Since 1998 the people of Keyworth and many of our friends have been involved in
providing support for the school at Kadzinuni, support which we hope will
continue and endure for years to come. On behalf of all the children and
parents of Kadzinuni, thanks go to all who have helped in the past, and to
others, your help will be valued.
On our visit in February 2001 one of the parents said, "With your help we
can make this school shine, to give our children a good education". With
God's help I'm sure this will happen.
I hope you enjoy this outline of the Kadzinuni Story... SO FAR that is!
How it all started
The Reading Books
April 1998 saw our first visit to Kenya, mainly for a Safari holiday, which
included a week of rest and recuperation on the Kenya Coast near Mombasa.
Whilst at our hotel, The Travellers Beach at Bamaburi we became friendly with
our waiter, a young Kenyan called Alex Mwarome Munga. Alex's home village is
The whole holiday had been an amazing experience for us all, and when we had
been home for a few days we decided that we had to try to put something back
into Kenya in return for the pleasure we had enjoyed. Through Alex we made
contact with the Head Teacher of Kadzinuni, Mr Jonathon Kombe.
Kadzinuni Primary School has about 450 pupils and about 8 teachers plus a large
nursery class. Children commence nursery at aged 5 or 6, then move into the
school at age 7. They will remain at Primary School until they pass Grade 8
Examinations. This means that some children do not move on until they are
sometimes 18 or 19 years old. The Kenyan Government provides the teachers, but
little else. A teacher is provided for each classroom the school has
irrespective of the number of pupils. The building, all teaching materials and
examination fees have to be provided by the parents. So in an area as poor as
Vipingo many children may miss out on schooling because of lack of money to pay
their fees. In the early years examinations are quite inexpensive, so school
fees for a child for a year are only 400 to 500Ksh (Kenyan Shillings) or about
£5 sterling. Examination fees become higher as the children progress. To put
this into context a steady full time job in Mombasa may pay only 100Ksh per day
(£1) and very people in Kadzinuni have regular work. Annual leave is usually
unpaid, and those who do work actually live in or near to Mombasa as transport
to work is very difficult, so after rent and food there is little left for
The great thing however is the enthusiasm from children and parents for
learning. It is a major priority in their lives and this shows through whenever
you meet them.
January 1999 saw our first real Kadzinuni project get off the ground. After
a chance conversation with Chris Conway, Head Teacher of Crossdale Drive
Primary School in Keyworth, an appeal was put out to parents at the school to
donate a book for Kadzinuni. Crossdale had about 200 pupils at the time, from
about 160 families and our objective was one book per family.
Never have I been so amazed at a response to such an appeal, particularly as
our own children had left Crossdale in 1996 and 1998. Chris rang me up to
report that he had over 800 books all in excellent condition, some of them
being large glossy encyclopaedias! Whilst this was going on I had acquired some
support from Experian Ltd to help pay the carriage of some books to the school.
(£300, which would allow about 50kgs to be flown out), The 800 books actually
weighed more like 200kgs so £300 would only get them about as far as the coast
of North Africa! So I had another problem to solve.
Never one for being afraid of asking for things I rang up the international
couriers DHL Ltd with a view to them doing a deal. How much could I ship out
for £300? Their answer was NOTHING. They would not do a deal for £300, they
would much more prefer to ship the whole lot out FREE OF CHARGE!
And so, in late January a DHL Van arrived at Crossdale to collect the books
plus £100 worth of other basics for the school (pencils, solar powered
calculators, pens etc.) bought with money donated by Experian as the carriage
was being done for free.
So, Kadzinuni Primary received reading books for the first time, although even
with help from DHL it took a few weeks to liberate them from customs in
Mombasa. We sent a single use camera with the books and the Head quickly
returned the film showing some of the books in the only cupboard that the
school possessed at that time.
Click on any of these images for a larger view...
The track leading up through the sisal plantation to Kadzinuni.
Alex and his Family.
From left to right Riziki, Salim, Mwanajuma and Alex.
The Books - Safely delivered to Kadzinuni, March 1999. Every single book
contained a greeting message from Crossdale Drive...
"We would like to send you a book from your friends at Crossdale Drive
Primary School. We hope you have a good read!"