OoH news July-August 2021
In Kenya the schooldays are running normally. The school year follows the calendar year here. Following nine months of Covid locked down schools in 2020 the authorities have taken steps to put the schools back on track during 2022. This means intensive school periods and shorter holidays. The school year which should have started in January 2021 therefore commenced on 26th July and will end in March 2022.
There has been no graduation so far this year as the authorities do not allow such activities due to the Corona situation. In spite of this some schools arrange downscaled graduation for their pupils. We shall await a decision with regard to our school.
We are also pleased that or 8th level pupils have had «trial exams» with very good results. Oasis of Hope became number 6 out of 20 schools in the area. This motivates both pupils, teachers and us.
In the beginning of August we received the best news ever for us: We were granted means from Time of Fast Y’sMen International's aid programme. The means we will receive are earmarked for doors and windows in the new school. We are extremely grateful for this fantastic donation!
0oH news May-June 2021
No sooner had the first floor been completed than some of the classes moved into the new building. They enjoyed ample space, but in June we received an alarming message from the school. Many pupils coughed a lot and felt ill, and so did several teachers. Medical personnel concluded that this was due to all the dust in the new classrooms. There is much powder dust on the floors, which cannot be brushed off. This will only create more dust. The teachers now sprinkle the indoor floors with water in order to bind the dust, but this evaporates rapidly, and in addition the water must be bought. At present we cannot afford to complete the interior of the classrooms making this a great challenge. We have applied for support in order to purchase doors and windows, but a reply to our application will not be forthcoming until August. In spite of this both the board and the teachers in Kenya agree that the classrooms have to be completed «step by step» and that we do not have financial means enabling us to complete the classrooms shortly.
In June and July the temperatures at Mbita are down to 15-20 degrees. It is especially cold in the mornings, and to prevent the pupils from catching colds due to cold draught the window openings have now been covered by corrugated iron plates. Willingness to find solutions is definitely there!
At the end of June we received another challenging news. The Indian mutation of Covid 19 is infesting the area. So far Mbita has been spared infection. Now lockdown and curfew after 7 p.m. has been reintroduced, and everybody knows someone or have relatives who are infected. The hospitals in the nearby cities are uvercrowded and people are scared. So far, however, the school has to our knowledge not been closed.
Finally, some very good news: At last we may arrange exams at our own schiool. The Kenyan board have been working for this for a long time, and means very much both for them and us.
Although challenges are queueing up in Kenya reports from Norway are positive.
Wednesday 9th June Run for Food was arranged, digitally, like last year. This did not affect the result negatively. Slightly more than NOK is defintely a satisfactory result. We do, however. Hope for physical attendance next year.
During the last school week the 8th level pupils at Hovedgården arranged plant auction. This was a creative and interesting idea which also resulted in some cash. We hope that the HUS pupils may be able to show more of their enthusiasm and creativity in their development aid project next school year – then without Corona restrictions.
OoH News March-April 2021
During March and April, the roof of the school has got a lot of attention. The walls were finished in March. The rain season approached, and the Board of Directors in Kenya and the teachers agreed that we had to focus on the roof.
But the third wave of Corona hit Kenya again putting country into a new lockdown. What now? Could we finish the roof in time? We experienced that getting the materials, especially the iron sheets were a big challenge. The Board of Directors in Kenya wanted grey sheets, but they could not get it, because they would have to wait for 2 to 3 months, and that was too much. They decided to buy the available color, brick red. The 13. of April they started the construction of the roof, and five days later we received photos from a brick red roof. We are very grateful! Finally, the school has protection against both rain and sun.
The pupils have their school holiday from 20. of March and will start their third term from 9. of May.
Here in Norway, we had fundraising on Facebook for finishing the roof, and we collected 21.000,- Norwegian kroner. We are very grateful. We also got finances from a birthday collection.
OoH News January-February 2021
We commence a new year with expectation and gratitude. We had several Facebook campaigns in December: two in connection with birthdays and two directly to OoH.. In addition we sold Christmas cards also this year. The result was amazing NOK 28,150.-.
Østenstad Sangeri arranged an outdoor concert before Christmas and the offering, NOK 5,425,- was also this time given to OoH. In addition the fact that several of our regular donors contributed with extra Christmas gifts to us and we received an offering from Heggedal congregation made December a profitable month for us.
We also got a double page in the January issue of Heggedalsposten and we are grateful for the marketing effect of this.
We have previously written that the casting of the horizontal division of the school building was completed in December. In addition they received means enabling them to continue erection of the first floor walls, and these works were also completed before the new year. Thus the roof is the only remaining piece of work and we are both grateful for and pleased with the job carried out by the workers.
Monday 4th January was a big day at our school. The school was then reopened after Corona lockdown for nine and a half months. Both teachers and pupils showed up and the meeting with the school was a happy one. The class rooms at the building’s ground floor have been put to use, which is greatly appreciated by both pupils and teachers. The rooms have neither doors nor windows yet, but who cares as long as there are desks and blackboards. Due to social distancing we did not have sufficient number of desks for all before school start. The board then contacted a local joiner who made new desks using surplus material from the building of the school. Solution minded, practical and to our great satisfaction!
In February school days have been running normally, and we receive information about satisfied pupils. The teachers find it somewhat difficult to follow the social distancing order. The area is also very dry at present and the water tanks are empty. Water from Lake Victoria is delivered to the school, but this is expensive. The rainy season is approaching and we hope that this will give us full tanks again.