The Masai Mara is situated in South-West Kenya, some 270km from the capital city of Nairobi. The reserve covers approx. 1,500 km² land and adjoins the Serengeti in Tanzania.
Saparingo Primary School Fencing Project
Description of the Community
The Masai Mara is situated in South-West Kenya, some 270km from the capital city of Nairobi. The reserve covers approx. 1,500 km² land and adjoins the Serengeti in Tanzania. Traditionally, the Maasai people live alongside wildlife in harmony, as an important part of their beliefs. This unique co-existence has made the Maasai land one of the world’s most unique wilderness regions. Saparingo Village lies on the top of an escarpment, 8km from andBeyond Kichwa Tembo lodge and the Maasai Mara National Reserve. The village has a small population of around 700 people, who live among the wildlife and bush. The hub of most villages is the market-place for Saparingo, the only facility is a primary school called Saparingo Primary School. Africa Foundation have been involved with this Primary School for many years, and we are thrilled to propose another project at this site.
Saparingo Primary School was created in 2005 when the community came together to construct the first classroom. Reaching out for assistance they were then supported by World Vision to fund another three classrooms. As nobody living in Saparingo was a qualified to teach, community members had to go out to other areas to source teachers for the school. In the absence of accommodation on site, the teachers chose to live in the nearest village with a shopping center, some 6 km from the school. This daily commute added significantly to the length of the teacher’s day. As the school grew the community recognized the absence of accommodation as an issue, both for the retention of the teaching staff and the quality of education delivered to their children. In 2014, with 8 male and 4 female teachers employed, to cover Grade R to 8, Africa Foundation was able to build living quarters for eight teachers. The community provided resources to build another house for four teachers. Now, all the teachers are staying in the school during the week, breaking away on weekends and holidays to visit friends and families.
Despite the improvements it was noted that pupil attendance was still inconsistent and drop-out rates were high. It was felt that to optimize the learning opportunities presented at school hours, the children should stay on site during term time. At school they could be removed from exposure to early marriages, household and agricultural chores, and be guaranteed daily cooked meals providing consistent nutrition to support their physical and mental growth and development. In 2017, Africa Foundation was thrilled to provide a dormitory block with capacity for 64 girls and another block for boys. In 2018, we are able to commence the construction of a kitchen and dining hall, at the perfect time to support the school in its new function as a boarding facility.
The school grounds are fully open and there is a concern for the safety of the children, especially during evening hours. The Principal has requested assistance from Africa Foundation for the construction of fencing which will close of the perimeter of the school and in addition, further secure the children’s dormitory areas and teachers accommodation. There will be also a gate house at the main gate for guards. The project will be split into 2 Phases. Phase 1 will consist of the exterior fence and the guard house, and Phase 2 will consist of interior dividing fences that will separate the living spaces (accommodations) from the rest of the school.