During our pre-workshop visits we had the privilege of visiting Kibuogi primary school on Kibuogi Island. Like a tale of two worlds apart, Kibuogi has no road, no hospital, no police; The Island has a population between 1000 and 600 depending on the fishing season. Most of the residents are migrant fisherfolk.All manners of child abuse is rampant in an island that knows no formal government.
The school has never has only done national exams twice in its lifetime (more than 15 years), and on the two occasions, emerging last in the ranking of schools in Kenya. The school is not an examination centre, so the pupils had to go to the mainland to do exams in an established school, a two hour boat-ride from Kibuogi. Girls never make it to high school as they drop out due to marriage as child brides and also due to teenage pregnancy. No girl has ever made it to college here.
The primary school has an enrollment of 160 pupils, five teachers and dilapidated dangerously inclining classrooms. One toilet with a wobbly floor is shared by boys and girls. Please help Kibuogi build a decent Toilet. The school has no safe drinking water hence waterborne diseases are rampant. Someone help mobilize for Aqua Straws .98% of the schools children have never ventured outside the island so have never seen a motor vehicle. You can imagine such a child being told to write a composition about a grizzly road accident! The entire island has no road or even a television.
When we visited the school, the cantankerous headmaster (was drunk as early as 9.30 am), emerged from his dingy house which also doubles up as staffroom (the school has no office). Hey hey hey!He was my schoolmate in high school in 1985(24 years ago).In a slurring drunken speech, he made the entourage know that he was always the better one in class until one of his staffers(the school has 5 teachers),asked him” yes but what did you do with it?"
A lonely world on its own, Kibuogi is practically cut off from the rest of the islands in the horizon.(Mfangano,Takawiri,Rusinga and Remba )Being out of the "way" of the major transport route between the major Islands and the main land, more akin at the centre of an equilateral triangle! Mfangano the bigger and imposing island, described by CNN as the furthest place you can go and still be on earth, is a one hour boat ride from Kibuogi.
Kibuogi island residents have to row their canoes (fishing boats) to the “pathway” of boats going to and from other islands, hoping there is space for them to go onboard to the islands. Getting back from the mainland is a nightmare. The island has two slum fish landing beaches. Fishing , the mainstay economic activity, is physically demanding, while young men use monies got from the days catch to lure the islands girls into sexual intercourse with gifts of Mandazi(doughnuts),sanitary towels under wares .Infact the girls are referred to as alternative sex providers!(is somebody listening and willing to help with these?)
We invited one of the teachers Mr. Erick Ojwala from Kibuogi primary school for the workshops. We also gave him a flip camera to capture Kibuogi and will use this to create blog about the school. May be we should create a wiki for Kibuogi and other primary schools which various writers can update and have special links to relevant areas/groups in the TWB-C website. Another sustainable solution is having creating a website/blog for Suba Youth Resource Centre with a tab on the schools in the region.
Any well wisher, please donate a laptop to Erick Ojwala. A second hand laptop, preferably one with no optical drives (low power) and solar panel and batteries to help him be in touch with the rest of the world.The flip camera given to him by TWB-C Suba Team will be of no use if he is not in a position to edit photos.There are a thousand and one things that Ojwala can do with a laptop in the island .
May this Blog touch your heart to help ..May I suggest, you help through Kelly Noble the TWBC President .I welcome suggestions for a possible solution to help the girls in Kibuogi realize their potential in education. Help make Kibuogi Primary school a Safe Horizon for the Girls in the Island
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