Today we visited East Meru Community School to provide the children and teacher of the school with educational materials, in addition to spending time with them. The school has eight teachers and 103 students. The number of students continues to grow each year as the school expands. Currently they are in the process of creating a new classroom. As of now the school has 7 classrooms, no power other than solar panels, and they obtain water mostly from collecting rainwater but have one underground pipe. The conditions of the school as described by one of the teachers named Absalom are “not too bad but not too good”. The school has improved greatly since they first opened in 2007. They started out with no network for phones or internet but since then and with the generous help of people around the world they have been able to obtain such necessities and continue to provide for the children and the community that could otherwise not receive these. The community is not very well off and most families do not have the proper tools to help send their children to school or to even get work for themselves. The children must walk to school every day sometimes more than 45 minutes both ways. Therefore the children are given tea in the morning, two meals a day, and when they first start they are given two uniforms and stationary all provided to them by donations. As well as the children receiving help the community and the children’s families have been greatly affected by the school and donations/ sponsorship from those who help. One man, a students father, who was paralyzed from the waist down in a mining accident has been given the tools and training from the school to make shoes and bind their books in order to earn income for his family and help the school.
We wanted to continue to help this amazing school and all the intelligent and adorable children gain the experience and tools they need to succeed. In order to do so we provided the children with learning sessions on how to clean their teeth correctly and wash their hands by showing them “fake germs” with a black light that they could wash away with soap and water. We also provided the older girls with Red Elephant Packs to help prepare them for the future and to teach them that there is no reason to be ashamed of their changing bodies and help them have the resources to stay healthy and in school. During all of these activities we were able to get to know the children of the school and make bracelets and crafts with them while the whole time putting a smile on their faces and our own. After the children have gone home we were able to gather the staff and teachers and give each of them a water filtration bucket and kit so they can provide fresh water to their families. One man was so happy and overwhelmed with joy that he was able to keep a bucket for himself that he started to spread tears of joy with one of our volunteers. Seeing how greatly we affected just one man’s life is the reason we give so much to them all. They let us know the other ways to help them by giving us a list of supplies they will need next time we are able to visit and gave us information on how to sponsor a child or just to donate to the school in general. We wish that everyone who donated could have seen the happy faces and joy in the eyes of all the children when they were provided with what we brought them. We also wish that our donators could have felt the warmth in their hearts as they hugged us goodbye. This school started out from just a small piece of land and has grown exponentially however they could still use all the help they can get to continue to provide for the future scholars and their families.
Chapati! (Pancakes) Laura Jones and Jenn Percy