As you all know, this January we headed out to 2 schools in Kenya that had successfully had water tanks installed for them, funded by WTM and implemented by Just a Drop. Having visited these schools – Kwa Mbotoe Primary School and Kithyululu Secondary School – it became apparent to us that it wasn’t just water that these children and their communities were lacking. As such, having formed a bond with these schools, we have continued to support them from back here in the UK!
One of the things that really hit home with all of us was at the Secondary School, where 40 girls (out of 240 students) board at the school. But even many of these “privileged” kids couldn’t afford a mosquito net for their bed, or if they did have one it was old or had holes in it, as their parents spend everything they have on sending their kids to school.
Something the headmaster said made a real impact on Erin when she asked how many children were likely to catch malaria. “All the children will get malaria at some point as they don’t have the money for nets ” he said. Erin learnt that education about diseases like malaria is becoming an everyday subject for children in Kenya but she still found it extremely hard to walk away knowing that the children did not have the money to help themselves to prevent malaria by buying a simple net.
Did you know that each year malaria claims 655 000 lives, 90% of which occur on African soil. But that a mosquito net in Kenya costs just £4. Therefore, thanks to many generous donations, we have raised enough money for 375 mosquito nets for the children currently boarding at the school, for children to take home and for the next class inducted.
Charlotte has said that she is “…very excited to be raising money and doing this challenge as when I visited the school, it really hit home how difficult it was for these children to get hold of even the small things like a net. I very much look forward to doing my best and raising as much money as we can to support these children”
At the primary school, it was hard to be gloomy as we were surrounded by a sea of grins from over 350 kids. However, it was heart-breaking to learn that many of the children don’t bring lunch and therefore will sit out the entire school day without having anything to eat. The school doesn’t currently have the facilities to provide meals for the children, but now they have a water supply, this is something that is looking a lot more within reach! As such, we are going to provide Kwa Mbotoe with a Jikos. This is a traditional charcoal burning stove and large pot that will enable the school to start cooking up cheap meals for these children that are currently unable to provide themselves with food.
Amy reflects on one of the most heart wrenching moments she experienced whilst in Kenya. “When Charlotte and I used the latrines at the Primary School, we were greeted by a little boy of around 6 years old, proffering his bottle of dirty water for us to wash our hands – it just shows that they are educated on hygiene and washing, but simply couldn’t put it into practice due to the lack of water. Now they have this basic amenity of water, it will do so much to transform their lives and we hope to build on the back of this by continuing to support them to thrive in whatever way we can.”
We have only been able to continue to support the schools thanks to the extremely generous donations flooding in as a result of us setting ourselves a challenge – to walk a marathon on the 18th July! The average distance walked globally by women and children to fetch water is 6 kilometres. Over 7 days (1 week) this would amount to 42km, the equivalent of walking a marathon just to fetch water. 14 of us will be heading out at 5am, the time women and children often get up to start walking, to walk this distance in a day! We will start at the Reed offices and make our way to the Excel Exhibition Centre in London.
Thanks for all your support, we really appreciate it!