Schools' Directors explain why your support is needed right now
Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the Starehe schools. The cost of providing PPE, medical equipment and cleaning products is rocketing. The cost of medical expenses has already increased three fold since before the pandemic and now cases of coronavirus are on the rise again in Kenya.
Significant adaptations have been made across the schools to provide a safe learning environment for students and staff. These have come at great expense.
Here the school's Directors explain the financial challenges they are facing and why your support is needed right now.
A message from Sr. Jane Soita, Director of Starehe Girls’ School
Thank you so much for your support of Starehe UK. Coronavirus has had a devastating impact across the Globe, and our Starehe school community has also been acutely affected.
Keeping our staff and students safe and providing a healthy learning environment is our utmost priority. But the school’s expenditure on personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitizers, cleaning products and other medical expenses has increased drastically. Our medical related expenses have increased three-fold compared to pre-pandemic.
Our budget is under increased strain due to hospitalisation expenses of three students fully paid for by the Centre and their after care costs which we are continuing to fund.
Students faced numerous challenges at home while schools were closed for nine months and this is continuing to affect their mental health and wellbeing.
Your support will be vital to enable us to employ a full time psychological counsellor to support the students on a daily basis. Your generous donation will also support the purchase of PPE, sanitation and hygiene products to keep our staff and students safe. In addition it will help us to purchase a dishwasher to help us cater for our growing school as well as cover the salary of our sanitation cleaner.
We have big ambitions for the Centre and want to open up our unique education and personal development opportunities to more young women. Our aim is to build a 160-bed capacity dormitory to cater for 160 students who are currently in need of a proper accommodation facility.
Your support will help us ensure that Starehe Girls Centre comes back stronger from the coronavirus pandemic to make a difference to the lives of Kenyan’s brightest and poorest young women.
Thank you for your contribution.
A message from Josphat Mwaura, Director of the Starehe Boys’ Centre
We have been through the most challenging time in Starehe Boys’ Centre’s 61-year history as a result of the disruption occasioned by Covid19. With your generous support, we can continue to deliver the mission of Starehe: to provide care and education for boys in need and inspire them to transform the into productive and exemplary members of society. I was one such beneficiary and I credit all that I am to the transformation I went through in Starehe. It is for this reason that I came back in 2018 as a volunteer Director to join the team offering the same promise to needy boys.
The closure of schools for nine months led to a sharp decline in income for the Centre and had a devastating impact on staff and students. To manage costs during the closure, many of our staff had their salaries reduced by up to 70%. A large number of our boys had to work during the school closure which ranged from digging pit latrines, through construction work and chicken-rearing, to petty trade.
We have seen how hard it has been for students to settle back into school life and we have provided emotional and psychosocial support for the boys to help them overcome this disruptive experience and focus on their aspirations for the future.
I am so proud of our staff who, even at reduced pay, have continued to support our students throughout this pandemic. In particular staff have gone above and beyond to support our Form 4s to ensure that their performance in the forthcoming national exams is not adversely affected. But all this has come at a deep cost to the Centre.
While income virtually dried up on account of the closure, costs have gone up on account of the additional measures we have had to put in place to protect the lives and health of our staff and students. We have invested in hand washing stations, hand sanitizers, masks and thermo-guns and changed our school routine to maintain separate bubbles at each level. We are grateful to God that among nearly 1,100 boys, we had no confirmed case of Covid-19. We commend our boys for complying with the measures and we have been reiterating that "discipline is capital".
We now have a rise in infections in the country and need to protect the examination candidates who remain in the Centre. We will also need to invest heavily for the new school term commencing in May 2021. Whilst the Alumni of the Centre did a wonderful job to provide for our needs in the term just ended, we have to look wider to bridge the enormous resource constraint that we are facing. This is why we are turning to you; we appreciate whatever your means permit you to give, and will remain forever grateful for your help.
Every penny from this appeal will go directly to supporting our Starehe students, helping them to realise their potential and create a bright future.
May you enjoy good health and abundance in all areas of your life.
Please donate to our Stronger Starehe Schools Coronavirus appeal here