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Children of Bukati

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The Children of Bukati project that began in 2006 is now ending.
We are not taking new donations.
The remaining funds in our account will support students at university,
technical schools and high schools.

to view the complete 2019 newsletter.

Check out the November 2014 Newsletter - Bwaliro Status Update

Click Here for the most recent updates, from Dec. 2013.

Click Here for earlier updates, from Nov. 2012.

Number of AIDS orphans and destitute children
attending Bukati school and Supported by the Children of Bukati Project

June, 2006 150
July, 2006 212
November, 2006 265
February, 2006 319
July, 2007 385
November 2007 408
June 2008 514
July 2009 700
May 2010 over 750 **

** To put these numbers into perspective, the total Bukati student population is now about 1,200.
This means that the Children of Bukati project is supporting over 60% of the school's students.
Sadly, this also means that over 60% of the students are AIDS orphans, or destitute children.


Number of AIDS orphans and destitute children
attending Bwaliro school and Supported by the Children of Bukati Project

2010 171 out of 685 total students.
2013 473 out of 901 total students.

Community-led Projects to Sustain the Program

  • February 2007
    • Grist mill built at the school to grind corn for the community
    • Building supplies and labour was donated for the building
    • Kitchen was built at the school to establish the lunch program
    • Community members donated building supplies and labour for
      • Grist mill building
      • Kitchen to sustain the lunch program
      • Pig barn
      • Chicken coop
  • March 2007
    • Cooks are hired and lunch program begins
    • Grist mill operator is hired and mill opens
    • Maize and kale garden plots are planted in the school yard
    • Children in the "program" volunteer to work on one of the projects
    • Teachers mentor the volunteers to teach best agricultural practices
    • Grade 7 and 8 children rotate as volunteers to serve lunch and care for the younger children in the lunch program
  • April 2007
    • 3 female pigs and one male pig are purchased and housed in the barn
    • Pigs are fed on the waste from the grist mill
    • 1000 avocado trees are started from seed
  • May 2007
    • 54 chickens are purchased
    • Maize and millet is purchased and sold ground and ready to cook for villagers walking home from work.
    • 3000 tree seedlings are started
  • July 2007
    • Eggs from the chickens are sold
    • Four hens are setting 10 eggs each
  • November 2007
    • 100 chicks were hatched and will soon be ready for sale
    • Most hens are laying eggs regularly
    • One pig will give birth in December
    • The new trees planted in the school yard have been nicknamed 'Canada'
  • January 2008
    • The lunch program for the children be upgraded from twice/week to three-times / week.
  • June 21 2008
    • 3 Sows give birth
    • One dairy cow and one sheep are purchased by the school; added to sustainability program.
    • Dr. Cate Dewey is in Kenya, and has provided us with an email report that contains several success stories from Bukati Primary School. Click here for the full June 21 newsletter.
  • July 2008
    • 5 acres of corn are harvested from the rented land. The students take the kernels of corn off the cobs, and then dry the corn in the schoolyard, for storage.
  • September 2008
    • The children in kindergarten, grades 1 and 2 will be fed 5 days a week beginning in September 2008. This will be possible because of the 5 acres of maize being grown by the school.
  • September 2009
    • In 3 years, the school has expanded from 600 to over 1000 pupils. There have been 3 new classrooms built with Kenyan government support. Even so, in June 2009, there were 2 classes of children being taught outside, under the trees because of the shortage of classroom space. One new classroom is being funded through a cost-sharing program that provides 20% of the costs by the government after the parents have raised 80% of the money. In this poverty stricken community, it shows the determination of the adults to improve the learning environment for their children.
    • The second classroom and the desks for the class were built by a group of dedicated individuals from the University of Guelph. The group completed several fund-raising initiatives to acquire the money needed for the materials and to hire expert local labour for the classroom.
    • We have bought 11 acres of land through the generous donations of members of the Norval United
      Church and the families of Norah and Laura. This is a key component of the long term sustainability of the project that will reduce the reliance on purchased food.
  • November 2009
    • Permaculture project established by Michael Nickels of Seven Raven's Farm, BC. Project includes vegetable gardens, fruit and nut trees, and maize, beans and rice to provide food for the children.
  • May 2010
    • All children in the school are eating lunch 5 days a week.  This is a major accomplishment.
    • Eight high school students, in total, are now being sponsored.
    • 18 new latrines are built with money raised by Rotary Clubs.
  • June to August 2010
    • University of Guelph students, and Jamie vanderBerg and his family live in the community for one to 3 months. They enhance the Canadian/Kenyan cultural understanding and build a laying hen barn, efficient wood stoves for the kitchen and a green house, and work to enhance the permaculture project. 

    The following items are recent updates - Made on Nov. 6, 2012.

    Because the Children of Bukati Project is now involved in three schools, each school name has been highlighted, to make it easier to spot.

