In addition to distributing supplies to partnered schools, each year we also visit several new schools. The Head Teachers give us a tour, describe their students and community, and point out problems they hope we can help with. Strategic Head Teachers, along with their School Management Committees and PTAs, can direct any savings they enjoy because they don’t have to purchase school supplies towards mitigating some of those problems.
Yesterday we visited Kikwanda for the first time. Just last week, the boys’ latrine for this school of almost 500 students collapsed, undermined by a rush of water from heavy rains. They’re hoping that the stalls can be pulled up rather than built anew. Like many other schools, Kikwanda also needs more housing for teachers, many of whom arrive late during the rainy season; a security fence, improvements to classrooms, and more. Kikwanda has already come a long way from their start meeting under the trees.
Today was our first visit to another new school, Kiyunga Muslim Primary. They, too, have a list of problems that Sister Schools’ support will help mitigate, as well as plans to address those issues. Head Teacher Yusuf reiterated how crucial community support has been since the school’s beginnings as a thatched roof school. That community support was in strong evidence today, with full contingents from both School Management Committee (parents and community members) and PTA . In addition to outlining the problems facing this fast-growing school, Kiyunga presented us with a 5-year Strategic Plan, complete with strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing their school, and goals and objectives for the next five years.
The support you give to Sister Schools is put to extraordinarily good use by schools like these. They obviously invest in their students, and their students will succeed. As Kikwanda students sang to us, “We are living in a world of changes. Education is the key to success.”