In May, Derby County Community Trust (DCCT) embarked on their eighth trip to Kenya with African Adventures. As ever, the group was full of enthusiasm, and wholly committed to instigating meaningful development at our partner projects in Nakuru.
During their two-week stay in Kenya, the volunteers from DCCT were spread across five of our partner projects, where they threw themselves in to assisting with construction work, teaching, and sports coaching. In addition, DCCT donated a variety of learning resources and essential provisions to our partner projects, ensuring that the impact of their trip will continue to be felt long after their return to the UK.
In this blog, we celebrate the hard work of the volunteers from DCCT by taking a look at just some of their achievements – a fantastic example of the profound impact that a single group of volunteers can have.
Chaddy Mission School
At Chaddy, volunteers from DCCT helped to demolish two classrooms built from timber and tin, and assisted with the construction of two new brick classrooms. This will dramatically improve the learning environment for the children who attend Chaddy, giving them a safer and cooler space in which to enjoy lessons.
The volunteers also purchased new cooking pots, bowls, mugs, and spoons for the school’s kitchen, and arranged for a new kitchen chimney to be installed. This will enable Geoffrey, Chaddy’s founder, to continue to provide two meals a day to the 286 children who attend the school.
Finally, the group from DCCT supported with teaching in the classrooms, ran sports activities with the children, and organised musical activities during lessons.
Volunteers at Cherish helped to construct a new classroom, which will help to reduce overcrowding in lessons, and refurbished the blackboards at the school in order to create a more engaging learning environment for the children.
Some of the volunteers helped to construct and paint a new kitchen, which will enable Cherish to continue to provide a feeding programme to its students. The volunteers from DCCT also generously provided enough food to feed Cherish’s 135 students for the next month.
Max McMurdo, one of DCCT’s volunteers, used the trip as an opportunity to trial his innovative Botl Blox idea. Botl Blox are insulated building blocks, made from plastic bottles and cardboard, that aim to reduce plastic pollution and improve the quality of education for children in developing countries. Max and a team of volunteers collected over 1,000 plastic bottles from the Hilton dumpsite, where many of the children who attend our partner projects live, and used them to create a partition between two classrooms. Check out the Botl Blox film to find out how this amazing initiative works.
The team from DCCT also taught sexual health classes which were attended by the older female students at Cherish, each of whom received six reusable sanitary towels. Every child at the school received two or three pairs of underwear, and all girls aged 10 or above were given bras that the volunteers from Derby had collected prior to their trip.
Following their return to the UK, the volunteers have arranged to cover the cost of the school’s rent for one year, and have paid for Cherish to be connected to the mains water supply, giving the school a reliable supply of fresh water.
Mama Kerry School
Volunteers at Mama Kerry helped with crucial renovations to the school site, including constructing a perimeter wall, fixing the guttering, and painting the front gates. The group also repaired the school’s broken water pipe, which has reconnected Mama Kerry to the mains water supply.
A new play area has been built, complete with football goals and a shaded canopy area, for the children to enjoy during break times and sports lessons.
Finally, the group from DCCT concreted the floors of four existing classrooms, and painted the walls of another.
At Ungana Academy, volunteers helped to demolish an old classroom and the school’s old kitchen. The debris from this was then used to construct a speedbump outside the school, to create a safer environment for the children.
Two volunteers from DCCT generously purchased an oven for the school; this has been installed into a classroom, which will be transformed into Ungana’s new kitchen and will provide a daily meal to the school’s 220 students.
Four volunteers helped to construct a new, larger, brick-built classroom on the site of the old classroom – a particular point of pride for the team, as three of the four were over the age of 60. This will help to provide a safer, more engaging learning environment for the children, and demonstrates that, with the right attitude and a little determination, incredible progress can be made in just a short space of time.
Max McMurdo repeated the success of his Botl Blox initiative at Ungana, where the team built a partition wall between the nursery and senior classes. As well as reducing the levels of plastic pollution at the nearby Hilton dumpsite, this has improved the sound insulation between classes, improving the quality of education that the students receive. Max built on the success of this by taking the opportunity to teach the older children about single-use plastics and recycling.
At Jubilee Academy, volunteers installed metal windows and doors in two of the classrooms, and mended the perimeter fence, which has improved security and will help keep the children safe throughout the school day.
The new classrooms at the school were given a fresh coat of paint, as were the front gates, and football goals were installed for the children to enjoy using during break times.
Finally, the group donated a new cooking pot and 100 new metal bowls to the school, which will enable Jubilee to continue to provide its students with breakfast and lunch every day.