  • May 2011 
    • Jamie VanderBerg and University of Guelph students design and build a greenhouse at the Bwaliro Primary School.  AIDS orphans attending school there increase from 177 to 321.  Click here for photos of the greenhouse being build, and crops started, as well as crops being harvested in 2012.. 
    • Community-based evaluation of Bukati project completed. Bukati Primary School holds an Open House/Field Day which included student-lead tours and explanations about all aspects of the permaculture project and a simple lunch (for which most of the ingredients were produced at the school)
  • November 2011 
    • The Buduma Primary School permaculture project was implemented.  Fish ponds were dug, fruit trees and trees for timber were planted; rice, vegetables such as kale and squash, and maize were planted.  The Greenhouse was erected.
    • Dr. Cate Dewey visited Bukati, Bwaliro, and Buduma Primary Schools.
  • May 2012
    • University of Guelph Campus Ministry staff and students complete community-based evaluation and strategic planning session at Bwaliro Primary School.  Click here for photos of this event. 
  • May-August 2012
    • Multi-disciplinary team of University of Guelph student interns live in the community, evaluate the school lunch program and nutritional status in the community, visit parents of students to learn about impact of the permaculture projects, arrange training in all areas of permaculture projects, and complete community-based evaluation and strategic planning at Bukati Primary School.
  • August 2012
    • Bwaliro Primary School holds its first annual Open House/Field Day which included student-led tours and explanations about all aspects of the permaculture project.  Singing, dancing, and skits were performed by the students; speeches made from special guests, and a simple lunch for all attendees.
      Click here for photos of the Open House. Click here for videos of the students singing, performing skits, and parent-interviews.
  • September 2012
    • Bukati Primary School restocked their fishpond with baby fish and the school looks forward to a successful fish harvest in February 2013.
    • Students lead by a local horticulture specialist repair the existing greenhouse and plant a new crop of hothouse tomatoes.
  • September 2012
    • Two female students who attended high school, thanks to the generousity of Children of Bukati sponsors, enrol in university. One of these young ladies was even awarded a scholarship by the government of Kenya, in recognition of her academic excellence!
  • October 2012
    • Bwaliro Primary School erected a new greenhouse that includes a gravity-fed irrigation system. Due to the success in sales of tomatoes from Bwaliro’s first greenhouse they are expanding their horticulture operation to include vegetables such as onions, cabbages, and carrots; these are crops that are in high demand but not readily available in the community.
  • October 2012
    • Michael Nickels, the permaculture specialist from Canada, visits Bwaliro Primary school to check on the ongoing development of the permaculture project.

The following items are recent updates for Bwaliro - Made on December 13, 2013.

  • December 2013 (details from December 2013 Newsletter, about Bwaliro). Click Here for complete Newsletter.
    • Bwaliro Public School, grew sufficient food to feed the school children themselves during the 2nd school term in 2013. This is impressive because it happened earlier that we expected and shows the sense of ownership of the project by the Project Board of Directors.
    • Bwaliro Public School received the trophy for the top academic public school (of those with less than 50 students in grade 8).  Click here for photo of the trophy and complete photo-gallery webpage.  The teachers at the school are very dedicated and the vice-principal keeps a close eye on the classes' progress through the curriculum. The lunch program enables the students to learn better – the food increases their cognitive abilities. Bwaliro's academic success is particularly impressive considering the school is attracting AIDS orphans and destitute children from families living in extreme poverty. It is to your credit as a donor and to the credit of the staff at Bwaliro that the school has achieved this recognition.
    • The children now have desks to sit at. When we first began at Bwaliro, only the grade 8 children had desks and the classroom floors were pitted and in poor repair. Many children got jiggers (open sores on the soles of their feet) from the insects living in the floors. These we repaired.
    • The number of students enrolled at Bwaliro has grown from 685 to 901 students. We, of course, were hoping to increase the education of AIDS orphans – their numbers have increased from 171 to 473 children; i.e. from 25% of the school population to 52%. 
    • In February 2013, the boys' latrine at Bwaliro completely collapsed leaving the boys without a safe toilet facility. The school management team applied for a grant from the local government to build a new latrine. The latrine is now completed. However, there are only 3 stalls for 466 boys. To add onto this latrine would cost $1988 per unit. It seems this is a cost of success. Hopefully we will have the funds in 2014 to add to this existing latrine.
    • During 2013, a poultry barn was built, the old dairy barn was renovated for pigs and a green house was added at Bwaliro.  A poultry barn was built over a corner of the fish barn so the poultry manure feeds the fish. The fish pond is fed by run off from the well at the school. The trees include both eucalyptus and sesbania. The eucaplytus grows fast and straight and are valuable as poles for electricity. The sesbania provide high protein fodder for the sheep, a source of food for the fish, and are also nitrogen fixing, so they enrich the soil. This is just one example of the very successful permaculture project.

Here are recent academic updates for Bwaliro - Made on August 31, 2014.

    • During 2013, Bwaliro School was awarded a trophy for being top school in Kenya with less than 50 candidates writing the national exams.
    • In July 2014, Bwaliro School was awarded several awards, including Top school in science (Sub-County and County levels);  Top primary day school (Sub-County);  Top primary school with under 50 grade 8 candidates (Sub-County).


For a success story on a more personal-level,
click here to see how two of the very first graduates from Bukati Primary School are now doing.
Spoiler-alert:  They are now attending university.

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Updated March 11, 2019