The Kenya Project
November 26 2019
Last week, we introduced you to Dalmas, who is visiting Strathallan from the Kibera slum in Nairobi. Here, you can find out more about the life-changing work Strathallan is doing in Kenya…
The Kenya Project
The Kenya Project has been running at Strathallan School since 2010 and has, in the last ten years, raised almost £100 000 for projects running in Nairobi and out in the Rift Valley. Fundraising throughout the year, including the incredibly successful Tasty Tuesdays – which alone has seen over 22 000 bacon rolls served and £15 000 raised – has supported 40 children from the Kibera Slum for their complete education, as well as outreach projects and business support for young orphans leaving care.
Strathallan’s Kenya Project has raised funds for a huge range of projects, from new mattresses, trainers and hockey sticks, to rainwater harvesting equipment, chickens, goats, and vegetables. All fundraising activities are pupil-led: it’s our young people who are making the difference for their young friends in Kenya. Whether they’re running a pop-up tuck shop, the Kenya Café, or face-painting on Rugby International days, our pupils are learning that the small things they do here can make a big difference over there.
Over the years, 140 Strathallan pupils have travelled to Kenya to work with 1500 Kenyan children.
The Kibera Slum Project
Kibera is the biggest slum in Africa, and one of the biggest in the world, housing about 250 000 men, women and children. The slum has no sewerage or legal electricity, and clean water only available through NGOs, WaterAid and World Action. In 2010, supported by the Gloag Foundation, Strathallan’s Kenya Project set out to run a 2-week summer camp at the wonderful Mashimoni Squatters Primary School, offering a programme of sports, arts & crafts, bible classes and a toddler group that also included meals and a nurse health check. True to the school’s Scottish roots, the week culminated in a Highland Games, complete with welly wanging, caber tossing, tartan design, and pin-the-tail-on-the-haggis.
Over the last ten years, Strathallan’s Kenya Project has sponsored 40 children in greatest need with their schooling, books, uniform, food, and medical expenses. This equates to 400 years of Primary School Education that simply would not have happened with Strathallan’s Kenya Project. The project has also worked to improve the facilities at the school: installing transparent panels and solar lighting and paying unofficial rent until the school was demolished in July 2018 (along with over 30 000 homes) to make room for a new road development. Strathallan then helped with re-schooling the children who were displaced, including placing some at the Jonathan Gloag Academy and the Soila Maasai Girls School in the Rift Valley. One of the boys re-schooled at that stage is now Head Boy at Jonathan Gloag Academy, and is visiting Strathallan in the second half of the Autumn Term, having completed his High School Entrance Exams.
Kenya Children’s Homes
Strathallan has been working with KCH for a decade, supporting their wonderful staff with their improvement agenda. Through their outreach programme, which places social workers in deprived communities and offers adoption incentives within communities, the number of orphans housed in the KCH Orphanage has been reduced by 50%. Strathallan has worked with KCH to rebuild two playparks and completely re-equip nursery facilities in the home.
Connect Micro Finance Business Loan Fund
Strathallan has raised and maintained £5000 capital in our Connect Micro Finance Business Loan Fund, which supports young people leaving the KCH Orphanage to set up their own micro-businesses. The youngsters are supported to put together a business plan and present their idea for assessment. Run on the Grameen Bank model, this initial capital could be something as small as helping purchase sweets which can then be sold individually to generate a profit, helping orphans as young as 15 to establish themselves in the adult world. This has seen unemployed youngsters thrive and become employers or finance themselves through College and on to University.
The Soila Maasai Girls Centre, Suswa
The Suswa Soila Maasai girls rescue centre in the Rift Valley is home to around 75 girls aged between 7 and 15 years old who, via skilful negotiation with tribal elders, are liberated from early marriage and FGM in favour of being educated . Uniquely, the Strathallan Team spends a week in Maasai Land, living in school with the girls, promoting STEM activities including building rubber band cars, newspaper tube bridges and geodesic domes. Much of the time is spent playing sports with the girls (they are super-talented), swapping songs and dances – we always take the bagpipes – and sitting with the girls, listening to their aspirations and supporting their academic work. Recently, we set up an l community – we are hopeful we can support Dalmas in this important next step.