Port Reitz Special School, Mombasa
A high percentage of children from disadvantaged families do not go to school. Officially primary education in government schools is free, but the practice is different. Parents still have to pay a lot: from school uniforms and shoes and books to contribution for school supplies and general expenses.
It is even more difficult for children with disabilities. Disabilities are often considered a wrath of God. Therefor disabled children are often hidden, rather than money spent on.
That is why we support Port Reitz Special School. Port Reitz Special School is a boarding school with both disabled children and healthy children from the surrounding disadvantaged neighborhoods. In total there are 260 children in this school. Originally the school was only intended for physically disabled children, including many children with polio. Fortunately polio is hardly ever found in Kenya anymore. That is why more and more children with mental or multiple disabilities are coming to this school.
A piece of history. The school was founded in 1965 by Margareth Beecham. She started a small school with 9 children with polio. As this was the only school in the entire coastal area for children with disabilities, the school grew rapidly and became a boarding school. From the eighties, more and more children with other handicaps came. The school celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015. You can read more about the history on the Port Reitz Special School website.
Why the school needs help.
As the school ran into financial difficulties, the school was taken over by the government in 1991 and is now a government school. The government pays (part of) the teachers and contributes to the costs of the meals, but this amount is far too little. The rest must come from school fees and donations.
The school fee is approximately € 155 per child per year and in addition the parents must bring a number of things in kind, such as toilet paper, soap powder, notebooks, paper, etc. In addition, the children must have uniforms and school shoes. Many parents simply cannot afford this. In many schools, children are sent home if the parents cannot pay. Fortunately, Port Reitz School does not do this. But this is one of the reasons why the school lacks a lot of money.
What does Maendeleo do for the Port Reitz School? First of all, by finding sponsors for children, we try to help the school to increase their income. A child can go to school for a year for just € 175 per year and will receive 2 uniforms and shoes. In 2019 we arranged sponsorship for 22 children. But the school needs more help. Do you help? With this form you can register as a sponsor of a child.
Supplement meals with fruit and vegetables. The budget that the school receives from the government is insufficient to provide the children with a nutritious and healthy meal 3 times a day. The meals are very monotone and almost always consist of ugali and beans. Fresh fruit and vegetables is only available to a very limited extent. The school has a very small school garden, where they grow some easy to grow vegetables during the rainy season. But this are only very small quantities. This school year (2019) we have bought for about 80 euros worth of fruit and vegetables every week. This is still far too little. We hope to be able to do more in 2020, but we also need your help for that. If you want to contribute to this, donate here.
Learning for Everyone (L4E)