The Walk Centre is a pre-primary and primary school located in Nakuru, and set up in 2005. The schools educate 230 children from the ages of 4 to 14 years.
Alex and Patricia Maina, who founded The Walk Centre, recognised the extreme cases of poverty in their local area, where many children live and work on the dumpsite looking for food and valuable materials which their families can sell in order to survive. Alex and Patricia wanted to provide a safe place for the children to play and learn, and were able to secure a temporary site to rent. They initially invited 60 children to attend the Centre, where they were provided with a basic education and daily meal.
When pupil numbers surpassed 100, there was need for more space, and a permanent site was located. In 2006, The Walk Centre was officially registered as a pre-primary school. By this time, the school was providing education and nourishment to 120 children.
In 2007, Dan Mew (African Adventures Director) volunteered at The Walk Centre and met Alex. He decided he wanted to spend his professional life providing support to projects like The Walk Centre, and a partnership was formed. Two years later, African Adventures was born.
In 2014, the centre opened its first primary class – standard one, for students aged six – so that children had the opportunity to continue their education at The Walk Centre past nursery level, albeit for just one year.
In 2015, Alex had a vision to build a primary school for The Walk Centre. A number of different stakeholders teamed up to fundraise and make this dream a reality. In two years, £82,000 was raised and The Walk Centre Primary School was constructed, complete with ten classrooms and the provisions to educate hundreds of young Kenyans for years to come.
Progress and Goals
In the nine years since African Adventures has been working with The Walk Centre, a profound impact has been made. There is a pre-primary school with five classrooms, a kitchen, and a toilet block. The outside area now has a paved playground, meaning there is a hygienic area where the children can play safely.
Up until 2017, The Walk Centre had five classrooms, providing a pre-primary education to 250 students, starting with Baby Class up to Standard One. Once children graduated at the age of seven, they were forced move on to a government school in the local area to continue their education, with the associated costs proving unattainable for many.
In 2015, African Adventures started working on the construction of a new primary school, which would allow The Walk Centre to continue providing an education to its students past the age of six. Two years later, the new primary school was finished, and has ten classrooms to support the education of children up until the age of 14.
I first attended The Walk Centre in 2005 and, thanks to Alex and Patricia, I received a full education. I now study Community Development at Laikipia University. They have given me a life.
A momentous year for The Walk Centre. The Walk Centre received 69 volunteers to help with the construction work of the new primary school and teaching at the pre-primary school. After 18 months of fundraising, The Walk Centre primary school was officially opened at the beginning of August. On the same weekend, The Big Bike Ride took place with five cyclists embarking on a 1,200km journey from Nakuru in Kenya to Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania with the aim of raising the remaining funds needed to complete the build.
By the end of 2017, The Walk Centre was supporting 439 students; 230 at The Walk Centre, 130 at Prison’s Primary (local government school), 75 at high schools and 4 at college.
In 2016, construction work began on the primary school. It was proposed that the school would have ten classrooms, an office, a kitchen and toilet block and the capacity to educate more than 300 children. During 2016, 35 people dedicated their time to volunteering at the school.
Alex had always dreamt of setting up his own primary school in order to reduce costs and give his students the care and quality of teaching provided at The Walk Centre. In 2015, this dream started to become reality when African Adventures Foundation and Chichester College committed to teaming together to fundraise £82,000 to construct a new primary school.
By 2014, volunteers had helped to construct and renovate five classrooms at The Walk Centre, to educate students from Baby Class up to Standard One. The introduction of a Standard One classroom was the latest development this year. This classroom was built so that children could continue their education for one more year at The Walk Centre and complete their first year of primary education. This was important for Alex and Patricia because once children finished at The Walk Centre, they would have to find places at local government primary schools and this comes with costs, to which many cannot afford.
This was a progressive year for The Walk Centre and African Adventures sent 50 volunteers to help out with building and teaching at the school. By 2013, The Walk Centre was educating approximately 200 students and student numbers were steadily increasing year on year.
Two years later, in 2009, African Adventures was born and the first group of volunteers travelled to volunteer in Nakuru and The Walk Centre, where they assisted with construction work and teaching.
This was the start of an exciting journey ahead and African Adventures has since partnered with over 25 projects in Kenya, Ghana and Zanzibar and has sent over 4,000 volunteers to assist with building and teaching at these projects.
In 2007, Dan Mew travelled to Kenya for the first time, where he volunteered for six weeks with a local, amateur football team. The team comprised of young men who lived primarily on the perimeter of Nakuru’s dumpsite. Before football training each day, Dan volunteered at The Walk Centre, where he met Alex. Dan also visited other community projects in the local area and met some inspirational leaders in the process. They had the motivation, compassion and knowledge in abundance to grow their respective projects; what they lacked was financial support.
His whole experience made him realise that he wanted to spend his professional life providing community projects like The Walk Centre with the financial and humanitarian support they need to grow, whilst offering people from the UK the same life-changing opportunity he had. From his time at The Walk Centre, Dan developed a partnership with Alex and left Kenya with food for thought.
The school soon grew to over 100 pupils and there was need to source a bigger plot of land to be able to accommodate the number of children. With help from supporters, enough funding was collected, and a new, more permanent site was located. In 2006, The Walk Centre was officially registered as a pre-primary school. By this time, the Centre was providing an education and feeding programme for 120 children.
In 2005, Alex and Patricia Maina started The Walk Centre, after witnessing cases of extreme poverty in their local area. Before The Walk Centre was set up, many children worked the town’s dumpsite, sourcing valuable materials which their families could recycle and sell in order to survive.
Alex and Patricia felt compelled to help and they rented a small plot of land where they initially invited 60 children to come for a place to receive a daily meal and basic education in Kiswahili, English and Mathematics.
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