The day after the opening ceremony was less formal and therefore great to get into interaction with the children and to learn more about their lives.
We were invited to mother Juliana Matutu`s home in order to see the living conditions of one family of our students. Juliana has six children, whereas four are visiting the PATRIZIA Primary School Syangeni. The father of the children is gone; therefore she bears the whole responsibility for the family. Since it hasn´t rained for months, agriculture is not possible anymore. The family owns some chicken and goats, but to provide healthy and diversified nutrition to the children, she goes to the city to earn some money. Depending to occasional jobs, she returns to the family at most weekly, while the older daughters aged 17 and 19 care for the younger ones. That means: preparing them for school, looking after the animals, fetching water from a distant dwell and cooking. For fetching water, the girls have to walk about five kilometres one way. If it rains enough, the school`s water tank would help the community to ease the access to water.
The new PATRIZIA Primary School hosts 158 children from nursery school up to grade eight. Due to the increased number of students from the vicinity, many are happy now about the shortened way to school. Just as Matutu`s children, who now have only to walk one kilometre instead of four.
Back at school, together with Matuku, Felix, Megali and Louka, we were happy to hand over some presents to the children. Footballs, volleyballs, stationary and solar lamps made the children really excited. The footballs were used immediately to start a football game. The solar lamps are provided to enable the students to learn at home. Without electricity, the only other solution would be to learn at the fire, which is not really appropriate.
Due to our tight schedule it was already time to say good bye again. Visiting the PATRIZIA Primary School in one of the poorest regions in Kenia was really affecting. We are confident that with the engagement of the highly motivated teachers, this school will make a difference for the region. We are looking forward for the further development of our school in Syangeni in Kitui County.