In June we took a very rewarding trip to Kenya to visit some of our current project partners, and meet a number of other charities working in the area to find out more about the projects and programmes they are delivering.

It was delightful to meet staff and children at the Porridge and Rice schools in Nairobi, where we have supported a number of projects over the past year.  We received such a warm welcome at each of the schools we went to, and it was great to see the new water tanks having such an impact on the quality of day-to-day life for the children.  Having access to clean and safe drinking water is such a basic but essential requirement, the tanks have also enabled the schools to introduce a successful handwashing and sanitation programme, that the children are egger to participate in!  We saw equipment in use in the classrooms that had been received from the ‘Contain-A-School’ shipment, and we got to visit the school’s ‘Chicken Shed’ project.  This agriculture based programme is raising chickens to provide an income source for the Porridge & Rice schools group.

Children receiving food as part of the feeding programme
Herri School constructed out of containers
One of the water tanks supported by Fonthill
With Headteacher and staff at Lizpal School

Whilst the schools continue to face many challenges on a daily basis as they strive to provide a good level of education for the children in the slums of Nairobi, it was wonderful to see the children so happy and engaged, and the enthusiasm of the Headteachers and the school staff.

The children are eager to learn, even in large class groups
The schools still have very basic toilet facilities
Pupils welcome us to their school
The ‘Chicken Shed’ project supporting P&R schools

Whilst in Nairobi we also met with Vision Africa, a UK based charity providing vocational training through three ‘Seed of Hope’ training centres and three SEN schools.  We visited the current Nairobi Seed of Hope centre where young people, who would otherwise have dropped out of school or left with no qualifications, have access to basic vocational training courses.

Young people at the ‘Seed of Hope’ training centre – Nairobi
Meeting some of the former trainees who now have their own business
Sewing and seamstress classes at the ‘Seed of Hope’ centre

Vision Africa have recently purchased land in City, and are currently fundraising to construct a larger, purpose built vocational training centre on this site, which would offer improved facilities and more stability for the centre being on land owned by the charity.  It was interesting to find out more about Vision Africa’s plans for this ambitious project.

Following a number of days in Nairobi, we ventured further afield to the more rural Ndhiwa community in Western Kenya, where we met with the Team Kenya staff team.  UK Charity Team Kenya has a long-standing and well-developed relationship with the community in Ndhiwa and take a holistic approach to improving educational opportunities and attainment levels of girls in the community.  It was great to meet the local NGO team and learn more about the work they are doing across 11 schools in the area.  They have a good approach to delivering a range of projects and programmes that meet the individual school’s needs.

One of the schools who have more recently received Team Kenya support
It was delightful meeting the Team Kenya NGO staff
Attending one of the womens ‘table banking group’ meetings
Classes taking place in one of the Team Kenya supported schools

We would like to extend our thanks to Porridge & Rice, Visit Africa and Team Kenya for their time and hospitality during our visit.