After a very refreshing holiday week, the project workers, tanned and tired from a long journey, sat down for a the Mid-Summer Meeting to plan the second half of the project. We discussed their proudest moments so far, which included: a successful careers day, resulting in excited and motivated students; seeing an accountant finally taking initiative; an inspirational HIV positive speaker, resulting in students wanting to be tested; setting up a debating club and then just walking in on them in full swing a few weeks later, having adapted it and developed it to make their own; teachers using their initiative to respond proactively to project worker ideas; sanitary towels selling a week after the system being set up; getting Headteachers on board as they start to see fruits of PWs hard work; doing an LTP24 pitch at 11pm after a disastrous internet café experience and then receiving the funding the next day!We also discussed the challenges for the second half, which included issues of sustainability as well as the issue of schools being closed for holiday tuition and a teacher strike. Despite this, the project workers are remaining resilient and busy, and continuing to make a big impact in their schools. Rob has completed the Post Secondary Opportunities (PSO) booklet, which will be fantastic contribution to students awareness of their future choices.
As a summer team, we have been continuing to visit a number of exciting potential schools as well as revisiting graduate schools that are doing well. We visited Omonayo school yesterday to find that eight students qualified for university last year, as opposed to the three that went on average before KEP investment, which was very encouraging to see!
The start of week 7 saw the final changeover of Project Managers, with Rona heading home and Fiona arriving for the last two weeks. Since then the Kisii house has been a hive of activity with the PWs constantly in and out of the town, finalising orders, collecting materials and working hard on their deliverable documents. The coordinators have been equally productive, carrying out the remaining school visits around a busy schedule of coordinator visits and planning and execution on the Headteacher’s Debrief – held on 30th August at the Kisii Hotel.The event went without hitch, and was a great opportunities for the Headteachers to offer their feedback about the summer and their PWs. It was clear they were all very happy with the investment and effort the PWs had put into their schools. Improved libraries, laboratories and water facilities were almost unanimously reported. We also had some lovely feedback on our softer programmes of deliver (PoDs) namely the PSO booklet and speakers and the roll out of the I-rise sanitary towel scheme. The Headteachers also offered some useful suggestions on how we could further improve our model for the following year, especially since holiday tuition is likely to be cancelled indefinitely which limits the amount of time project workers will have working directly with the students.
Since we were over-quoted the cost of electricity instalment in one of the LTP24 schools, around £200 of extra funds became available for spending this week. After considering the breakdown of water infrastructure materials self-funded by LTP24 schools, this money was split between three schools: Nyanko (to pay for its extra guttering and aquaclara project), Kerongeta (which had not received any LTP24 funding before but made significant investment in water infrastructure – so funds were used to pay for a smaller water tank and guttering), and Iranda (to replace badly fitting guttering.) Photos and video footage is now also being collected to be made into a proper video at the end of the summer.With just one week left the end is drawing scarily close for the PWs. A looming teachers’ strike and Headteachers’ exams may create some difficulties at the start of next week (limiting the number of students in the schools), but we’re sure the PWs will enjoy their final week watching their hard work reaching completion.
Rona and Fiona (Project Managers Kisii)