as helped with planting the vegetables the children are now happy as they can now get a balanced diet and we have not had any case of a child fainting.''
Unlike other schools where some pupils are shy or don't want to get second servings, here it is a scramble by both girls and boys to get a second serving. The pupils expressed their joy and gratitude at being able to enjoy githeri with beans and vegetables.
These developments in this school have been possible because of the generosity of Islanders both individuals and corporate organizations who have given generously to FHF for its various projects. Because of this, a child can now concentrate in class because they have a healthy meal, a child can study at night because they have a solar light, a child can have water to drink because there is a water tank to harvest and store rain water. They can also learn about growing vegetables because they have seen them grown in school and this will ensure their futures.
Salome Ntinyari - Farmers Helping Farmers Staff Kenya
October 24, 2015
Celebrating Stratford Elementary and Michaka Primary
Exciting news for Stratford Elementary! The school has recently been twinned with Michaka Primary School in Kenya. The two will begin exchanging letters this school year. Stratford Elementary decided to put an official twinning application into Farmers Helping Farmers when a leadership group of grade six students was formed. The group wanted consistent letter exchange and was looking for the opportunity to help another school in a different part of the world.
Michaka Primary is a school of 105 students located in Meru, Kenya. The school does have a feeding program, but it is not sufficient for all students. Stratford students are hoping to help raise money to improve the garden and feeding program at the school. Students realize that when you’re hungry it is hard to learn. The school is hoping to help out their Kenyan friends by allowing the growth of the feeding program to include all members of the school.
The students at Stratford are gearing up to design and create Christmas cards which they will be selling at the Annual Craft Fair on November 13th and 14th. The proceeds from the sale of the cards will be in support of their new twinned school, Michaka Primary.
Both Stratford Elementary students and Michaka Primary students will benefit from the twinning program. It will open their eyes to a different part of the world. The letter exchange is a highlight for both Canadian and Kenyan school children. The information exchanged in the letters is valuable and heartfelt. Students and staff are excited to be a part of this meaningful project.
Asante sana. Thank you.
Here are some more photos from the Kenya Youth Tour's visit to Michaka Primary in July 2015.