Big things have also happened in December. We have bought a building site!
At last we shall be able to build our own school, not having to depend on renting premises, which is not always to the purpose, neither practically nor economically. Our site is centrally locally at Mbita, not far from the premises we presently rent. The building works will commence as soon as possible, and it is important to erect a fence in order to show that this area is ours. The new school will be built step by step, according to our financial ability. But we do hope and believe that with the support of our good sponsors the school will be completed in a not too distant future.
This year we have sold selfmade Christmas cards in aid of Oasis of Hope. The sales have been very
good, resulting in an income of a little less than 10.000 kr., which we find most satisfactory.
We can look back at an eventful year in Oasis of Hope. We have achieved much thanks to good supporters and donors. We wish to thank you all for the year gone by, and look forward to a new 2016 with new, exiting challenges. And remember: Everything we do contributes to giving vulnerable and poor children a better life and a future.
November was an eventful month for Oasis of Hope, both in Kenya and in Norway.
On the 13th of November our school arranged graduation for the pupils who are presently attending pre-unit and due to start in first form in the new year. This was a great and significant occasion for all, both big and small – most of all of course for “the candidates” dressed up in gowns and caps.
The pupils performed with poems and song, there was food and lemonade for everybody, speeches and presentation of gifts to the nine chief persons present.
Presents for the youngest children.
Members of the board of directors in Kenya. Supervising the event together with the teachers and making graduation a great day.
At the same time we arranged fund-raising days at Hovedgården junior secondary school. Like last year, we had one day with a main theme and one for fund-raising, which meant cake sales, jobs in various enterprises or jobs at home. All this in order to collect money for the school we sponsor.
Students, teachers, parents and all others involved made a tremendous effort, and as of today we have managed to raise NOK 46,602.-. A concert still remains, from which we’ll receive all the income, meaning that this year we shall probably reach NOK 50,000.-. This is absolutely fantastic!
The Heggedal parish has chosen Oasis of Hope as their development aid project, which we greatly appreciate. The parish and the junior secondary school cooperated during the fund-raising days, and we look forward to further cooperation in the future.
At the end of November we started the sale of Christmas cards in aid of the school, hoping that many people will consider this a good gift idea for someone who has got everything, and at the same time supporting our cause.
Continued stable and satisfactory operation of the school.
One of the teachers started her maternity leave in October. In Kenya the duration of such leaves is 3 months, and a supply teacher is now at work.
In the middle of November the school will be arranging “graduation” for the children who are presently in kindergarten and due to enter first form in the new year. In that connection they are now rehearsing a programme consisting of song, poetry and dance. We look forward to seeing pictures from this event.
We have got a couple of new regular donors also this month, for which we are truly grateful.
In addition we have received money both from a birthday celebration and from optional subject “Effort for others” at Hovedgården Secondary School. Our sincere thanks!
In September we have received reports of stable and good operation at the school.
The Ministry of Education have visited, liking what they see. They did, however, demand that another PI teacher be employed, and Mary Onesmus has been taken on. Our staff now counts 12 persons.
Teachers in Kenyan public schools went on strike in September, but at the OoH school the education is carried out as usual, which we do appreciate.
On Saturday 19th September we sold cakes, coffee and tea at the market square during the Asker Festival. This was a very positive experience, with many pleasant people and hopefully some new donors. We raised NOK 4672,- , and shall be very happy to repeat this event.
A long Summer is over, and the operation of the school in Kenya is running smoothly.
We are pleased to learn that the students who were attending the school during our visit in February are all still there. In addition we have got some new ones, making a total number of 106 students.
Especially good news is that the school personnel also remain the same. In spite of some weeks of school holiday now in August both teachers and students keep coming to school – to talk, play and be together. This is wonderful for us to hear. The Oasis of Hope school has really become a home for many.
Thanks to the teachers at Asker Secondary School our students have at last got desks, made by local carpenters.
Narrow, but good!
Happy and grateful teachers during the official reception of the desks.
A Christmas gift from the teachers at Asker Secondary School enabled us to buy more books for our school. This is an invaluable gift to pupils who cannot afford to buy books and other school material. This money also made it possible to have desks made for the youngest children.
Special water tanks are the best solution to securing a safe water supply. It is now the rainy season and the rain water easily fills the tanks. This makes buying water for cooking unnecessary. We had to pay around NOK 500 for each of these tanks. Previously they had to buy water which is so expensive that in about three months’ time the cost of both tanks will be saved.
February - March 2015
At the end of February Anne Kristi and the board members Kristin Hulbak Skaar and Kristin Ulven Jørgensen went to Mbita to visit the Oasis of Hope school. Three excited white ladies were looking forward to meeting the students and teachers and to seeing the new school. The pupils were very curious and gathered around us as soon as we entered the grounds. The children are very trustful and wanted a lot of nearness. Very many of the children are orphans whose days are filled with school and work, with little time for nearness and cuddle. In spite of much play and entertainment during our visit, regular teaching was also carried through during that period. The school has 8 small class rooms (kindergarten, pre-school + 1-6th form) which are sparsely furnished with a few desks, except for the kindergarten, which has no chairs and the children spend all day sitting on the floor. The amount of school books and school material available for the various classes varies considerably.
There was therefore great joy when all the pupils got one pencil each! The teaching is usually carried out by the teacher writing and explaining on the blackboard, whilst the pupils copy it in a notebook. The teachers are qualified and are dedicated to their pupils and their teaching, and just like in Norway there are curricula governing the teaching. In addition to teaching subjects, the school also focuses on teaching the children how to take care of themselves. This can include simple things like toilet routines and personal hygiene in order to keep healthy, which they do not always learn at home.
The teachers and the students were very grateful for the thin porridge they get every morning and for the lunch they are given twice a week, as well as for the possibility of going to school. They expressed some wishes for the school, such as books, stationery and school uniforms, but their major wish is to have lunch every day. With tears in her eyes 11 year old Stacy told us that it is very hard to be at school on the days they do not get lunch… Food is, like we all know, a basic need. Therefore we in Oasis of Hope will continue our efforts to get donors, enabling us to give Stacy and the others lunch 5 days a week.
We would like to thank all our donors who contribute to making the Oasis of Hope school a good place to be, giving the children food in their stomachs and an education which gives them hope for the future.
First and foremost we would like to thank all those who have given Christmas gifts to Oasis of Hope in 2014. Asker Secondary School was amongst the great contributors, and chose to give NOK 10,000.- for school material. Our sincere thanks to you!
Tuesday 6th January was the start of a new school year at Oasis of Hope School at Mbita. 56 pupils came to school that day. We start in provisional premises this term because we are no longer permitted to use the site we have been using up till now. Finding a new site appears to be more challenging than previously expected, and as a consequence we choose to rent school premises until we get our own site.