As two international Y12 students who attend a well-funded school called the British School in the Netherlands, we live privileged lives. Our stress comes from deadlines, exams, and social interaction, not from wondering where our next meal will come from or whether or not we will get to finish secondary education. In those regards, we have never needed to stress.
To help those less fortunate, our school runs a charity called Project Africa. It’s goal: supporting a primary and secondary partner school in Kenya’s Rift Valley. Since the charity began in 2009, teams of Year 12 students have fundraised throughout their academic year to raise money for the partner school’s development. In addition to improving the school’s facilities, the charity has also set up a Breakfast Programme to provide a hot meal to students every morning before school. Each year, the current Project Africa team travels to Kenya and builds upon the work of previous years, with the intention of further improving conditions in the Njoro school.
This year’s Project Africa team will be aiming to raise €25,000, with a focus on converting the primary school’s two remaining wooden classrooms into more stable concrete structures, creating a more suitable learning environment.
Our team will also assist in teaching Maths and English to the primary school students, along with more personalized subjects depending on our expertise.
Further support will be internet-based once we leave, to ensure that the school can continue to get good teaching resources independently. In addition, our team will be supporting the Breakfast Programme starting from January 2020. The programme has made a significant impact on attendance and test scores, especially among female students.
All these objectives will be completed using local labour and materials in order to support the local economy and community. The long-term goal is self-reliance and sustainability, so using local resources and employment helps further that goal and ensures that the community can continue to improve their conditions long after we no longer support the project.
However, Project Africa is about more than just helping those less fortunate.
Increasingly often, our generation feels as if they are never given a chance to make a positive difference in the lives of others, which is why this project is so important to us. Project Africa gives us a chance to work together and improve the lives of others in the global community, helping us discover more about ourselves, where we belong, and what we enjoy doing.
By Scarlett and Calin