We Saw; We Acted!

Likoni is the site of the southern terminus of the Likoni Ferry, a double ended ferry serving road traffic and pedestrians from both Likoni and Mombasa Island. Likoni, is just outside of the city of Mombasa. School attendance in this region is out of reach for many, not just because of the attendance fees, but distance and family’s need for an income. These kids need education in whatever for they can get it. Since the governments are preoccupied with their own well-being, the children need someone else to look out for them.

This poverty affects children and youth disproportionately, as it prevents them from finishing school and from finding work, leaving many idle, looking for ways to earn pennies while losing the opportunity to pursue their dreams. As a result Likoni stays poor and the ills of poverty, including idleness, crime, disease and early pregnancy, continue for another generation. The most important economic activities within this region are trading and fishing. However, the current individuals below poverty line in the area are still at 47%.The area lies within the coastal strip of the Indian Ocean and the people are basically traders and fishermen. On average, each household has 6 people living as squatters (have no land), since land forms the basic critical issue in the District. Education facilities within the Division are of very poor quality, and without any proper attention given to the destitute and the orphans. This discrimination of the vulnerable has resulted to high dropout rate from school, thus indulgence in immoral activities.

Even in the existing schools there is a big challenge has been the lack of adequate learning facilities which is a menace to all government learning institutions to accommodate the rising number of pupils in school, a factor that has reduced the quality of education to the children. Within Likoni district access to wood fuel the main type of fuel in the area is a problem as there are no forests. Due to this Carbon Zero has implemented an energy efficient cook stove project which has enabled households to cut on their wood use and save some money to even buy food and pay school fees for children.

Having a cook stove project within the area and having seen how the community suffers under high levels of poverty with the help of our partners Specialist Computer Centres (SCC) we chose to help fight the chronic poverty through enhancing education in the area; we chose Shikaadabu Primary School and started improving its facilities in consultation with the school management. So far we have managed to refurbish several classes, plastering dilapidated class floors, roofing the classes afresh and replacing old leaking iron sheets with quality new ones, making new desks for the pupils, painting dirty class walls to make them conducive for learning, construct a fence for the school and a gate for the school to curb rates of pupils sneaking in and out of school anyhow. Speaking to the school head teacher she says….

“As the head teacher for the school am wordless and I cannot find enough words to say thank you to SCC and Carbon Zero, through your kindness our school has been given a new look, a totally new look. All the pupils, parents and the community at large are extremely excited and thankful. In fact let me tell you that initially our roofs were very old and leaking and the school didn’t have money to repair them you know how government projects are run, pupils could not comfortably attend lessons in rainy seasons but as we speak, we can afford a smile things have changed with the new roofs.”

Before Repairs
She went on to say that “ with our old roofs we could not harvest rain water but now we are thinking of getting some tanks to harvest water and even give to community members who cannot afford to buy water so that we can extend the same kindness even to others as well. When you supported us to fence the school it seemed like a normal project buy today we have managed to keep pupils in school hence improved our performance. Initially minus the fence pupils could easily sneak in and out as they wish as you could enter or leave from any point but today it’s not possible with the fence and the gate installed. Our classes were lacking desks but you helped us make desks and now our kids can comfortably attend lessons while seated – it’s really a great honour for us and that’s why we say thank so much – please always feel welcome to the school.”

After Repairs
She smiles and continues “as the head teacher now am even proud of my school as it’s now the best in the area if you compare it to other government schools. As my way of saying thank you I want to dedicate my energy with my staff to ensuring we give our kids the best by using the facilities you have given to us properly utilizing them to change the life of the community at large through quality education.”

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