The holidays are now upon us, which makes it an excellent time to check in with the folks living in Lemolo, the latest village where WTA has built a school.
Elian Ekeno plans on spending the Christmas here at here home in Lemolo with her husband and children. She told Sam she is looking forward to the holidays and the New Year for a number of reasons. Firstly, she’s very happy that in the New Year there will be a school for her kids to attend. Her kids have already been attending school in the temporary structures as their school building is still under construction. But for Elian, the difference a year makes is huge.
The other reason she is excited about the holidays is that her twin newborn sons are spending their first Christmas here in Lemolo. Like many who have settled here, the last few years have been particularly hard for them. They’ve had to move from place to place, and we’re living in a series of camps for Internally displaced persons before they settled here. The rest of her children were born and raised in different places. But now her new sons can spend their first Christmas in their home.
For Rose Yegon, mother of five, Christmas will be spent here in Lemolo as well. She’s ready to spend a lot of time baking local delicacies for her family and friends here in Lemolo. She’s excited for Christmas, but also because she remembers what Christmas last year was like. She was worried about how far her kids needed to walk to make it to class. The nearest school was four hours away, and as they left in the dark early morning hours, she always worried about their safety. Now with the new school in her community thanks to WTA, she won’t have that fear in the New Year.
WTA has supported the construction of four schools now. It’s tempting for many to look at these schools as “gifts” or “charity”, but we believe what we’ve done goes beyond that. We haven’t given a school to Lemolo community, instead we worked alongside the people living there to give Elian and Rose peace of mind for the schooling of their kids next year.
This has been an incredible year for WTA. We’ve completed a new school, began another in a new community next door. We’ve hooked up lights for our students to learn better. We’ve seen our high school grow as a new cohort joins. We’ve supplied books and materials so students can excel. We commemorated our new school with friends from near and far. We’ve watched as WTA schools continue to rise in the public school rankings in Kenya and marvelled at the amazing students coming from these communities.
It’s been a great reward to see this growth happening. You might even call it a gift…Happy Holidays everybody.