Coping with Changes in Kenya
The Dandora Community Centre, in Nairobi, Kenya, supports a huge group of students both as a school and a boarding home, which makes it more difficult for the school to adjust to big changes.
There are currently 650 children in attendance at the Centre, including about 490 in Primary School education (middle school), and about 160 in Secondary education (high school) programs. Nearly all the primary school students board at the school, returning home to their families during school holidays.
Adjusting to new requirements
“All of the students at the school who are boarding at the school — they receive daily meals, a safe and clean place to live, and benefit from afterschool tutoring and onsite medical care,” explained our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet.
“Unfortunately, the Centre is quickly running out of space for the number of children in the classrooms. The Centre needs additional classrooms, updated restrooms, and general repairs to the buildings.”
“Making the issue more dire, the Kenyan government has requested that all schools replace the asbestos sheet roof, which was commonly used in building schools in the past. The Centre is working on the changes as quickly as possible, despite it being an expense they did not budget for,” said Luis.
“Additionally, the Dandora Centre is required to offer technical training to Secondary School students per government requirement. Although this change in curriculum is very beneficial to the students, it requires a lot of adapting and changing for the Centre with limited resources.”
“The biggest challenge is the need for space. The school was built in a relatively small area, and originally, only a Primary School. The adjustments they have to make require additional infrastructure where the technical training program can be implemented. No funding resources are being given by the local government to implement these new training programs, so each school has to find their own funding,” said Luis.
The reliability of sponsorship
Although a lot is changing at the Centre, one thing that remains consistent is the invaluable support our sponsored children receive from their sponsors.
“Sponsorship support is utilized at the Dandora Centre to help the children without resources to pay school fees and buy textbooks so that they can attend the school. The alternative is to attend public schools which is disastrous, as public schools have worse conditions. Public schools in Nairobi are overcrowded, and the learning is minimal,” explained Luis.
“Also, sponsored and unsponsored children are also assisted by our International Feeding Program, where the children who don’t board at the school are provided with a meal every school day. This is of great support to their parents, as they cannot afford to purchase school lunches for their children every day.”
“Children Incorporated also provides mosquito nets once a year for children and their families, as the net helps to protect them from mosquito-transmitted illnesses like malaria, chikungunya, dengue and other illnesses affecting these overcrowded areas. Over the last couple of years, we have also provided a pair of shoes for every child on the program,” said Luis.
“Our sponsorship program and our special funds have a tremendous impact on children at the Dandora Center. It is truly life-changing for them to receive the consistent support they need to stay in school and succeed.”
How do I sponsor a child in Kenya?
You can sponsor a child in Kenya in one of three ways: call our office at 1–800–538–5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at email@example.com; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in Kenya that is available for sponsorship.