The school is one of three run by the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa as part of their outreach to poor children in the slums of Nairobi.
The environment is very harsh. Most of the houses are one room shacks, with almost a complete absence of facilities like running water, sanitation or electricity. The majority of the people are very poor with the many eking out an existence through hawking or casual labor. The area is very congested with no facilities for children to play.
The Franciscan Sisters discovered that many of the children in the area were not going to school for the following reasons:
- No school in the area
- inabilitye to pay school fees
- parents who did not appreciate the value of education for their children.
The order decided to set up a school to try and help the children. The only land available was close to the river where no permanent building can be erected. Therefore the school is prefab, mostly using corrugated iron sheets.
Some of the children were rescued by social workers from scavenging on the nearby dump sites.
Due to the poverty the cost of school attendance is almost free, with a few receiving sponsorship. To keep the children in school, and also as a way of addressing malnutrition, they are provided with porridge for Breakfast, and lunch each day.
On the advice of the social workers some children are given food to take home for the evening or at week-ends. In the early days the World Food Program provided food but for the past two years this has been stopped due to other demands on the Food Program.
The numbers attending the school has increased over the years, which has necessitated putting up extra class rooms. Presently there is a need to do renovations on the class-rooms another one.
Other demands are the need for school books, and unfortunately the Ministry for Education frequently changes the books required.
The Staff at the School.
11 Primary school teachers
1 Social Worker
1 Security Guard.
Even though the Government says primary education is free this is not the reality on the ground, apart from there being no school in the area. The Government does not contribute in any way towards the expenses of the school, although the school does follow the national school curriculum and the students do the national examinations. Some parents pay a small contribution towards their children’s education.
When the children finish in the Primary school they pass on to the secondary school which is also run by the Franciscan Sisters in another area nearby.
1. One room needs to be converted into a science Laboratory to facilitate the new curriculum introduced by the Government where practical work can be done.
2. There is need for an overhead covered area where food is served to the children.