Project Location: Tumaini, Meru, Kenya
Project Type: Education
Project Code: KMT1120
Background: Chalice has partnered with the Good Shepherd Sisters of Kenya in the region of Meru since 1999.
Under the direction of Sr. Rosemary, the Sisters run the sponsorship program in both urban and rural communities. In addition to sponsorship, the site runs a farming program which allows them to produce food on school land to supplement school feeding and use the schools as demonstration centres.
One of these schools that have greatly benefited from Chalice's presence is St. Joseph's High School. St. Joseph's is in the rural, agriculture-based area of Tumaini, where most families live in poverty. In Kenya, quality secondary education is expensive and excludes many students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Meru Diocese opened St. Joseph's in 1988, seeking to bring high-standard education to children who could not otherwise afford it. Now, 291 students attend daily, 82 of whom have Chalice sponsors. Thanks to the generosity of Chalice supporters, we have been able to help the school build a dining hall and multi-purpose computer lab and library building.
With the help of local benefactors, the school equipped the library and IT lab with the few books and computers they received. The computers are immensely popular with the students who get to explore the web, increasing their computer literacy and research skills. The school also made the lab available to community members who have little access to such technology. "Through this project, our young people are able to access IT know-how," writes Janet, a community member, "something that will open up their minds and hearts to be in touch with global growth." The lab and library have increased enrollment in the school, which was a core goal when they were built.
But the furniture, books, and computers are too few, forcing students to stand in clusters around one computer while the teacher tries to instruct them. They must also share books, making it difficult for all students to follow along in class or complete assignments. The school needs at least 22 more computers and 63 more desks to fully equip the space. They also require a full set of textbooks at all grade levels for most of the students' subjects, including math, history, Kiswahili, geography, business studies, and agriculture. Without these materials, the students lack the full benefit of everything the teachers and the Diocese have worked to build to improve their futures.
The Meru sponsor site has requested $28,419.42 CAD to fully outfit the computer lab and library with the furniture, books, and IT equipment it needs. These funds will allow the St. Joseph's staff to both purchase and transport 31 chairs for the library, 32 chairs for the computer lab, 22 computers and dozens of textbooks to fill the requirements of the curriculum. Not only will it benefit the 291 students, but all members of the surrounding Tumaini community who can access modern IT services. These resources will likely attract even more students to enroll and persevere in their studies, uplifting their community through education. "We promise to utilize well the facility placed unto our hands," writes Janet. "We feel so blessed for this noble idea that has borne and will continue bearing fruits now and for ages to come."
Total in Canadian Funds: $28,419.42 CAD
Please note that any funds that exceed the request will be used to fund other Community Projects/Programs that may arise.