At this mid-point in the year, we’d love to share some milestone achievements with you: Olivia attended the royal wedding garden party as an outstanding contributor to the community, and, Amie, along with her husband, Ben, visited our school for two weeks.
At the end of May, Olivia was lucky enough to attend Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding at Windsor Castle. This was partly due to her work with Educate Enkerende. Harry and Meghan have shown great commitment to education, young people and Africa, so, Educate Enkerende was an ideal charity for them to endorse! Olivia took her mother, Carolyn, with her to celebrate this once in a lifetime day. Olivia did some serious celebrity spotting and soaked up the atmosphere, taking it all in from just outside the chapel (and managing to make a very brief TV appearance!). It was a very special day, and, also, wonderful for Olivia to meet other people who had been invited for their work in their local communities.
Just over three weeks ago, Amie and Ben returned from their 12 day stay in Enkerende: an unforgettable trip. By spending more time with the village, Amie was able to see the impact that our new building and the two current classrooms are having on the children’s lives. Each day when Amie arrived at the school, the children were so excited, running towards her and fighting for her attention. As the children were so enthusiastic to learn, Amie and Ben were eager to help out as much as possible, teaching English and Maths most days.
A key part of this visit was seeing how the new school building had progressed, unfortunately, due to a longer rainy season than expected, our building is yet to be completed. The roof and plastering work are now finished. The next step will be to see when we can get the materials to Enkerende, and, once we have them, it’ll take a few weeks to complete the build. Despite the unpredictable weather, we are committed to finishing by the start of the next school year in September.
Aside from building progress, we wanted to see what other ways we could provide more support. From Olivia’s trip in March it was clear that the children still needed clothes, school supplies and toys, so, Amie approached work colleagues and friends to gather donations to take out with her. It’s amazing to see how a small gesture can make a child so happy, they were entertained for hours with their new books and toys!
Next on the agenda was finding ways to improve the children’s daily lives, we quickly realised that school shoes were in high demand as a number of the children were barefoot. As soon as we could, Ben and I went to the nearest town (an hour and a half away) and thanks to the generous support of our donors bought a pair of shoes for each pupil and a pair of shoes for their two teachers. Since we had some funds left, we bought each child a pair of socks and a soft drink, as well as a loaf of bread for their families and 100 school exercise books. We presented these on our last day at school in front of the pupils’ parents.
Other highlights of our trip were playing football at break-times, introducing the children to Frisbee and attending Sunday school. Since the weather was good on the Sunday, the children were taught in our building, it was great to see how brilliant this space is even though it’s not quite complete!
After spending two weeks in the Mara, it was really hard to say goodbye, but, we’re excited for the path ahead: completion of our building, kitting out the school, sourcing more teachers and looking into future volunteering opportunities. For us, completing our building isn’t the end goal, it’s equipping the community with what they need to truly empower Enkerende’s education! When the children are this keen to learn we don’t want to hold them back! Watch this space for progress updates in the coming months.