Project Location: Meru site, Kenya
Project Code: CP KMT0521
Eight of the nine classrooms at St. Joseph's High School are in deplorable condition.
Chalice began working in rural Meru county with the Good Shepherd Sisters in 1999. In three communities, the site assists children and families living in both rural villages and urban slum environments. About 80% of the population in the municipality of Meru are low-income earners who experience poverty. The Meru sponsor site focuses on supporting children to achieve high academic performance and reducing school drop-out rates, supported by Chalice’s school farming and meal programs.
St. Joseph’s High School is a mixed boarding and day-school about 8 km outside of Meru town, along the highway. The Catholic Diocese founded it in 1988 on eight acres of land donated by the local community. The school runs solely on the fees paid by the students’ parents, covering teachers’ salaries, learning materials, and boarding needs.
There are now just over 200 students, 14 teachers and ten non-teaching staff members. The enrollment rate is increasing because of its reputation for strong academic performance and the introduction of a day-student program for children whose families cannot afford boarding costs. The school admits students who are from vulnerable local neighbourhoods, including Chalice sponsored children. More than 20% of students have Chalice sponsors.
St. Joseph’s has nine classrooms, some of which were not intended to be used as permanent classrooms. Eight of the nine are in deplorable condition. The only three permanent classrooms are not up to standard according to the high school's quality assurance office. Two more classrooms were under construction, but a lack of funding stopped that initiative. Three of the four semi-permanent classrooms are not in use due to their unsafe condition. The students currently experience congestion in their classrooms and bitter cold when the temperatures drop. This leads to the spread of disease, such as COVID and colds, and is not an environment that promotes focused learning in the classroom.
The Meru site has partnered with Chalice to undertake repairs of eight classrooms and a staffroom. All the floors will be re-tiled, and the walls will be plastered and painted. All eight classrooms will have the roof redone, but the staff room does not need roof repairs.
The total budget required for these renovations is $61,643.19 CAD, which includes laying out the stonework, clearing the site, roofing, plastering, tiling the floors, painting, and fitting windows. The local Meru community will provide labour and offer volunteer services whenever needed. The community is also committed to maintaining the security of the worksite.
The completion of these renovations will give 218 staff and students, including 43 Chalice sponsored children, an improved learning and teaching environment which will improve performance outcomes. In turn, this will attract and accommodate more students. It will also improve their health and hygiene and reduce maintenance fees.
Budget in Canadian Funds: $61,643.19 CAD
Please note that any donations that exceed the request will be used to fund other community projects/programs that may arise.