School Restarts For Some Of Our Children
Recently we were delighted to learn that students will be returning to school in 2020 as the schools open up to progressively to classes in Term 3 (there are 3 terms in Kenya).
As most of the WkW sponsored students are at boarding schools, this offers the students safety, meals and good education and sporting facilities.
However, due to a large increase in COVID cases many of the schools are now closing and sending the children home and many have not been able to resume classes. So in effect, at this time only a small number of children are at school
Unfortunately, WkW cannot advise sponsors if their child is going to remain at school for 2020 but are hoping that this will be the case.
In Kibera, WkW has recognised the worry of girls getting pregnant, when idle at home, so have opened the doors of the WkW to all students so that they can continue their school work on computers and take advantage of remedial classes and computer lessons as well as counselling sessions that are now part of life at the WkW Centre.
The Remedial Fund established this year to support the children and families of Kibera has raised in excess of $130,000. This has been used for the purchase of food for families, medical support, the purchase of masks and sanitisers, accommodation support for families facing eviction and the bulk purchase of important needs such as sanitary items and underwear for the many girls who are part of the WkW community
Figures released recently show that in Kenya this year, 10.5 million pupils in primary school and 2.9 million in secondary schools were sent home following the school closures due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
It has been disturbing to learn that some men are using the lockdown to take advantage of the schoolgirls by luring them into sex, at ages as young as 12, so that the girls can meet their basic needs of sanitary items and underwear.
A majority of girls, particularly in country areas, have had no sex education in school and don’t know how to prevent pregnancy, factors that contribute to a high rate of teenage pregnancies. WkW staff are aware of all these problems and are addressing them to ensure the safety of girls as much as is possible.
The renovations at the ‘Safe House’ have concluded and several girls have now taken up the accommodation that it offers. Full use of the house will commence when a ‘carer’ is installed, and the house is fully furnished. The house now has water tanks to ensure an ongoing support of water, the electricity is safe, the roof repaired, the kitchen is updated, the bathrooms now have shower recesses, the floors are tiled and the house painted inside and out. The renovations were completed, under the guidance of our ‘friendly’ architect (who designed the Centre), in the shortest possible time, with guaranteed workmanship and within budget.
All post-secondary students are now back at their studies, however they are doing this on line, but with good supervision. Most attend the Centre daily to use the computers that have been donated by generous WFWIA supporters.
Leonida Kwamboka tells me that the Centre is a hive of industry, packed with children of all ages, using the computers and the remedial classes, and a continuous stream of parents and guardians who come for food, counselling or maybe just a friendly welcome.
Whilst we face continual lockdown here in Melbourne, the number of COVID cases in Nairobi continue to rise as distancing in the slum is impossible, the cost of testing prohibitive, and medical care not available to the poor. The Staff of WkW continue to work under these conditions with only one staff member so far testing positive. All associated with WFWIA should be very proud of the staff and volunteers at the WkW Centre who put their lives on the line very day.
I know I am.
We are thrilled to announce the renovations at the ‘Safe House’ have been completed there are now 6 girls living there
“ The safe house is indeed a wonderful place to be. It is warm and comfortable. When given a chance to live in this safe place, there are certain rules and regulations that one should follow and adhere to. The rules are not meant to discourage but to encourage us to be better people in the future. Life at Salama House is so enjoyable as we obey the rules as we do not get into trouble..”
Michelle A Year 10, Kathiani girls
Please CLICK HERE to read more and see some pictures of the safe house. All of these renovations have been made possible because of your amazing efforts and kind donations
Generally, the situation in the country is so bleak that no concrete plans can be made. We are planning on tentative plans and dates. The government is not giving clear directions on the reopening and resumption of schools. At the moment only 3 classes have gone back to school and that is grade 4, class 8 and form 4. We are playing by ear to see whether the other classes are also going back or not. So far, I have seen 36 pupils go back to school. 25 class eight and 11 grade 4.
Counselling sessions are going on well. The counsellor comes to us three times a week that is on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. She is working with both the parent and the child. The essence is to get the parent or the guardian’s consent in order to work with the child. She is also making sure that the child, counsellor and the parent/guardian are all working on a common ground in order to attain the desired goal.
Some of the children are also getting help from the Mental Health Clinic at Kenyatta National Hospital. We sought psychiatry and psychometry help after many behavioral issues and intellectual challenges in some of our children. We hope this will sort out some of the concerns.
Generosity of sponsors
The pandemic has been a period of challenges and also of grace for our children and their families. The families have benefited from food parcels that are being distributed every month. Some have also had their house rent paid for. Our sponsors have been in touch with the needs of their sponsored children. Beds and bedding have been bought for the deserving families, courtesy of sponsors. We will always be indebted to you our sponsors. Thank you WFWIA.
During one of our usual visits to the slum village in Kibera, a family was stumbled on. This family was poor in every aspect. That is
1. Not kenyan citizen
2. A single mother
3. A pregnant teen
4. Must have been a trafficked child labourer
We then went ahead and rescued the children and the mother. Their house rent is catered for, the children are taken in and have been placed in school. Only the oldest one who is expectant will be home until later when she is able to go back to school. It has been a blessing to have somebody take care of the oldest one who is in the family way.
Extra support to families
The sponsors have come through for some families that have been in dire need of bedding. So far 6 beds have been issued to families, courtesy of sponsors.
Mothers are a real blessing to the family and to the society. The microfinance project is still going on. The women are still meeting. They are active in their saving and loaning each other. We are still limiting the number that comes in so that we don’t expose everybody to the virus. The books of accounts are kept in the office and they are keeping monies to their bank account. We are all praying for normality so that we see them come back to the premises.
Sister Kevina Ekal, Primary School Co-ordinator.
Thanks to your generosity WkW is still purchasing food to be distributed.
“Just receiving more food today . The families will have a good meal tonight. Each student will take a bag of food home.
With much appreciation”
The WKW centre is a hive of activity.
CLICK HERE to read about the daily happenings.
Creative Writing Competition
“Jessica A( Joseph’s daughter ) entered a creative story writing competition and her story was in our national newspaper . I am thrilled. These children when we took them they were so poor, malnourished, could not express themselves, No word of English. Now they are avid readers, very eloquent and a high self esteem. This is what WFWIA has done for this children.
Please say a special thank you to her sponsor.”