Written by Cheri, Brittany, Tracy, Kathy and George
Today we left Mageta Island for the last time on this trip. We will spend a few days in Bondo, and then head back to Canada.
It was with mixed emotions, as we miss our families but will also miss the wonderful hard working people on the Island. They are excited for change and are eager to learn what they need to do to make it happen.
We had mentioned in a previous blog that there was still some work needs to complete the 2 pipelines installed. We are happy to report that both are completed – the Health Centre has running water in the Lab and Maternity Ward, and Sika School built a concrete platform to hold their 10,000 litre water tank.
We had an opportunity to meet with the parents at Sika School this past week. When asked who helped dig the trench for the pipeline, almost the entire room raised their hands.
We thanked them wholeheartedly and emphasized that the water collected at the school is not only for the students, but also for their families and community.
On Wednesday we visited our last school, Mahanga Primary. We definitely saved the best for last. In Kenya, meetings generally start with formal introductions of everyone before any discussion happens. When we met with this school’s Head Teacher, this did not happen. We simply shook hands, said our names and starting discussing what they have been doing and their success. This was refreshing to our team as we had been through a number of meetings with various groups.
In the last quarter of 2017, Mikinduri Children of Hope, with the help of Beyond Limitations implemented feeding programs in Mageta Island. Schools were provided food to start them off, and the parents were challenged to also contribute. There were contributions in all schools, but not as much as Mahanga. The school has the largest student enrollment with over 800 students, so was given 7 bags of beans/corn. The parents almost matched it with 6 bags of maize (corn).
One of the things we have been doing with the kids is to talk about Hygiene and the importance of washing your hands and couching/sneezing into your elbow to prevent spreading germs. They enjoyed couching into their elbows, we hope they remember to do it when the coughs are real 🙂
To celebrate February 14th, we handed out valentines to some of the younger classes. It was fun for them and special for us.
During a meeting with the Parents and Teachers, students from each of the higher classes were invited to join. They were very bright and not shy with their questions and answers.
In the picture above you can see behind the students an orchard of orange trees. This was great to see as most of the island only has indigenous trees. Very few fruit trees have been planted even though they would do very well in the climate. We are hoping this will soon change and the island will become a “fruit basket” as Alex from Dala Rieko expressed as soon as he arrived on Mageta.
We are so impressed with this school – Teachers, Students and Parents. The dedication and hard work from everyone is evident. We can envision this school as the leader of change on Mageta Island. They have already done so much and will be able to do so much more because of their positive and strong attitude.
We came to help and left inspired by them.
Cheri, Brittany, Tracy, Kathy and George