Kenya has a population of 53.5 million. More than 40% of the population is under the age of 15 years, giving the population very specific characteristics and needs.
Iltolish Mara Primary School Teachers Accommodation
70% of the population live in rural areas and approx. one third are classed as living below the poverty line. Agricultural activity drives the countries economy and provides the main source of work. Kenya benefits from international tourism due to beautiful beaches and extraordinary safari holiday options.
The rural Masaai Community of Iltolish is located in the Trans Mara district of Kenya, close to the famous Mara Conservancy. It is roughly 250kms west of Nairobi and 7km from the andBeyond Kichwa Tembo / Bateleur Camp.
Wildlife roam free in this area, and particularly zebra, buffalo and elephant can be found moving among the community.
The community population is approximately 2,000 people. Living in homesteads and primarily rearing cattle, the community is widely dispersed, and there is no central hub. People live a relatively simple life in the area. The main occupation is cattle herding, there are limited formal employment opportunities, other than work at tourist lodges near the Mara Conservancy.
Iltolish has one primary school and no secondary school. The nearest hospital is approximately 25km away in Lolgorian, however in May 2019, a clinic constructed by Africa Foundation in partnership with the Department of Health, was opened in the neighboring community of Emurutoto, bringing access to free healthcare much closer to home.
About the Project
In 2007, Iltolish Community came together to build the first classrooms and teachers’ accommodation that would create a primary school for their children. The responsibility for supplying teachers lies with the Government, and they fulfilled their commitment of supplying a teacher for each classroom. Iltolish Mara Primary school quickly grew and as it expanded, space became an issue. Some classes were taught out of the local church. Africa Foundation was approached by the community for assistance and were thrilled to raise enough funds to build five new classrooms, making it possible for the school to separate its grades into individual classrooms.
In spite of the capacity challenges the school emerged as best in the whole division, in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education for 2016 –a demonstration of the commitment of the teachers and the incredible thirst and enthusiasm for learning that the children of this community have.
Recently the community leadership has approached Africa Foundation for financial assistance in further development of the school –to build dormitories for boys and girls and teachers’ accommodation cottages. Our support commenced with the students’ dormitories due to concerns around the distance the children were walking to access school, and the safety issues that surrounded this. Already, some students were sleeping at the school in a makeshift dormitory and on the classroom floor. Both dormitories have now been constructed, each accommodating 96 students.
Today the school has a current enrollment of 268 students and 18 teachers. This proposal aims to address the issue of accommodation for the teachers. Extremely rural areas, such as this, it is rare to find qualified teaching staff and therefore the Government allocates teachers from outside of the region to work in the schools. There is no accommodation available for rent or a reliable transport infrastructure for teachers to use to commute from more developed areas. It is the responsibility of the school therefore, to provide accommodation for their staff. The community built basic rooms using wood and iron sheeting (pictured below). Africa Foundation proposes to construct eight, one-bedroom houses to replace the most sub-standard of the informal structures, to provide the teaching staff with the dignified living quarters that they deserve.
Phase 1 will see the construction of 4 rooms and phase 2 will add another four.