At our Kindfund sites we offer a foundational nursery education for the children in our care and we encourage education through study and tutoring. In 2011 we opened a small primary school at our Ndikir home which in April 2016 achieved registration as a public school with Kindfund as sponsors. In 2016 we started a private primary school (Hope Primary) for all our children in the homes at Ngaremara and Wamba. The purpose was to improve the children’s opportunity through smaller classes (average class size 12). The last few years have seen the benefits of this policy as reflected in the numbers now going on to secondary with higher passes at KCPE.
As of 2023 we support:
Our own 125 children through education
45 children from the community in our nursery schools
85 of our children at our private primary school
25 children at our primary school at Ndikir, Marsabit
28 children including 21 of our own, in secondary education and through Polytech
3 Kindfund children to third level education
2 young children from remote villages in Isiolo School for the Hearing Impaired
20 blind/partially sighted children in Isiolo School for the Vision Impaired
Kindfund’s first ever activity in Kenya was to finance a nursery school at Ngaremara. Over time it has become incorporated into our children’s home, providing two classrooms which open up into a small hall as well as an office, store and kitchen.
With Isiolo County Council donating eight acres of land to our project, in 2010 our Ngaremara Children’s Home was officially declared open; and in that same year we built the new Ngaremara Nursery School on the site. Later in 2016 we incorporated it into the home and the nursery met in a temporary facility. We have since developed more accommodation.
The nursery currently has a roll of 45 children, who come from across the community. Typically children will spend up to three years at nursery school before graduating to primary school, at around six years old.
Why do we support nursery education?
To bring young children from traditional villages into the education system early and improve their opportunity to succeed in later life.
The 3+ age group are the most at risk during times of famine. So, day-to-day we provide them with morning porridge, and by registering the nursery school with the local primary school we were able to ensure they received relief food in the form of a main meal. More recently since the Government removed school meal support we have been providing the main meal also.
To nurture them in a Christian environment.
Using this model, since 2004 we have started 15 such nursery schools. However today we are directly involved with 2, supporting around 80 children.
Until 2011 Kindfund’s involvement with primary education was mainly aimed at supporting the reduction in class sizes (some of which can have over 100 children), through financing classroom assistants at primary schools attended by our children. In late 2015 spurred on by the teachers strike we sent four of our Class 7 children from Ngaremara and Wamba to a private school in Wamba. In early 2016 as we considered the very positive impact of this decision on the children and weighed it against the diminished opportunity for the children attending the Government Schools where most are in classes of over 100 children we decided to send all our class one to four children at Wamba to the private school after negotiating a competitive package with the owners.
In May 2016 we decided to launch our own private school for all our children at Wamba and Ngaremara. As we already had the facilities in the homes we kept capital costs to a minimum. The ratio of teachers to children will be 1:14 which contrasts with 1:100 plus in the local Government schools.
We have also provided desks to a local primary school
In 2011 as we founded the temporary children’s home in the village of Ndikir, we learned that since the nearest primary school was some 12 kms away from the village of 1000 people, very few children went to school.
We were drawn to meet this need and as a result set up classrooms housed, Samburu-style, in temporary accommodation. In 2014 we built a permanent classroom which now accommodates the Standard 2 upwards Primary age children with the Primary 1 and Nursery children in one of the recently erected steel structures. Currently we have 25 children being taught in the permanent classroom with 10 three seater desks. The classes are well-equipped with books and materials.
The County at Marsabit and the Ward Administrator at Laisamis have granted us ten acres for the further development of the school.
In 2007 the persistence of a young girl and her mother at Ngaremara eventually led us into secondary school sponsorship.
We now run a modest sponsorship scheme costing around 750,000 KES/5250 GBP per annum. As of 2017 the scheme supports twenty-five children including a few of our own from the home at Ngaremara. Seven of our children are attending a polytechnic to learn practical skills
We initially supported the creation of a secondary school at Ngaremara, providing them with a hand pump for the well, items for their science laboratory and two classroom assistants.
We support Isiolo School for the Hearing Impaired and have been awarded their Certificate of Appreciation.
In 2007 we began sponsoring children with hearing impairment through the school. In 2017 we are supporting eight children in this way. The children all come from poor backgrounds in very rural situations. Without Kindfund support they would have few opportunities for social contact and little hope of receiving an education.
In 2009 when Sperrin Hospital Trust in Northern Ireland was upgrading it’s hearing diagnostics equipment, we were generously offered an audiometer, which the British Army kindly air freighted out to Kenya. The audiometer is regularly used to assess the children’s hearing.
Kambi ya Juu Primary School in Isiolo supports an integrated education programme for children with impaired vision who live in a special home on an adjacent site. Kindfund provides food and other supplies to the home, which in 2017 has 25 children.