Since 2012 we have been involved in assisting the development of our neighbouring primary school Ole Keene, just 3km from the border of the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.
This primary school was originally built after the households of Ole Keene village raised the funds for it. In 2011 it became a government run school and nowadays it is attended by children from several of the surrounding villages. However it is not covered by the government school feeding project as they no longer provide it to new schools or ones they have recently taken over and it gets minimal government development funding due to our rural remote location.
Since we started our neighbouring camp Mara Explorers in 2011 we have helped improve various aspects of the school with the help of our guests, fundraisers and the local community. Due to the remote location of the school we have assisted in getting the perimeter fenced to stop the incursion of Elephants and Buffaloes to the school grounds, we have raised funds and organised for classroom repairs to the original iron sheet classrooms and we have helped coordinate a new kitchen and store room after the previous mud house kitchen collapsed. Throughout all this we also started and have consistently run our Porridge Project in which all the students are provided a meal of porridge once a day and sponsored several students school fees and expenses. We are also members of Pack For a Purpose and countless guests shave brought hundreds of stationary, sports and clothing items to donate to the school.
We would now like to go a step further and aim for a much larger scale project. We are now in our 8th year of living in the Ole Keene community and by our 10th year in 2021 we would like to have been able to raise enough funds to build another two class room brick block (like the one in the top picture) in order to help get more students out of the old iron sheet structures (bottom pictures) and into proper safe and well ventilated large classrooms.
We have had an estimate by the same local contractor who built the existing block in 2012 which was paid for via government funding and it is expected to cost KES 1,000,000 (US$ 10,000) per class room, of which we would ultimately like to build two. This would include everything from the ground foundation, floors, brick walls, roofs, windows and doors. Therefore our total fundraising aim is US$ 20,000 (GB£ 15,500), of which we would like to raise and complete the building project by August 2021. Once we raise an initial US$ 5000 we will be able to begin the process of ordering the first round of materials and getting the foundation and walls started for the first classroom. After that we can continue the build as we are able to add to the funds.
We have talked about beginning this project for a long time but always felt it was beyond our limits but as our camp and business grows stronger we feel now is the right time to make the push and try to leave a lasting legacy after 10 years here.
Ole Keene Primary School only became old enough to begin carrying out KCPE exams in 2016 and under it's new headmaster Mr Lewis Mpoe the students have already improved their average overall mark from 202 in 2017 to 265 in 2018. In December 2018 the school was also named as the most improved primary school in Narok West sub county.
Therefore we would be highly grateful to everyone who knows us for anything you can do to help us make this project a success and continue to uplift Ole Keene School. You can help either by donating or fundraising or just by sharing and spreading the word about what we're doing.
Asante sana! (Thank you very much!)