November and December 2017
November was a good source of income and an exciting month for us. First and foremost we must mention the fund-raising days at Hovedgården junior secondary school, resulting in a new record of over NOK 60,000. Students, teachers, parents as well as others made a tremendous effort, which leaves us with a great gratitude.
Like last year we started the sale of Christmas cards in the end of November/beginning of December. This gives us good and necessary income and it is still possible to buy cards.
We started our «Gymbagaction» in November. Following the prohibition of plastic bags in Kenya, we wish to provide all the pupils at our school with one such fabric bag each. We continue this action in the new year.
We receive news of good and stable operation of the school. The political situation in the country is still unclarified, but quiet. Let us hope unrest will not arise in connection with an election which we expect will take place some time in the new year.
Everybody at the Oasis of Hope school, the board in Kenya as well as our board in Norway wish each everyone a merry and peaceful Christmas and a happy New Year. We thank you for the old year and for all your contributions.
New school year in Norway, and Effort for others at Hovedgården are at it again! So far this year they have been picking apples, making apple jam which has given profit of NOK 1.500,-. From this source there is more to be anticipated.
A few pupils taking the optiional subject Redesign at Hovedgården have started making small sacks for the children at our school. We wish to be able to give everyone a sack each when we visit the school in February 2018. Many of our pupils have only plastic bags in which to carry their school things, and as the Kenyan authorities have banned plastic bags we have decided to remedy this .
Effort for others at Landøya junior secondary school have also contacted us concerning a possible cooperation. Exciting to see what this will lead to. This also applies to the IB-line at Nesbru secondary school. One of their classes, 1STF, has chosen Oasis of Hope as its project in the subject «Meet theWorld». They have already collected some money by bottle deposits and baking cakes. Anne Kristi visited them in the end of October to inform them about our school. This will be truly exciting.
On 26th of October an attempt was made to carry through a re-election in Kenya. The situation there is quite tense at the moment, but the school is open carrying through «business as usual». We hope this situation will not affect the school too much. We are, however, aware of the fact that the school may have to close at short notice should the riots increase.
In September the Board in Kenya got a newmember, Mr. Johnson Oima. According to information we have received he is a competent man working daily with children and their rights. We wiah Mr. Oima welcome to the Board.
The Board in Kenya contacted the education authorities in Mbita in order to get advice and assistance in engaging a new teacher. Mr. Vincent Kohana has now been taken on, and he is a good addition to the teachers’ collegium. We look forward to getting better acquainted with him.
At long last the painting of the kitchen building and the head master’s building has been completed and the building is shortly ready to be moved into.
We are planning a new visit in February, this time six persons, whereof two members of the Board.
August has been a quiet month, both in Norway and in Kenya.
Board member Kristin U.J. visited the school in July and can report that the transfers for food have to be adjusted. Because of the inflation in the country the money does not go far and our pupils simply do not get enough food. Our board has therefore decided to increase the monthly transfer by 3,000. Our monthly contribution to food is then around NOK 23,000.-.
The headmaster house, built as an extension to the kitchen building, has been completed but some casting and painting still remain before the house can be moved into.
In Kenya they are awaiting the implementation of a new education plan. It will be exciting to see how this will influence our school.
Here in Norway we are happy to have received contributions from sale of cakes at Jessheim, various birthdays and a substantial separate donation from a faithful donor.
During the Summer we have also got some new, regular donors.
In the end of June board member Kristin U.J. and her sister went to Kenya, where they among other things visited the school. They were well received and reports will appear gradually, written and by photos. Following their trip, Kristin was also interviewed by Romerikes Blad, and got a whole page in the newspaper. This is great, and we hope it will lead to fortunate consequences for us!
The teacher dwelling in Kenya has now been completed, and we are very happy with the result! One of the teachers will be living here at the same time acting as a guard at the school. A guard is a necessity as we have gradually accumulated many items of value at the school. As of today we have a person working as night guard for us. This also means that we may install the big water tank, which will catch rainwater. We look forward to this.
On Friday 14th July the harpist Runi Wold gave a concert at Lyngdal. The entrance was free, but those who wished could give donation to OoH. Gradually we will become more known all over the country. Exciting to see if this will give us more willing sponsors and donors!
We can review this month with great satisfaction. Much has happened, both here at home and in Kenya. On June 7th we arranged Run for Food for the third successive year, and again we consider this a success, although both the attendance and the weather could have been better. We experienced good atmosphere and friendly participants, and we also collected more money than the previous year. The official sum is 11.680,- but additional sums kept coming in in the days that followed.
