Till the rains come...
July 16th 2012: I received the following email from Mr. Thuku and Mr. Fred, the Headteachers of Sasenyi Primary School (I have thrown in the pictures...)
As you know Sasenyi is a residential home for approximately 500 families bordering Taita and Rukinga ranches. As the only Primary School in the village, it has approximately 750 children ranging from age 3-21 years. The infrastructure of the school has highly improved within a short time with massive support from Camps International and several dedicated fundraisers especially the Crossley Family and friends and more recently Prentice Family and friends who arranged for an entire container of second hand items to be shipped to Kenya.
Sadly, The school feeding programme from the government stopped and the current situation is dire. The unreliable rainfall has worsened the situation in the region. This has led to a massive food shortage and acute water problem. The situation is getting worse as days goes by. Most families are going with only one meal in 24 hours.
Learning takes place though under very difficult conditions. The Camp Kenya visitors are always shocked and wonder how hungry children look happy and always ready to learn. It is very hot and dusty in the school environment till late in the evening when the school breaks. The children will run home to scramble for little food and a cup of dirty water. From last years experience, when you assisted the school with food, the school mean score in the National exam improved by eight points. We were also able to produce the best child in Voi district and recently the boy was awarded a scholarship. Camps International and its supporters have proved to everyone in the area what a basic school with classrooms, desks, chairs, toilets, books and one square meal a day can to change people's lives.
We humbly call upon well wishers to support us in this very difficult time, "Till rains come". On behalf of Sasenyi primary School community, we are humbly requesting your organization to assist us with food following severe drought being experienced here at the moment.
From Fred Mwavula (Deputy Headteacher) and John Thuku (Headteacher)
We have several school teams visiting and working at the school currently and when we received this and saw the situation on the ground, the response for support was not surprising. I say its not surprising because I believe our Expeditions are comprised of people who have one main agenda - to do as much as they can to help the hosting communities.
I had a call from Gary Ratcliffe, one of the teacher's with the Thomas Aveling/Garibaldi/Grittleton/Park Community Team who immediately contributed Ksh 29,200/-. I spoke to Mr. Thuku, the Headmaster of Sasenyi Primary and we calculated that it will cost about Ksh 120,000 (Approximately £1000GPB) to feed the 700 students for the next 15 school days:
maize-----140gm* 700=98kgs*15 days =1470kg @sh40 per kg -=58800
beans------40gm* 700 =28kgs*15 days= 420kg@ sh80 =33600
oil 5gm *700 =3.5kgs*15days=52.5@ 160 =8400
salt -----3gms*700 =1.5kgs*15 days=22.5kgs@20= 450
Water (12000lts) 10000
TOTAL Ksh 12o, 250
Fortunately, we have the ability through the Camps Foundation to respond to situations like this fairly swiftly. £1000 is not a lot of money but it was enough for the time being to get through the next 2 school weeks. We immediately organized the grain and water to be delivered and within a couple of days, I heard from Camp Tsavo Manager, Sammy again that Wisbech Grammar had left Ksh 43,350/- for the feeding and water. And a few days after that I talked to Arif from the Newmarket/North Kesteven/Smithills/Glenthorne and his school have donated Ksh 50,000/- and want half of it to go towards this kitty and the other half to other projects.
I believe the Camps Foundation is a good example of a positive and vibrant network to put it simply. It's a lot of money for one company or one person to put aside £100,000 for a particular purpose but its not a lot for 1000 people to put aside £10 for a particular purpose...especially when 100% of that 10£ goes to that particular purpose.