The former kitchen of Plateau Girls Secondary School
The new kitchen
Proud students of Plateau Girls Secondary School in front of one of their new classrooms
Around 2007, we came into contact with Plateau Girls Secondary school where some 200 girls between the age of 14 and 20 were following secondary education. The school could indeed use some assistance: there was no electricity (and thus no lighting), there was no safe drinking water and only 5 toilets. There were 9 showers, but no water came out of the taps! And how to eat? Well, normally the students just ate outside! Because the dining hall had not yet been completed while the "kitchen" was nothing more than a wooden shack.
There was a dining hall under construction, but there wasn't any money to complete the construction.
The parents of most students are either farm labourer, or have a tiny farm. Money was thus scarse and the families were often unable to pay the school fees, let alone pay for the construction of a new dining hall.
It was therefore a "poor" school with few facilities.But it offered the only opportunity for girls in the area to follow Secondary Education! Because of the distances involved, it is quite normal in Kenya for children to attend boarding schools.
It wasn't easy to indicate what was the most important . Clean and safe drinking water? Electricity? Or first the dining hall and kitchen? The Board of the school had difficulties to decide.....
Very understandable though- it was all important! That's why the Foundation tried to collect as much money as possible in order to avoid having to make choices. And we succeeded!!
By 2009, all below mentioned facilities had been implemented.
1. Watersupply, € 20.000 (est)
2. Sanitation, € 20.000 (est)
3. Electricity connection € 20.000 (est)
4. Completion of dining hall and kitchen € 35.000 (est)
Total estimated cost € 95.000
Thanks to all these improvements, academic school results leaped forward and interest to attend this school soared. But there were not enough classrooms to accommodate all these keen students!!!
Hence the school contacted the "Kenya naar School" again in 2012, asking the Foundation to assist with the construction of some new class rooms. And of course the Foundation would be very happy to assist!!
As a result, in 2013 the following activities could be started.
5. Construction of Four classrooms € 36.000 (est)
6. Provision of inventory € 8.000 (est)
7. Construction of a science laboratory € 25.000 (est)
Total estimated cost : € 69.000
In the meantime, the construction of the classrooms is completed and has the inventory been delivered.
Everybody has been very cost conscious and together with a small exchange rate gain, we only had to disburse 150.000 € to realise everything!
Why assisting a girls' school?
Girls are still forming a vulnerable group in Kenyan society. Boys and girls do often not have equal chances. Many families will first of all send their sons to a Secondary School. Already at an early age, girls have to do heavy work: collect fuel wood, fetch water and cook for the entire family. It is exactly these girls that we would like to give a chance .