MOYO on site in Africa (January 24-30, 2020)
On January 24th, Barbara Messner, the president of MOYO, started her trip to Africa. In her luggage were the collected donations of 2019, with which girls should be able to go to school and thus have a better future.
Together with Sophie E. Kibuywa, director of the local partner Kimilili Integrated Development Education Program (KIDEP), 3 selected schools in the Bungoma district were visited. These were the St. Mary primary school, the St. Mary secondary school in Sossio and the primary school in Nakalira.
The conditions in these schools were miserable. It is obvious that everything is missing: girls run around in tattered school uniforms (these are mandatory for schooling in Kenya) and only a few have shoes on. The classrooms are sparsely furnished – a student can count herself lucky if she gets a wooden bench, otherwise you have to learn on the floor. The hygiene standards are appalling: water has to be drawn from a borehole and for 600 schoolchildren often only 3 outside toilets (outhouse) are available, which have to be reached barefoot. Girls are often sent to school without food in the morning because the parents have no money for breakfast. Lunch is also often unaffordable (due to the British system, the day school lasts until 4 p.m), which is only rice/corn porridge and a few beans. So the girls have no choice but to go to school and stay hungry all day. Out of shame from this poverty and above all to avoid the ridicule of the other students, girls often hide in the bushes during their lunch break. With the donations collected, MOYO will pay for lunch for particularly disadvantaged girls..
What is nevertheless striking, the girls are happy, they laugh and are happy to be part of the learning process at school. And what fun it was to have a visit from a white woman and even be able to shake her hand.
The conditions in the boarding school, as the secondary school is run, are even more drastic. The bedrooms consist of 100 beds each and showers are only available outdoors with buckets. Every girl has to wash her clothes with cold water and hand soap, so hygiene leaves much to be desired. This in turn leads to disease, which is devastating due to the lack of a health system. There is often no money even for sanitary napkins, which is why MOYO supports the project with free reusable sanitary towels – produced by a local partner.
We were particularly touched by the story of Yvonne, a 14-year-old girl who walked 40 km to school as soon as she received the letter from the authority about her compulsory education. Although her parents had no money for the school fee, Yvonne stayed in school until she was accepted. Due to the kindness of the director, Yvonne is allowed to attend the boarding school, but is not given a certificate and is therefore denied an independent future. The director has to keep a book about the costs of Yvonne’s stay in school and report this “debt” to the authorities, so the girl could be expelled from school at any time. MOYO has decided to support Yvonne and to pay for her school fees and boarding school.
At the primary school in Nakalidar we were introduced to the 2 girls, Rose and Sarah in tattered uniforms, who live as orphans with their grandparents because their parents have died of HIV. (this is not an isolated case in Kenya). The two girls are 16 and 17 years old and should have already attended secondary school for a long time, but due to the lack of funds from their grandparents, they were unable to go to school for years and are now at school with younger girls. It is important to train Rose and Sarah further. This gives the girls a chance for an independent future and thus avoids dependency on men (the alternative would be early marriage or an unwanted pregnancy without a father). MOYO will also help here.
These stories are just a few examples of how the club’s donations are used.
MOYO thanks all donors. Asante sana!