Registered Charity No. 1134520
building is a long single storey concrete structure with eight classrooms and
an office and a staff room, situated very close to Lake Baringo in the Great
Rift Valley in Kenya. It serves primary school children aged from 6 to
14, some of whom walk up to 12 kilometres to school. There is a separate school hall and a small,
very basic kitchen where Maria the cook works to prepare maize and beans for
lunch for the children.
The classroom floors and walls are bare concrete, with a simple blackboard on
one wall in each room. The children mostly belong to the local tribe of
Njemps but also include some Tugens, Turkanas, and Kalenjins. As babies they
will learn their “mother tongue”, then whilst at primary school they learn
Swahili, their National language, and English the official language of
Kenya. This means it has been possible for us to converse with the older
pupils in English and get a feel for their aspirations.
At the beginning we noticed that the lower classes had much larger numbers of
children than the higher classes and this was because some of the older
children were needed to stay at home and work on family tasks rather than
attend school. We are pleased to report
that since our involvement with the school, class numbers have increased and
most children are staying on to age 14.
In the last year at primary school Kenyan children take a national examination which determines whether they qualify academically to attend secondary school. As Meisori Primary is a remote rural school, children who qualify to go on to secondary school have hitherto had to go as boarders because of the distances involved. This means not only would they need uniform and books, but also needed to purchase their own mattress and bedding etc. and pay for food and transport. The Kenyan government began to fund tuition fees for secondary pupils in January 2008 but this represents only a small portion of the annual boarding school fees.