HFT London’s Kenya Project

Nyumbani

The aim for HFT London is to donate over £5,500 to the sports project with an on-going commitment to support the sports training on a three year basis as we are always very keen to help with self-sustainability and continuity of projects.

There are an estimated 1.1 million orphans in Kenya of which 150,000 are HIV positive. The Lawson High School project focuses on Kitui district. It seeks to alleviate the impact on society of orphans growing up in child headed households without moral, educational or parental guidance in an impoverished semi arid area of the country. The project will provide the orphans a guaranteed opportunity to go to secondary school, leading to the possibility of going to university and getting a job that can allow them to break the cycle of poverty that has affected their families.

Currently around 300 orphans live in Nyumbani Village in Kitui, Eastern Kenya. They are all being looked after by the Nyumbani organization (http://www.nyumbani.org/) which ensures they receive the medicine, nutrition and medical care they need. All the children have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS, and a small proportion are themselves HIV positive.

The children currently go to the Hotcourses Primary School, built and run by the UK organization The Hotcourses Foundation (http://www.hotcoursesfoundation.org/). Currently 272 children are enrolled at the school, which opened in May 2007. Despite only being open a year, the school were the top performing school in its (out of 20 schools) and the second best performing school in its division (42 schools) in a recent government assessment exercise.

In Kenya, primary school lasts 7 years and finishes when children reach 14. After that, those with good results can get into fee-paying secondary schools (only state primary schools are free). The children in Nyumbani Village, if lucky enough to get into a secondary school, face long bus journeys of at least two hours each day if they are continue their education.

Lawson High School will address these needs by providing a secondary school in their village. It will be the only secondary school in the area and will provide a guaranteed school to which children from the Hotcourses Primary School can graduate. Opening in January 2010 for those currently in their final year of the Primary School, it will start with 60-80 students, and expand to around 400 students over the following four years.

However the school suffers from an almost total lack of sports facilities. Two rusty goals provide an improvised football pitch on an unleveled plot with numerous rocks and obstructions preventing the playing of a serious game. The new facilities will offer an athletics track, a tarmac basketball ground, a leveled football pitch with new goals and finance for sports kit, boots and coaching for the children of the school.

The aim is to transform the school sports facilities. This will both boost morale and motivation, and have a significant impact on academic results. The immediate objectives are as follows:

Level the football pitch, removing protruding rocks and a water inspection chamber. It is not proposed to grass it because it would be difficult to maintain in the local climate given the frequent water shortages.

  •     New goals for the football pitch
  •     Lay an athletics track with a murram surface
  •     Purchase equipment for athletics, including javelins, discuss, high jump etc
  •     Lay a tarmac basketball pitch
  •     Put sand down for a volleyball pitch
  •     Purchase 30 pairs of trainers and 30 pairs of football boots
  •     Purchase sports kit for 60 children
  •     Arrange part-time sports coaching

Image credit: sunshine6