I've just returned from a great trip to work with the Happy Promotion Centre (HPC) in the Mkuru slum in Nairobi.
This is our ongoing project. I was delighted to be able to hand over funds raised by the sale of my wall art over the Christmas period and the start of the new year as well as funds donated by many generous people.
The school is coming along well but it's clear this is definitely a long-term project and will take some time to realise our dreams. Actually about 5 years to be fully there by the looks of things.
Although the school couldn't be more different from running a small jewellery and art studio, fortunately many of the business skills required are the same.
I worked on cash flow models with the slum dweller owners, Joseph and Felista, to ensure that we're building a school that will be sustainable in the future and can run successfully without (or with very limited) international funding in the future.
We met with a charity with whom we are working with to hopefully build a new relationship that in part will enable Joseph to access management training as his responsibilities grow along with the school.
We met with the local MP who has been aware of our project for some time. He's hosting a fundraising event for us at the beginning of June that we hope will go some way towards finalising the purchase of land next to the current school so we can grow from our current two rooms to the planned 8.
I was also able to take part in a school board meeting. It was great to meet the Chair, parents, an ex-doctor, and local NGO representative, all part of the management and support team behind HPC so we could consider current and future plans.
As this was my holiday I'm glad to report that I did manage not only do get a lot done but there was lots of fun with friends and colleagues on the ground too (note the friendly giraffe in the pictures below!)
If you'd like to help us raise funds for HPC, these are some of our current requirements (if you'd iike more detailed information on our funding needs please contact Steph)
Our first priority is to purchase the land next to our existing building so we don't lose it to someone else. For this we need £3,000. And then a fence £400.
Teacher training for Janet and Felista. Both teachers are teaching voluntarily at the school and have previous teaching experience but neither have the formal qualification the government requires. As we grow at least 30% of all teachers must be formally trained and certified. This will take 2 years each (whilst continuing to teach) at a cost of £350 per year each
We're also planning on starting a small porridge programme so the children can start the day with a full belly, something that's not possible for many due to lack of secure work and therefore income.
Thanks as always for your interest and support.