The Giraffe - a symbol of our friendship.

Official Web Site of The Friends of Kadzinuni

Beginnings

An Introduction

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

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 Kadzinuni.

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 school fees.

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.

The Reading Books

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...

 

Click for larger image
The track leading up through the sisal plantation to Kadzinuni.

Click for larger image
Alex and his Family.
From left to right Riziki, Salim, Mwanajuma and Alex.

Click for larger image
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!"

Link to http://www.microsoft.com/frontpage/