2018 has been a very interesting year for Kenya especially in terms of weather forecasting! While the rains brought relief to much of drought-stricken Kenya, to Land & Life it brought major delays in the execution of our construction projects. However, we can now smile as the third new classroom in Esiteti Primary School is now complete despite the multiple setbacks! This third new classroom sits 30 students comfortably, and brings the school to up to a total of 9 classrooms. This frees up the ICT room for exclusive computer use, supporting our ongoing digital literacy drive across our school network. The construction of the new classroom successfully ended in mid-August. The students have since resumed school for the last term of the year, and everyone is delighted with the new classroom.
In addition to this, the school is also receiving a facelift in the academic block which will see 5 classroom floors completely redone, windows and doors fixed and refitted and the entire academic block repainted. This refurbishment will also see the school fitted with solar lighting to help the school run more efficiently. The refurbishment will be done in phases. We are now done with exterior works and the bulk of the work left is the redoing of floors, wiring the school and painting inside the classrooms.
For a very long time, much focus has been on the girl child and this has impacted on the boy child too. In the recent past, we have experienced declining numbers of boys in the upper Primary classes. Boy child retention in schools is becoming an issue, especially in the pastoral communities. In line with this, we received a donation to fund the construction of an 80-bed boys dormitory which will increase the retention levels for the students as well as facilitate improved performances as there is more time for the students to study as opposed to day schooling. Despite delays in this project also related to weather conditions and ongoing challenges, we finally have the detailed structural drawings for the dormitory and have engaged a reliable and well known contractor from the local community. This project will commence this month and we foresee having a dormitory by end of the year.
Our thanks go out to all the donors involved with these amazing developments at Esiteti this year – from Amaya Tandon, to Birgit Reimann and Constantine Panoussi of SKAl international Monaco – the de Vink family from the United States and Johann Auer from Europe – David Hanes, Helene Hamilton, Clarke Rees, Suzanne Kent , and Joseph and Miriam Habib. Thanks to all of you, and to those many others who have also donated books, supplies and resources – without you the children of Amboseli would be considerably worse off.