Our names are Stephen and John. We are six and twelve years old. We are in Standard Two Class and Standard Five in Saint Patrick’s school. We live here with our mother Faith and we are happy: the three of us together.
Our mother helped to build the new school. She was the leader of all the workers who built the foundations. She is a very good worker. My mother is part of the Akamba tribe and did not get the chance to go to school herself. We were happy when we saw her dancing with the tribe at the opening ceremony of the new school. All her hard work is finished for now. The new building is very beautiful. She can “relax and enjoy “.
We go to bed early because we have no power or light. But we also like to get up at first light so we can walk the 5km to school and be there by 7am. We go in a little before school starts so that we can catch up on our schoolwork. We used to find it difficult to walk the 15km to the old school and we missed many days but it is better now. We love our new school. There is a big field beside the school where we like to run and race our friends every day. Myself and my brother are the fastest in our school. Our teacher’s names are Veronica and Salfestas. They are kind and teach us about our country and the world.
My name is Faith. There are seven children in my family. I live here with my mother Mary and my father Nicholas Mutuku. We all work together here on the farm where we grow squash. My father is also a seasonal labourer but it is difficult for him to find work as they always hire the professionals first. Also, my father is sick and we do not have money for medicine.
We love the new school. We walk there every day. My mother walks there too to collect fresh water that has been piped from Mount Kilimanjaro and stored nearby. She carries the water in a container for 5km on her back along the roadway. It is very heavy. Nearly 20kg! I wish that we could have water near our home so that my mother would not have to carry it. I also hope that my father will get better, but I worry that this may not be possible.
I am in standard Four Class. My teacher’s name is Felicita. She is a good teacher. I learn Kiswahili, English and Maths at school. Maths is my favourite. I am trying very hard to be good in school so that my father will be proud of me.
My name is Margaret. This is my home, where I live with my parents and brother. My family are bee keepers, but we also have goats and chickens on our farm. We grow corn in the shamba next to our home. We are lucky because my father is also a woodcarver. We are so happy that he was asked to design the name plaque for Saint Patrick‘s Primary School. My family was so proud when the plaque was unveiled at the Opening Ceremony and everyone was clapping and cheering. My class sang a song at the ceremony also to say Asante Sana to our friends from Ireland. The words were “Our dear, dear visitors, from so far away, we will never forget you”. It was lovely.
I like being in Standard Two Class in my new school. I listen to my teacher Veronica who teaches me to read and write. My home is 6km from the school. I leave for school at 6:00 am, carrying my lunch of maize and beans and walk to school crossing a river along the way. Sometimes it is difficult to cross this river especially during the rainy season as there is no bridge.
The highway near our school is so dangerous. Large trucks travelling from Nairobi to Mombasa speed along the roadway carrying goods from the Indian Ocean to Tanzania and Uganda. We used to find it difficult to cross over the highway and get to our old school in Kalimbini which was fifteen kilometres away. But that is in the past as our new school is so much nearer our homes. We all feel much safer now.
We say a little prayer in school every day for our friend Kyoto, a little boy from our locality, who was killed crossing the highway on his way to the old school. We are so sad that he is no longer here. He was lovely, so young, funny and happy, and we all miss him.
Our names are Victor and Joseph and we are in Standard Three Class and Standard Five in Saint Patrick’s Primary School Kawese. There are ten children in our family and we live here with our parents on this farm beside the railway track. We grow maize and keep goats, chickens and cows. We like to drink the milk from our goats and we cook our meals on an open fire outside the house. We do not own the land where our house is built. We live on Masai common grazing land beside the track but we are worried as the railway is being developed and we will lose our home and farm. We have nowhere to go and our mother is very worried.
Our mother helped to lift the rocks for the foundations of the new school. She works very hard but she is happy that we can go to a school near our home. She helped her friend the dressmaker to make the new uniforms for the school. We wore the new uniforms for the first time at the official opening. The red jumpers and shorts for the boys and the blue dresses and bright red jumpers for the girls look very smart.
Some visitors came to our school from Ireland. They gave our teachers new copies, pencils and books. We sang songs with them and they read us stories about children in Ireland. They gave us some toys and a picture book with a drawing of an elephant in it. We hope they will not forget us and come back to visit us soon.