Visit to Kairuni – February 2013

P1040239P1040516It’s very difficult to describe in just a few words what a wonderful experience Mrs Evans, Miss Fennell and I had when we visited Kairuni Special School during half term. We received a very warm welcome from the children, the staff and the local community in Chogoria and learnt so much during our 10 day visit. The photos give you a taste of what we experienced.

ThP1040431e school website will be updated shortly with more photos so do take a look. Working in Kairuni School gave us a real insight into the challenges of teaching with very limited resources in a relatively newly established system for SEN provision.We are delighted that the British Council funding enables us make these visits and that two teachers, Evangeline and Leah, will be coming over to Westfield in June to maintain this link. Whereas previous funding enabled us to support curriculum links and developments within our two schools, current funding only covers the cost of travel for teachers. Having spent time in Kairuni there are 3 areas we would like to raise funds for over the next year:

  • Mattresses and bedding: Around 25 -30 children live at the school during term time. One lady looks after these children during the evenings, night and weekends. Many children have difficulty getting themselves to the toilet and rely on help from other children. It is therefore very difficult to keep beds clean. Parents have to provide a mattress but many struggle financially. Westfield  have already raised some funds for some mattress covers but more help is needed .
  • Furniture : the school has barely enough chairs and tables for the all the children in the school. A lot of time is spent moving chairs around.  The furniture is in very poor condition and does not suit the needs of the children. There is only one cupboard in the school  and so it is very difficult to access any resources. Having some purpose built furniture would make a huge difference to the day to day running of the school. It could be made locally and generate work for families.
  • Health Centre: With the help of volunteers and the Dorset Expeditionary Society , Martyn and Josie Hastings (Weymouth residents) have taken the lead in the building and development of a health centre in Chogoria which all the children benefit from. Josie and Martyn have been instrumental in helping Westfield and many other schools within the  Chesil Educational Partnership develop our school links. Without their co-ordination of accommodation, transport and  knowledge of the area the visits could not take place. The walls of a children’s ward at the health centre have recently been built but funds are now needed for the roof. We would like to support this project as we know what a difference it makes to the local community.

P1040311Any ideas or support with fundraising would be very gratefully received. Please look out for events this term and join us in June when we will have an evening celebration with our Kenyan friends.

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