Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!

by Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
Educate the future conservationists of Kenya!
The new dormitory at Mwituria High School
The new dormitory at Mwituria High School

We are so pleased to share our final report for the Mwituria High School Project. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your support over the last two and ½ years!

When we started on this journey, we had hopes to build one dormitory that could house 58 students, and today, we are so pleased to let you know that we have finalised the construction of a teachers’ block and two dormitories which 120 students will now call home during the school year. This is truly a transformational project and you were with us every step of the way. 

In an opening ceremony held on Saturday, the 3rd of July, Ol Pejeta officially handed over the new buildings to the children and parents of Mwituria High School. 

The school is now able to start accepting boarding school pupils from a wider catchment area, and Mwituria High School are delighted with their new facilities. Students will now be able to spend more time studying and will no longer have to walk a perilous journey everyday to school, which can be particularly dangerous for girls.

New students!

The school will begin to accept new junior year pupils at the start of the new term in August 2021. This will be a priority over the coming year.

It is the only boarding school in a 15km radius, which means more children in the local area can access education as a result of this project. By widening the catchment area, and by removing a long journey to school, your support has helped to improve the lives of local children for generations to come.

Future plans

Whilst the school will be accepting new students, it will also ensure senior pupils already studying at the school are given preference. It is a crucial time for these pupils and being at school full-time will allow them to study longer hours as they start to think about their future. The school will work with parents and the Ministry of Education to fill the remaining places over the course of the academic year.

Mwituria High School continues in its drive for better access to education for local children in line with its motto “strive to reach your destiny”. Now that it has converted into a boarding school, it has grand plans to continue raising funds for extra school supplies, increased security and community outreach projects. Ol Pejeta is incredibly grateful to the Corteva Foundation and all of you - our fantastic donors - who made this project possible and will continue to support education projects in the local area.

Following on from this amazing project that will have a long-lasting effect on the educational chances of local children, Ol Pejeta is planning on expanding its Rhino Scholarship Programme so that more children can afford to access education for longer. These scholarships are unique in that they combine and promote the notion that education is conservation. Coupled with the normal academia activities, supplemental classes on conservation immersion such as tree planting and character building mentorship are also provided; helping the children become the leaders of tomorrow and wildlife ambassadors.

We thank you again for being part of this journey with us. And from all the children at Mwituria, we send our best wishes and our heartfelt gratitude. We hope that you can visit us soon on Ol Pejeta so that we can share our successes with you in person. 

A view of the 2 newly built dormitories
A view of the 2 newly built dormitories
You made this dream come true!
You made this dream come true!
The doors of the dormitories are now open!
The doors of the dormitories are now open!
Official handing over ceremony at Mwituria
Official handing over ceremony at Mwituria
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The first dormitory is almost complete
The first dormitory is almost complete

We are happy to let you know that the Mwituria dormitory construction – made possible by your generous donations, is in its final stage! As you may remember, thanks to your overwhelming response to our call to support the education of our community children, we decided to build two dormitories – from just one originally, which would increase the boarding capacity from 64 to 128, and add teachers’ housing to ensure the children are properly supervised and kept safe, particularly at night. 

Building progress
The first dormitory has now been fitted with windows, the paintwork is complete. The only items remaining are the fitting of the doors and landscaping.

The superstructure on the second dormitory is complete and it is currently being roofed. The teacher’s block and washroom structures are also in the roofing stage.

The school board has been regularly inspecting the construction work and confirmed that the quality of the work is as per the school’s expectations. The Ol Pejeta logistics team has also been instrumental in ensuring that the project is up to standard by making weekly site visits. This is a project that we are particularly proud of. 

Administration
The school will need to be re-registered with the Ministry of Education as a boarding school. The registration is pending and will be pursued once all the construction works are complete, inspected, and deemed safe and habitable for school-going children.

Delays and New Timeline
We had previously reported an expected project timeline ending December 2020. However, Kenya – in particular Laikipia where the school is based – received an unforeseen amount of rainfall from the beginning of December 2020, which halted any work that was going on at the site. Additionally, the rain made the roads impassable making it very challenging for the truckloads of construction material to make it to the site.

The team has now recalculated a new timeline with the current conditions and estimates that the work will be completed by the 6th of March, 2021.

Thank you so much once again for your support on this project. We all cannot wait to see the smiles on the students' faces once the dormitories are opened. It will have a tremendous impact on the community and the future of conservation in the area. 

The second dormitory is well under way!
The second dormitory is well under way!
The inside of the dormitory
The inside of the dormitory
The house where the teachers will live
The house where the teachers will live
Ablution blocks for the second dormitory
Ablution blocks for the second dormitory
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Inside walls are cemented on the first building
Inside walls are cemented on the first building

Thank you for your continued support of the children of Mwituria. We are very pleased to inform you that despite the enormous challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis, building work has been ongoing. The journey of this project has always been a bit of a roller coaster so we’re really thrilled to be reporting good news, at a time when the children in our communities need it so badly. With all schools in Kenya (as with the rest of the world) having been closed down for so long, it feels really good to be working on something positive in the name of education, and gives us hope and a concrete (!) goal to look forward to. 

Building progress
The first part is on track to completion with inside walls having been cemented and currently curing, and the finishing process has commenced on the outer wall. The slab on which the new half of the dorm will be constructed is also completed and curing as well. The whole project is expected to be finished before the end of 2020. In December, each dorm will hold a minimum of 60 students - 120 in total - out of a school population of around 110.

