In October 2012 I travelled with my husband to Kenya to visit several Primary Schools to see the Mary’s Meals Food Programme in action. It was an amazing trip and the impact of Mary’s Meals was evident in every school where children were coming to school as a result of the lunch time meal. Their lives had been changed by the feeding programme. Many had come from the street into these schools to eat and to learn, and ultimately have a second chance at life.
Since the introduction of the feeding programme attendance was up and class sizes increased,some as large as 120 kids per class. The children were clearly happy to be in school but the teachers were struggling. I listened as the teachers told me how they had no or little resources, and no space or help to deal with the large numbers that were now attending.
I found it difficult to answer their questions about my job as a teacher. With 23 in my class, a Smartboard, iPads, a ridiculous amount of pens, pencils, papers, textbooks, jotters, it was embarrassing to think of the number of times I had complained or moaned about my job. What these teachers are doing is nothing short of incredible.
As a teacher myself I can’t help but feel I need to help. There are so many problems in the world, and it’s hard not to want to tackle them all but education is what I am about so it needs to be my focus-otherwise it is an impossible task.
After a lot of reflection I believe that the biggest difficulty these teachers faced was the size of the class. This is the first aspect I wish to help with. This is why I want to try and raise money to build an extra classroom.
This additional space will allow some class sizes to be reduced, and teachers (who already do this) will move between more than one room.
Ultimately, and in time, teachers like me would hopefully be able to come to the school and teach as even for me (speaking from experience) 120 kids is hard going!
What if I don’t raise the money?
No matter how much I raise this school needs help. New resources, textbooks, jotters, pens, pencils…the list is endless, but it all makes a difference – and that’s what it’s about.