Sunday, February 5, 2012

Twin Schools in Meru

Posted by Rosemary Herbert (Farmers Helping Farmers Board Member and Faculty Member UPEI School of Nursing).

Today is the beginning of our third week in Kenya. Time is flying by – every day is very full with so much to learn and do.

I have had the pleasure of visiting primary and secondary schools. I will visit a total of eight schools. The children are so excited to have visitors and to receive letters and funds from their friends at twin schools in Prince Edward Island.

The children are delightful. They appear happy, healthy and very pleased to welcome visitors to their school. Sometimes they sing to welcome us or repeat their class mottos. I often have the privilege of visiting each classroom and speaking to the students.

During my visits, I interview each headteacher or other senior teachers about the health issues of the children. All are extremely appreciative of the help provided by FHF and ask me to convey their deep gratitude to FHF supporters.

I am so impressed by what has been accomplished. FHF dedication signs are a natural part of the landscape of the twinned schools in Kiirua and Marega. The children lineup twice a day at the cookhouse–during the morning for uji- and at lunchtime for githeri. School gardens and sometimes screenhouses are used to grow food for the children. The two meals provided at school are the main source of food for many of the children. Week-ends are a hungry time for many. Cookhouses, water tanks, school gardens,screenhouses, classrooms, milk, and learning resources have all been provided by FHF.

So much has been done yet there is more that we can do to improve the health of the children. Providing all of the twinned schools with cookhouses and gardens will greatly contribute to ensuring children are adequately nourished and better able to learn. Distributing mosquito nets to school children is critical for preventing malaria, a very common illness in many schools. Regular deworming programs would help prevent frequent worm infestations in the children.

Visiting Kenya has made me realize how much can be accomplished by such a few people.The cookhouses provided by the Village Feast have made a huge impact on the health of schoolchildren as have the other contributions by FHF.It is a humbling experience to hear the gratitude and see the positive results in the children.

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