Mahali Pa Watoto operates 5 days a week and teaches reading, writing and arithmetic following the Kenya pre-primary syllabus.
The children join at age 3 and stay in the school for 3 years when we aim for them to join a local state run primary school - the equivalent of UK junior school.
What?: Our Building
After several years using a space in a Red Cross building, we were able to buy land and build our own school. This happened in 2009 and made a huge difference to the security of Mahali Pa Watoto, allowing us to provide care and education 5 days a week rather than just 3. It also gave us a proper kitchen and better storage for the day to day running of the school.
With continued support, in 2012 we extended upwards to build the second floor. This enabled us to add 4 classrooms and therefore potentially teach 90 more children, the chance to start adult education became a possibility too.
With the new building we have also been able to add a computer room.
Dagoretti is a bustling town, close to the newly constructed bypass around Nairobi. Children living there are likely to have one parent or be living with a grandparent in a one roomed corrugated iron hut with a curtain that divides the bed from the rest of the house. The children normally share the floor as a bed with brothers and sisters. The children's role in life would be helping collect water or firewood for the family. Most of our children's possessions are a few items of clothing,
The seedsowing school sits on the outskirts of the village, for the children we aim to be an oasis of care, teaching basics and providing clothing, food, discipline and the social skills needed to enter the state system. This is an escape route for these children, and its hope for their parent.
Who?: Our Staff
The school is managed by an administrator Benson.
We are 5 teachers and 3 kitchen staff.
The head teacher is Lucy who has been at the school since it started in 2000, she is on the left of the group pictured above in red. Our other teachers are Leah, Goret and Gladys. Our computer teacher is Fatti (he is as skinny as a rake!)
In the kitchen we have Wanjiru, Joyce and Rose (known as Cucu Peter). Wanjiru is the sister of the founder, Jane Thomas, and has helped at the school cooking food for the children since it began.
Day and night we have security guards Patrick, Abdullah and Wycliffe, and in the day they double as our gardeners.
Here are some pictures of the wonderful staff that make Mahali Pa Watoto the warm supportive place day to day...