“Chalk would be a miracle”
We are trying hard to encourage the community to take responsibility for our projects and we were delighted to see that at Mara Rianda Primary School the classrooms had been cleaned and painted.
Mara Rianda Primary School – photo credit Will Fortescue
One of the things we really enjoy when we visit Kenya is the beautiful weather. It can be fresh in the early morning and evening with clear skies and warm sunshine during the day. If the dry season goes on too long it can cause droughts and consequently affect grazing for the livestock. We have visited the Mara after a severe drought and witnessed cattle dead from lack food. The rain is always welcome and seen as a blessing. However, during the rainy season, the country/area can experience torrential downpours. We have seen the marshland turn to a lake.
We were contacted by Ambrose, our ‘fundi’ (builder) earlier this year to say that the Mara had experienced such severe wind it almost demolished a roof at Enkereri school. We initially questioned if this may be due to workmanship to which Ambrose replied that if that was the case the roof would have come off much sooner! We are pleased that we were able to arrange for the roof to be fully repaired within one month.
It’s always good to see our projects being well utilised. It was a pleasure to see the girls now settled into their lovely new dormitory. Pola was able to visit them on a wash day. It was great to see their school uniform drying on clothes lines, rather than hanging over barbed wire fencing. They really are very happy with their new space.
The new girl’s dormitory – photo credit Will Fortescue
‘Wash day’ at Mara Rianda Primary School – photo credit Pola Long
I was delighted to hear that over half of the pupils at Mara Rianda in Year 8, that is the final year at primary school, received marks of over 300 out of 500. The highest being 369. When I first went to the school the marks were all below 200. I cannot emphasise enough how keen the pupils are to learn. We will be able to send another 15 children to Secondary School next year.
Richard Long with pupils at Mara Rianda – photo credit Will Fortescue
We visited the maternity clinic, next to the medical centre, where babies were being weighed and vaccinated for polio and tuberculosis. At the clinic there was a new born which had arrived just five days previously, brought in by the grandmother, as it was too far for mother to walk so soon after giving birth. More accommodation is needed for visiting doctors when specialist clinics are arranged. On average the medical centre sees 40 patients per day. This is an amazing lifesaving facility funded by generous donations. Thank you.
Olperkul is a very impoverished school in the trans Mara. We deliver supplies on each visit, but sometimes, because of our busy schedule we arrive after the children have gone home. We were able to visit in the morning on this occasion and see the 95 pupils, some being taught in a small building, also used as a church.
Operkul School, Trans Mara – photo credit Richard Long
The children at Olperkul are divided up into age groups. Some children were being taught outside. They are in desperate need of more school books and supplies. And we were able to take some in September.
Through a very generous donation from Hertford Baptist church we have been able to provide the pupils in the top three years at Enkereri Primary School with their own text books for each subject. So much better than sharing a book with three or four other pupils.
New textbooks for the pupils – photo credit Richard Long
Support is always welcome and greatly appreciated. There is always a need for new books, sports equipment and general school supplies as well as assistance with capital projects. With Gift Aid, a donation of £30 per month will effectively be the full amount required to fund one child for four years of secondary education. If you are interested in assisting a child in this way, please let me know and I shall send you a standing order and Gift Aid form.
Pola and I are constantly encouraged by your interest, support and prayers – and this we will never take for granted. May I conclude with my personal greetings and thank you, once again for your interest and support, it is literally life changing.
By Richard Long, Trustee of the Mara Rianda Charitable Trust