Nest Children Centre, Shanzu
The Nest Children Centre is a kindergarten, or rather a pre-school facility, established in January by Mama Janet, a local retired teacher, to help children prepare for the challenges of school.
In Kenya kindergartens are completely different than in Europe, they are rather preparatory schools. By the time the children go to school – in theory – they are supposed to know the alphabet and numbers, must be able to read words and add single digit numbers. They learn all this at school. (You may find more information about the Kenyan school system here.)
As this is the private kindergarten the parents should pay tuition fee, however, the people living in this area are generally very poor, many are unemployed, and there are many families where one of the parents has passed away (for example in AIDS), plus there are many children whose mother is only a teenager. Many young girls do not continue their studies after primary school, get pregnant early and try to sustain the family from odd jobs or go to a remote place leaving the newborn behind with the grandparents. 🙁
On top of that the parents – as they themselves did not go to school – do not find school and learning important therefore when it comes to the payment of the tuition fee they just quit the kindergarten. As there are no other opportunities in this area, these children leave the preparatory school and even if they can start the primary school they are very much behind their peers because they do not know the basics, letters, numbers and these are not thought at schools.
As the majority of children cannot or hardly pay and Mama Janet would still want to teach them she does not refuse children whose parents cannot pay and practically she maintains the kindergarten at her own expense. If she has any money she spends it on the kindergarten, e.g. to pay the only teacher that she has. Due to this the kindergarten is very poor, however, the children are very skillful, talented, cute and know many songs and limericks already (in English!).
As they can hardly get by they are very happy with any kind of donation or gift but the most needed things are stationary items, furniture (chairs) and food.
If you would like to help the kindergarten, please support our program. You may find our bank account number and other options to support us here.
Please indicate in the “comment” fiekd: Kenyai ovi
Thank you very much!
1st visit: getting to know each other, October 26, 2016
During our first visit (when we generally do not know what our hosts mostly need) we normally do not bring big gifts, “only” color pencils, coloring books, games to learn numbers and the number one gift for children: cookies.