Imagine getting up and BEING in class at 5:15 am and leaving at 7pm – 7 days a week!!! That’s what Maureen does as she starts her grade 8 class in Kisumu. Many schools here have such incredible hours. Maureen has been living in the orphanage for 5 years now. Her mother is mentally challenged and unable to care for her.
She is a quite efficient young lady. When she isn’t in school or doing homework she helps with the meal preparation, cleaning and interacting with the children (without being asked). Her favorite subject is English and her ambition is to be a doctor.
Our Learning Centre isn’t quite so crazy. Our classes go from Baby (Preschool) to Grade 5. The children’s schedule is ruled by a bell. It rings at 5:30 to wake them up and then at 6 am for breakfast. Then they head outside to pick up twigs and generally clean the compound. School starts at 7 and ends at 4:30 for the younger ones and 5:30 for the older ones. We have 138 children in the school.
Here is a picture of our grade 2 class. I had a few of the staff trying to get the children to smile while I took their picture – I think they succeeded. The wonderful benefit of this weather is that you can move your classroom outside at a moment’s notice!
This is Morgan and he lives at Bethel with his brother, Austine. Neither one are sponsored. Their mother died in 2014 and the children were left with their father. He is a construction worker but is unable to get steady employment and adequately care for the boys. We have noticed that Morgan has a real talent for building. He has taken over the care of the rabbits, cleaning, feeding, and building the little enclosure for the new baby rabbits that are expected sometime soon! Measuring with his fingers the little board and using a saw and hammer with some bent nails that he straigthened, he has prepared things very well.
Steven has become on of the most impressive young men that we have noticed. He doesn’t look anything like what his first picture showed. He only now wears the biggest smile on the compound and usually most of the time is out helping and taking the leadership with the younger children. He is the “father” to a couple of the younger boys. His father is handcapped and his mother does small jobs to try to support the family. He was sent to live with an aunt but her income was not adequate to support him either. He should be in Gr 5 but according to the school testing, he is only in Grade 3. We’re hoping that they can progress him quickly up to the age approrpiate class for him – it’s mostly his English skills that need improving as he needs to be able to read English to understand the test/exams.