money well spent

We aren’t quite sure where the last 6 months have gone since the ride, but it feels like it was only yesterday that we were wearily making our way across the cobbles of the Champs-Élysées after 24 hours straight in the saddle. We are very excited to finally be able to bring to you the real story of the London to Paris cycle ride…

Here is some information from Francesca Devereux, Marketing Manager for Kenya Education Partnerships (now Education Partnerships Africa) about the success of the EPA Summer Project 2012, funded in-part by LTP24.

Following on from a successful summer project in Kisii and Kakamega, I can now give you and the London to Paris Bike Ride team an update on how the money you raised is being put to use. As you can see below, your donation has gone a long way to addressing some of the underlying infrastructural challenges facing Kenyan secondary schools. While sticking within the remit of providing sanitation and electricity to schools, you will see that the LTP24 money has been utilised in a diverse set of ways to accommodate the specific needs of each of the schools.

Demesi (40,000 KSh)*
The grant awarded to Demesi covered 40% of the cost of bringing electricity to the (previously unused) computer lab, including installing power outlets and lights. Electricity is of course essential to power the computers that the Project Workers invested in and means that KEP has provided  Demesi with a fully functioning computer lab. Not only does this allow students the opportunity to access increasingly-important computer skills, it also allows the school to generate income by offering computing lessons to the community. The Head Teacher of Demesi strongly believes the new lab will boost grades and attract more students, contributing to the school’s long held ambition to go double stream.

Lwanda K (52,000 KSh)
The grant awarded to Lwanda K covered 80% of the cost of completing water installation in the science lab. The school had already begun work on installing both gas and water but was struggling to find funds to complete both projects. With the Project Workers using their investment to complete gas installation, this money will take the school within touching distance of a fully functioning science lab. Lwanda K has directed much of their own money already towards this project, showing how important it is to them and how committed they are to providing their students with a functioning science lab. The LTP24 grant will allow them to finally finish this essential work.

Ivona (35,700 KSh)
Ivona’s laboratory had no gas, electricity or water facilities. This grant will contribute to the provision of a water tank and a suitable gas house to service one sink and two gas points to make possible practical demonstrations, essential for students ability to understand the course material and pass their exams. Ivona is one of the poorest schools in its region, with its purpose on establishment in 2006 being to cater for the region’s significant number of orphans, and therefore has much lower fee collection than surrounding schools. The school has enthusiastic teachers but little money even for essential resources. The laboratory in particular has let students down in their exams.

Esokone (89,186)
Esokone did not have electricity when this year’s Project Workers arrived and this grant will enable them to wire the school and bring electricity to it. The benefits of electricity hardly need to be emphasized, but include enabling students to study in the mornings and evenings (especially  beneficial for those whose families cannot afford paraffin at home for their own lamps), which can have a huge impact of school results. Having electricity also provides possibilities for the future, including that of having computers in the school.

Mukulusu (72,840)
The Project Workers in Mukulusu also identified the laboratory as a priority for investment. The LTP24 grant covered 80% of the cost of installation of water in the lab. This included bringing water from a bore hole, raising an existing tank to hold the water, fitting the lab with taps and appropriate drainage systems, and building an additional soak pit for wasteage. This will save lesson time, since students usually have to go outside to collect water and wash equipment, and the digging of a new soak pit will provide a safe way to dispose of chemicals. Chemistry is a compulsory subject but is the schools second-weakest, therefore significantly adversely affecting the schools results and the attractiveness of the school to new pupils. It is hoped that improving the lab will make it more unctional and efficient, positively impacting on science results, 50% of which are based on practical examinations. In addition, the water plumbed to the lab can easily be used in future to route to the toilets or kitchen, improving sanitation or food hygiene.

Nyamburambasi (37,980 KSh)
In 2010, the school spent 41,600 Kenyan Shillings (KSh) on electrical wiring, but did not have enough money for a connection. Therefore, KEP decided to establish an electricity connection in this school because it would lead to immediate benefits – the school will be able to run tuition after dark (sunset is around 6pm), give students the chance to work by themselves, and enable them to utilize five computers they already own. There are also plans in the future to use the electricity to set up an income-generating activity whereby local people will pay a small fee to have their phones charged, and carry out printing and photocopying.

St Catherine’s Iranda (50,790 KSh)
KEP has decided to donate an 8000L water tank to this school and connect another disused tank, increasing current water storage from 4000 to 21000L. Since the school is unable to procure water easily, this investment will have a significant impact on its ability to store enough water for its needs. Moreover, there will be increased demands on St Catherine’s to provide water when the school becomes ‘double streamed’ – essentially doubling the number of classes.

Nyanko (56,440 KSh)
Nyanko spends a lot of money on water procurement. When Project Workers first visited the school this summer, it was suffering from leaking water tanks and money being spent on employing people to collect and deliver their water. KEP has decided to provide two 5,000L tanks to help in this respect, in addition to replacing the taps in the laboratory which will allow water to be easily pumped there for science lessons. There is also a ‘washing bay’ around the toilets and dormitory (soon to be built) which will help increase hygiene.

Riagumo School (67,200 KSh)
KEP decided to provide an internet connection, a connection to a central server and printer connection through internal internet in order to allow this school to become a centre of excellence within the local area. With an internet connection, the school will be able to push forward learning and research, provide ICT training for teachers and students, and give internet access to the wider community for a small fee.

St Thomas Turwa (54,394 KSh)
St Thomas Turwa suffers from being situated on the top of a large hill, which makes it difficult to procure water. It already has a 6000L water tank, but during the dry season this runs out and the school has to pay 1000 KES per day for water from the river 7km away. Lessons have to be cancelled when students need to collect water. KEP has agreed to provide another 6000L water tank for collecting more water during the rainy season, including guttering, a tap, and other fixing costs. The school will finance the clearing of the area where the tank will be placed and hopes to use it to provide water for a girls’ boarding section in the future.

On behalf of the charity, I would like to thank you and the team for your financial support this summer. Your donation will not only have a lasting impact in the schools in which LTP24 money was used, since it has also kick-started a new ‘central pots’ initiative within the charity. This will allow Project Workers to apply for additional funds to cover specific challenges in Kenyan schools on an annual basis.

____________
*The numbers stated here are the costs for the projects in each school. In some instances, schools contributed towards this final amount, increasing buy-in and a sense of ownership from Kenyan partners.

w: www.epafrica.org
f: www.facebook.com/EPAfrica

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