How it all began
It all started with a volunteering trip that changed our life. In 2011, we went to volunteer at a rural school in Kimilili, Kenya. The idea was to teach the children, but we quickly had to learn that those children taught us what life is all about: Sharing and Caring for each other.
After a long 8 hour ride from Nairobi, we finally arrived at the “school”. It was barely a mud hut, with the walls falling apart, no toilets, electricity, water, nor learning material! During the first teacher meeting we were told, that the Ministry of Education wanted to close the school because of the precarious situation.
A fact, which we could not accept, after all, this school was looking after orphans and needy children that would otherwise not be able to attend school! We accepted the challenge!
Improving the learning environment while offering a free and high quality education to orphans and vulnerable children in rural Kimilili.
Over the past years, School4Life has had a major impact on the life of the community:
– Providing education to 800 orphans and needy children in rural Kenya
– Employing 55 staff members, paying over 1’800 monthly salaries
– Collecting over CHF 900,000 / EUR 800,000 of donations, with every penny reaching the children!
– Distributing over 900,000 free meals to school kids and teachers, for many the only meal they get per day
– Offering a home to 30 orphans
– Opening the first free “Special Needs School” in the region for 30 handicapped students
– Improving the learning environment by building a permanent infrastructure (classrooms, toilets, children home…)
– Rocketing the quality of the school to number 4 (out of 64 schools), by constructing a science lab, a computer room and a library
– Improving the hygiene and living conditions by conducting health campaigns, affecting over 800 students and teachers
Building the school
Previously, the school consisted of five mud huts with cow dung floors for around 250 pupils. These classrooms were dark, dusty and falling apart. Several grades had to share the same classrooms as not enough space was available. Some of the students were even taught underneath the burning hot sun due to the lack of classrooms. The situation was critical as the mud huts were in such a bad shape, that they had to be torn down to protect the security of the children.
To offer a clean and safe learning environment, a permanent school building is being constructed.
It is being constructed in sections as funds become available. In summer 2012 the first big milestone was completed: the foundation for a 20 classroom school was finalised. Since then, 14 permanent classrooms were constructed. Each classroom is 58 m2, offering a safe, light and healthy learning environment for 50 students per class.
The goal is to add further classrooms to replace all mud huts.