Also this year we have been impressed by Hovedgården junior secondary school, who have contributed 77.487.- by arranging Campaigning days, effort for others, spontaneous cafe sales and much more. This support is invaluable.
During the month of June we also received many gifts from people celebrating jubilees who preferred to give the gifts to OoH rather than keeping them themselves. A 50-years , a 60-years and a 90-years celebration all gave i a nice sum of money to the children in the OoH school. We were also fortunate to receive some money from a wedding and from Helgerud congregation we got the offerings from a service.
The construction of a permanent house at the site in Kenya was commenced.. This is meant to be the dwelling for a teacher who will at the same time act as guard at the school. Photos of this you will see next month.
During the month of May the school has been working smoothly. At long last the desks were ready to be used and happy and cheerful pupils and teachers could carry new desks, chairs and tables from the workshop to the school.
The big watertank has not yet been installed because the security at the school must be improved before we can put it to use. This actually means that we have to erect a small building in order to house a teacher who at the same time can act as a school guard.
The erection of the school is proceeding according to plan! Two of us visited the school in the middle of February and were greeted by about 200 happily cheering pupils. They have now moved into a new school building where there is a room with partition walls for each class. Indeed, both the partition walls and the entire school building have for the present been built up by corrugated iron, but the standard is considerably better than that of our previous premises.
We closed March by buying a wood burning stove and a big water tank, and in April the stove has been installed, much to the cooks’ delight. They can now prepare the food inside while the toxic smoke from the cooking is being removed through a pipe in the roof. The water tank contains 10.000 litres and is meant to catch rain water which is of a much better quality than the water they purchase. And rain water is free..
April has also been a month of making new desks. During our visit to the school in February we ordered desks, tables and chairs for all the pupils. The cabinetmaker started his work, but was delayed due to lack of dry wood. This work has consequently taken longer than anticipated, but reports inform us that the work is approaching its completion.
We are awaiting photos, both of new desks and the water tank.
Here in Norway we can report several nice things. Four 10th form girls at Hovedgården junior secondary school arranged a cafe sale at an indoor bandy tournament at the school and collected a sizeable amount of money. Amazing achievement!
Astrid-vicar of Østenstad congregation turned 50, and wished people to contribute to our school instead of giving gifts to her. This resulted in around 14.000 NOK. We are most grateful for all contributions!
We have also completed a new home page. Per has made a tremendous effort and spent many hours by his computer in order to complete this. We are most satisfied with the result.
This month we know that the kitchen stove has been bought and desks have been made, and we are eagerly awaiting photos. Furthermore we get news about good working days at the school, with food and tuition for all our pupils.
The masonry work of the kitchen house is nearly done. Proper kitchen units are made, enabling the cooks to stand upright when preparing the food, and soon a wood burning kitchen stove with a pipe will be installed, leading the toxic smoke directly out. This is a vast improvement to our school.
The stove will be purchased in Nairobi, and will be transported to Mbita and installed as soon as possible.
January has been an eventful month for Oasis of Hope. We have been following the removal into new, temporary school at our site and we have received many photos from a very successful opening celebration. This celebration took place at the same time as the yearly Graduation. 30 hopeful pupils were the principal characters this day. They have now advanced from Pre-Unit to first form, and can start proper schooling.
We now have 220 pupils at our school, and nor this year do we have 8th level. This is due to the fact that our 7th class was too small to take public exams at our school (requires at least 15 participants). Our 7th formers then went to other schools, and in addition some of them moved.
Babyclass, being our biggest class, was divided. Some stay in babyclass another year, while others enter Nursery-class. In this way we dot accept any new pupils in Baby-class this school year, and the challenge of having far too many pupils is averted.
A new school with new rooms is always exciting. For the present we have desks for only half of the pupils and the youngest need tables and chairs separately adapted to their height. This must be given higher priority in the future.
We also met satisfied teachers who enjoy working in a new building. They have now also got their own combined personnel room and headmaster’s office.
During our stay we placed orders for desks, chairs and tables with a local carpenter, and soon all the pupils will have a seat, both for work and meals. No need to sit on the floor any more! It does not take much to improve the standard!
The building of the kitchen has been completed, but there are no cooking facilitoes yet. A new cooking device must be found. We are also going to build a simple house where one of the teachers can live and and at the same time act as the school’s safety guard.
On 15th February two of us will be going from Norway to Mbita to check that all is going according to our plan.