Change a Chapter worked actively during 2011 to raise funds specifically for building works required at Watamu Academy Junior School.
By November 2011 much of the money required had been raised for this but plans were changed following an assessement from the Kenya Education authorities. They specified the need for two larger classrooms. They had the power to close the school if this was not complied with promptly.
We were initially given two weeks for the task and not to be defeated when the inspectors revisited after this time foundations were already being dug to show intent!
Within 5 weeks from start to finish during the Christmas and New Year school holidays the task of building tthe two classrooms was completed. Generous donations speciifically for building works made this possible including one last minute anonymous donation whcih to this day we still do not know who to thank to enable us to complete the project.
It was a great opportunity to employ local people as all the work was labour intensive with no machinery available for use. All works were done by hand. There were no diggers to dig the foundations, no cement mixer to mix the cement,and no scaffolding as we would know it, no ladders to use and only one paint brush and a lone painter to do all the paint work. The fundi ( workers) consisted of women and men, dedicated to their work and delighted to be employed in a project that would help the local community.
In January 2012 the buildings were completed and offficially opened. They remain the hub and focal point of the school used for lessons, all joint school sessions which occur most days, and for end of term and year end prize giving.
In addition to the two main classrooms built by Change a Chapter in 2011, the toilets were repainted and a small sink and tap was plumbed into the school toilet area.
We actively worked to also improve the security of the main school building with heavy burglar doors and locks on the external doors and the main school office door.
As with any school there are constant ongoing maintance costs with which we assist with. For example the black boards need a yearly paint, and the whole school would benefit from a redecoration. This really needs to be done on an annual basisi due to the ambient dusty conditions.
Currently Change a Chapter is raising funds for the following building projects:
Kitchen and Dining Hall
A new purpose built kitchen and separate dining room fitted with chairs and tables for the children to sit at can be built for £2000.
It has become apparent that a secure home is required for the most vulnerable children who live in appalling conditions.
Change a Chapter would like to buy an area of land near the school and build a house that will become a secure home for them.
Our fundraising target for this is £15,000.