This year’s donor trip was marked by an auspicious launch of Kimugul primary school in Lemolo A settlement camp. The school was officially launched by the county governor of Nakuru where the school is situated. Moreover, the whole trip has very successful in achieving its objectives; launching the school, having the donors interact with the community, launching the next project in Lemolo B and having the donors participate in the construction in Lemolo A.
The trip which started on 29th of July and lasted till the 7th of August was divided into two phases. The first phase was the school building leg where we spent four days camping in Lemolo area for four days. The second phase was the tour leg where the donors got to go and see the great migration in the famous Masai Mara game park. This leg provided them with much needed rest after such as an action packed, tiring but fruitful school building camping trip.
The school building leg of the donor trip kicked off on the 30th of July where the guests traveled from the hotel in Nairobi city to Lemolo A. The donors visited Pipeline camp along the way which is one of the last IDP (Internally Displaced People) camps yet to be resettled. We got a chance to see what the conditions under which people live in the crammed up camps that were supposed to be temporary solutions that turned into realities seven years after the initial violence that displaced people occurred. This was an eye opener for the guests as they saw the effect displacement has on a community which would provide the contrast with a resettled community like the one in Lemolo A and B. Later on we arrived in Lemolo A where we received a very nice and jubilant welcome from the local community and the school before heading for the night at the camping ground.
On the second day we visited Shalom community in the morning. We were also warmly welcomed here where we have built two schools- an elementary and a high school. We spent a few hours interacting with this community which we have helped before. The donors got to see the effect a school has on a newly resettled community. The school becomes the central focal point in the community. It pulls in other development projects and gives a shattered community hope for the future. This feeling is in the air when you visit these communities. It cannot be very well expressed until you experience it yourself which is one of the takeaway experiences of the whole trip- the hope and importance of a school where none existed before.
After the emotional charged Shalom trip, we headed back into Lemolo A for the official opening of the school. The local governor was the invited guest. The most differentiating thing about this launch as how this governor took a big step in partnering with us in our projects. He showed resolve and a genuineness to partner with WTA by providing the school with brand new uniforms for all the school kids. Its good to note that education work in Kenya falls on the national government (equivalent of federal government) and thus when a school is already built then the county can get involved but they are not allowed to get involved schools before. The county also provided the school with food for the school feeding program because it makes a difference since these community does not have enough food which means some kids come to school with having eaten anything before. That meal in school is the first meal of the day for some. This school feeding program ensures that most children come to school, stay in school and actually learn while they are here.
This was such a packed and emotional trip that it will require two posts. The Second part will cover the actual school building part and the visit to Lemolo B community where we are building the next school. Check out that blog later.