Back to school
By the time schools open (there has been no official communication on this yet) they should find the school in the process of transitioning into a boarding school. By mid 2021, they will be able to be recognized by the ministry of education as a boarding school and get admissions in 2022 for new students.

Change for good
As you well know, this is going to make an enormous difference to these children. For so many, who have to rise at dawn - sometimes even before dawn - and walk up to 12 kms to get to school, some risking their very lives in the face of wild animals, this will be a proper game changer. Girls, who previously might have skipped school due to the risk of sexual predators lurking along the route, can now attend school every day with full confidence, spending their time and energy on learning rather than being afraid. Living in a dorm increases their school hours by almost 40%, so their chances of doing well go up dramatically. 

It will be the only boarding school in a 15km radius: all the other schools in the area are day schools and face similar challenges. The members of this community live an isolated life, and it’s easy for them to slip into the margins, and for their children to be left behind. Providing them with the education to which they have a constitutional right is, as we know you will agree, a more than worthy cause. That fact that they benefit from this due to the consequences of our conservation work creates a ripple effect that will in turn protect wildlife and wilderness areas both now and in the future.

We thank you again for being on this journey with us. You have been true champions of the children of Mwituria for over a year and we really look forward sending you pictures of the children in the finished dormitories! 

The slab for the new dorm is also completed
The slab for the new dorm is also completed

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Thank you for your past and continued support to the children of Mwituria. In our last report to you, in December 2019, we mentioned that we were closing down the project and scaling it down as we had not managed to raise all the funds required to build the entire dormitory. We had started (and almost completed) Phase 1, which would accomodate 28 children from the school.

Right after we sent this report, we were notified by the amazing team at GlobalGiving that a corporate donor was interested in making a donation of US$100,000 towards our ‘Educate the future conservationists of Kenya’ project! This donation was truly a Christmas Gift for the children of Mwituria and came at the perfect time. It was all that we needed to restore enrolment and attendance rates that have been declining for several years, while protecting both the wildlife and children that share one road. We want to thank the team at Corteva Agriscience (https://www.corteva.com/) for this incredible gift and their amazing generosity! 

Thanks to the gift made by Corteva Agriscience and to all the efforts and generosity you put into this project in the months prior, we are one step closer to completing the dormitories as we had originally hoped. Once the new buildings are up, we will be able to empower Mwituria’s 128 children through education and accommodate for 300 more, pulling in students from further afield. This is a life changing proposition for these children, and you are part of it. Through your donation you have not only enabled this, but you have also helped us, by starting the ‘spark’ of educating them on becoming future ambassadors for our work in conservation.

Here are our plans going forward using the recent corporate donation we received, and adding it to the $21,341 already raised: 

US$90,000 will be spent on:

  1. Finishing the current dorm which carries a capacity of 64 students. This will include adding a septic tank, plumbing and indoor bathroom. 
  2. Extend the current dorm from a capacity of 64 students to 128 students. This will make it a full boarding institution recognised by the local county.
  3. Build three houses for the teachers. It is important for teachers to stay on the property since it will now be a boarding school. Their role will be to supervise and make sure the children are safe. 

We shall use the remaining US$10,000 to furnish the dormitories with beds, night tables, curtains and other necessary furnitures. 

Progress and timelines

As Kenya, just like the rest of the world is struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, things have slowed down a bit for this project as we need to observe stringent safety regulations. Our team was able to meet with the school and community leaders who approved the presented plan and gave us a go ahead.

The Bill of Quantities (BOQ) has been sent out to potential contractors for pricing and analysis. We had originally planned to have the work completed by November 2020 but this date is likely to change because of the pandemic. The lockdown on major cities means that materials are much more expensive to procure at the moment. There are also some health regulations that we need to observe which means we need to have a safety protocol in place for the workers. We are observing the pandemic very closely and really hope that things will re-open soon so that we can move full steam ahead with the construction of the dormitories. 

Next Steps

The next step for this project is to identify the contractor we will work with. We have asked for a number of companies to submit their proposal to us and are awaiting a few more. Once we have identified the contractor, we will start the construction work. 

We will of course stay in close touch with you as soon as the project is moving forward. This amazing development wouldn't have been possible without you and we can't wait to send you photos once we have more developments. 

Thank you again for your support and participation in this campaign.


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The dormitory at Mwituria High School
The dormitory at Mwituria High School

After having raised almost US$ 20,000 for the construction of a dormitory for the children of Mwiturua High School, we have decided to close this project down. While we didn't manage to raise all the funds, thanks to your generosity and your support, we have completed the first section on the dormitory. We will be able to host 28 children in 2020 in this newly built dormitory. 

This is 28 children that will no longer have to walk to and from home every day thanks to YOU! 

We could not have done it without you. Once again, thank you. We can never say this enough! 

If you are still keen to support a worthy project on Ol Pejeta, we have recently launched a campaign to equip and train our armed rangers. These brave men put their lives on the line every day to keep our rhinos safe and we believe they deserve the very best.

Please visit https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/armed-rangers-of-ol-pejeta/ to find out more. 

Thank you again! 
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Organization Information

Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Location: Nanyuki - Kenya
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @olpejeta
Project Leader:
Elodie Sampere
Nanyuki, Laikipia Kenya

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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