Today I witnessed two scenarios, one from a distance, one close up. Todays “Daily Nation” here i Nairobi ran a story from Samburu, one of the drought affected areas in Kenya. People die from hunger now. The story focused on two year old Leguto Lemalile who now, in spite of her very young age, is in school, not for educational reasons but to get at least one daily meal made from beans and maize. Her parents, who only get to eat whatever they can find, left her at the school in the hope that she’ll survive. One of the teachers says that they cannot send the little girl away, because she will die of hunger at home.
As opposed to most other school kids in the world Leguto is not looking forward to the weekends, because Saturday and Sunday she doesn’t eat. This post is written on a Friday afternoon meaning that Leguto has probably now eaten her only meal today. Now she waits for Monday to come.
Leguto is not lucky enough (or old enough) to attend the school I visited in Limuru, half an hour’s drive north of Nairobi. The school’s name is Furaha, which means joy. It’s motto is Think Big. Furaha, which is a day and boarding primary school, has received its third loan from MYC4 with Growth Africa as provider. As manager Eunice Mwathi says: – We need to do something about the buildings. She took me on a tour of the class rooms and the dorms. Everywhere I was met by kids in all ages eager to learn, but Eunice was right. They really need to do something about the buildings. One dorm had 40 beds in it – on as many square meters – not much room for privacy there.
For Eunice and Furaha the loans have been essential. Without them they are not able to approve things.
One thing Eunica will spend money on with the new loan is a “jumping castle”, a modest way of putting more joy in the lives of the pupils for many of whom the day starts as early as 4.50 AM.