Leading on from Olivia’s recent blog documenting her charitable cycle from Vancouver to LA, we thought we’d share regular updates to tell you about our progress. So, welcome to our first blog post!
At the end of November we reached a milestone achievement and found out that the team in Kenya were ready to start building Phase 1 of our school in Enkerende. The children have been waiting intently for this news for over two years – it gave us huge joy to find out their wait was nearly over! When the day came to transfer the funds for the first step of the project, we were full of mixed emotions; overwhelming excitement, disbelief that we had managed to get this far, and a sense of fear that somehow it might still not happen.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, and our fears are swept away as the materials start arriving! When the lorry reached the school site after the long drive from Nairobi, some of the pupils of Enkerende came excitedly to take a look – it’s not every day that this kind of thing happens in the Mara! Here’s a photo to show the children’s amazement.
With the building materials on site, the first step was getting to work on the existing foundations, to see which materials needed replacing and which could be used. We were very lucky that Eunice and Robert, owners of the nearby Ngerende Island Lodge, were able to set us off to a brilliant start by providing the exterior walls and foundations for our school. This was a great help and allowed our project to get to work straight away!
Once the existing foundations had been assessed, the gable walls completed, and the interior walls plastered, the next phase was getting the roof ready. When we received the building updates, we were amazed to see how involved the community wanted to be in the Enkerende project. For instance, when the wood arrived, both the local Maasai and the employees of Ngerende Island Lodge teamed up to help get it to the building site quickly!
After the Christmas break, with the roof supports in place, completion of the veranda was on the agenda. A veranda was always planned for the build so that the pupils had somewhere sheltered to wait for the teacher to arrive if they got to school early, protected from the heat of the Mara. In the space of a couple of months, it’s incredible to see the veranda and more importantly, Enkerende school coming together!
These are all of the updates that we have for now, and we hope that Enkerende school will be fully operational by next month! If you’re just as excited as us and want to see more photos and videos of these stages, please see our Facebook page.
What’s next? With the build progressing so well, Olivia and I couldn’t resist going to see the school ourselves when it opens. Olivia is going to be the first one to visit, and there’s now only three weeks to go, so we’ll be sharing news on her stay shortly and photos of the complete school!
Finally, we can’t thank you enough for taking the time to read this and for helping us make our dream of bringing better education to Enkerende a reality.