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PHOTO GALLERY Page 26 - 2010
Augustine's New School

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One of the Bukati-Project Goals is:

Educate all AIDS orphans in Butula, Western Kenya

Since the Bukati project is becoming more self-sustaining, we have decided to expand the reach of the Bukati project to a nearby school.

The principal of this school is Mr. Augustine Wasike, who was the vice-principal of the Bukati Primary school a few years ago, before moving to this school, which is called Bwaliro Primary School, and is in a town about 20 Km. from Butula, the town where Bukati Primary School is located. 

Since moving to this school, Augustine has built a Kindergarten, and has replaced 3 roofs.  (see email below).
What holds a lot of promise for sustainability, is that the school already owns 13 acres of land, where the students plant Cassava for a food crop.
Cassava is a shrubby, tropical, perennial plant that grows tall, sometimes reaching 15 feet. The edible parts are the tuberous root, which is ground into flour, and leaves which are eaten as a vegetable. Nutritionally, the cassava is comparable to potatoes, except that it has twice the fiber content and a higher level of potassium.

There are many Aids orphans already going to the school, but unfortunately, there are many Aids orphans and destitute children who are NOT going to the school, even though Augustine allows children to attend without uniforms, if they cannot afford the uniform.
Why are there students not attending? Because they are typically starving. Schooling is a lesser priority than survival.

I would like this program to help Augustine feed the Aids orphans and desititute children at his school, and if possible, to improve the conditions of the school, by putting floors into the classrooms, to stop the spread of the chiggers. 

November 2010 Update:

We officially assumed responsibility for this school in October 2010 by sending them an agreement outlining a two year program. The school will establish an advisory committee of the principal, chair and secretary of the home and school association, a community member and a representative of the local church.

There were 117 AIDS orphans at the school on the day we made the announcement.  One month later, an additional 60 orphans had begun coming to school.  The lunch program will begin in January 2011.

On November 7th, 2010; Michael Nickels and Peter Dewey traveled to Kenya to begin the permaculture project on the 13 acres of the school's property. There are several projects that must be completed including repairing the classroom floors, digging a well, building a kitchen, building desks, buying cooking equipment, buying maize and beans to feed the children, building latrines and beginning the self sustainability projects including permaculture, fish farming, and livestock projects.

The following is an excerpt from Dr. Cate Dewey's email about the students, and funding:

May 21, 2010 - Augustine in new school.

Dear family and friends
When Augustine  was the vice-principal of the Bukati primary school he initiated a tree nursery by asking students to bring tree seeds and avocado pits to school. He also began garden plots and showed me how they used the kale crop to teach grade 4 students. His promotion to principal at a different school was a loss for the Children of Bukati project.

His new school has 854 students on a 13 acre plot. In the last 2 years, he has obtained government funding to build a kindergarten classroom, a latrine for the girls with 3 stalls and to  replace the roof that blew off 3 classrooms. He and the students have planted 2 acres of cassava that is almost ready to harvest and 2,000 trees. Each tree was planted with a handful of animal manure that the children brought from home. There are new small gardens outside the classrooms with flowering plants to beautify the school.

Augustine  asks the grade 8 students to bring 5 kg of maize and 300 schillings to school each term. The money pays a cook and buys some vegetables. This is the beginning of a lunch program but only includes the grade 8's.

However the infrastructure of the school is shocking. Only the grade 8 classroom has desks. Everyone else sits on the floor. The floors of most classrooms are pitted, leaving bare dirt. There is a big problem with chiggers - a very painful infection of feet and toes caused by a flea. The concrete floors need to be replaced to prevent these  infections. There are only 3 functional latrine stalls for the 435 girls in the school. There is another set that is falling down and are not meant to be used, but, as you can imagine, when the lineup is long, the girls use those too. I think Augustine has shown remarkable leadership and is working towards a Bukati model. With some help from us, we could fix the floors, provide desks and assist the school with a permaculture project.
If we could do this, we would soon be helping hundreds more orphans.

Above:  the classroom without chairs or desks. The students sit on the bare floor.

Above: One of the students on the floor of the classroom.

Above: Principal Augustine, along with several students.

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Updated March 30, 2011