In our ‘Project Progress’ blogs, we explore the history of our partner projects, discuss the work carried out by our volunteers, and look at what our project leaders have planned for the future. This blog will look at Chaddy Mission School, one of our biggest partner projects, which is based in Nakuru, Kenya.
What’s their story?
Chaddy Mission School was founded by Pastor Geoffrey Mbuga and his wife, Eunice, in 2009. When it was founded, only 75 students attended the school, which was known as Hadassah at the time. Fast-forward to the present, and the school now accommodates over 280 students.
Since our partnership began, there have been considerable developments, perhaps most notably the relocation of the project to a new site. The school was originally based on a rented plot of land on the Mwariki Estate in Nakuru, and, whilst the site had plenty of room for the school to expand, it lacked the long-term security of a permanent, privately-owned site.
Partnership with African Adventures
We partnered with Chaddy Mission in 2011. At this time, 200 students attended the school, which employed eight staff. This included Eunice, the headteacher, and the school’s chef, Mama Mary. The site had a large playground and four small classrooms. At the beginning of our partnership, volunteers worked to make the school environment more stimulating for the children. All the existing classrooms were painted, and two new temporary classrooms were constructed, meaning that class sizes were greatly reduced. In addition to this, a small football pitch was installed so that the children could play during their break times.
In 2013, the opportunity arose for Chaddy to purchase a permanent plot of land. The move had two main benefits – firstly, the land would be owned by Geoffrey and Eunice, and secondly, it would allow the school to accommodate even more pupils.
The permanent plot
Initially, temporary classrooms were constructed at the new site to allow the school to move quickly, with minimal disruption to the students. Between 2014 and 2016, our building volunteers worked hard to help make the school fully fit for purpose. This included building five additional temporary classrooms, constructing a multi-purpose school hall, building a temporary kitchen and latrines, installing electricity, and constructing a playground.
In 2018, construction work began to build permanent facilities at the school. Much to Mama Mary’s delight, a brick kitchen – complete with energy-saving stoves – was built, making running the school’s feeding programme much easier! In addition to this, the school hall (which is also used as a ministry) was retiled.
The school hall allows Chaddy to run its own microfinance initiatives by renting out the hall to the public. This provides Chaddy with a means of earning an additional income, which can be used to cover the cost of providing every student at the school with two meals a day – totalling 20,000 meals per month. This has meant that the school now has a consistent flow of income to help fund some of their feeding programme.
2019 work and beyond
As you may know, all schools in Kenya underwent mandatory inspections at the end of last year after the incident in Nairobi. Throughout 2019, volunteers continued to assist with converting the projects’ classrooms from temporary to permanent structures. The temporary structures were demolished, whilst construction work was carried out on the brick classrooms, with painting and tiling completed throughout the remainder of the year. Permanent toilets were also built – the completion of these meant that Chaddy passed their inspection and was able to open for the current academic year. In 2020, volunteers will be assisting with teaching, alongside ongoing work to replace all the temporary classrooms with permanent structures.