Our project's aim is the creation of a model for an auto-sufficient school, which fits the socio-economic and cultural environment of Samburu county. A model that could be reproduced in all the county, in other kenyan counties and potentially in all places where it is needed and could be useful, with a few adaptations. The starting point for this kind of projects is to work in the field with people who were born and raised in this environment, who have developed autonomously education projects in order to make school more affordable and accessable to all them who have the passion and the determination to reach high goals. People like Fr. Peter Musau, who as a director in 2017 started the construction of The Irene Girls Secundary School Maralal, convinced us that only through the girl's education it is possible to stop things like FGM, female genital mutilation, and the distribution of HIV. He decided to give less fortunate girls who have great motivation and academic results, the opportunities that the kenyan school system, traditions and poverty denied them.
The Irene School is a „boarding school“ in which students go home only during the holidays. At its opening in 2017, the school had the necessary infrastructure to accomodate 300 students, classrooms and green space. It had its own pigs and cows and a little garden to provide at least partly autonomously for students and teachers food. The costs for management and to keep the school running at this point were too high and the external donations too low and inconstant to allow Fr. Musau to sponsor all the girls in school. To keep high academic standards he therefore decided to admit to school also 50 girls, with good previous school results, whose parents were able to afford paying the school fees of about 600€ per year. This amount of money is necessary to provide food for the students and pay the teachers salaries. It would have also been enough to allow access to the school to ten needy girls, who had exceptional school results and were among the best in the county. This scheme was mantained in the following years and now the total number of students is 310, of whom 40 are sponsored by the school and different NGOs. 25 of them are sustained thanks to STORM Project. The real number of sponsored girls is actually higher, getting to include nearly 50% of the students, because their parents can't always pay the school fees due to instable income or can cover it only partly because of their low income, typical for this rural region.
The goal is to sponsor one day all the girls subscribed to the Irene School, beeing able at the same time to guarantee quality education and optimal learning condtions. We want to follow the girls also in their future study path after leaving school, helping them accessing university and hoping that they will be able to fulfill their dreams and reach their goals. We sincerely hope that one day they will be able to guarantee the same kind of help and instruction to their children and to as many other students as possible. This would lead to a gradual self-sufficience of the school and the community building up around it.
The sponsorisation of as many students as possible is fundamental in this initial phase of the project to build up a solid base for the future development. We want to sustain the most motivated and performing students, selected after colloquia and consultations with teachers and families, who wouldn't otherwise have the possibility to continue studying and would be forced to marry at 12-13 years. We want to give them the possibility to go after their dreams and fulfill the willingness to succed we can see in their eyes. In order to do so we provide the entire amount of the school fees and the suscription quote, including uniforms and school material, at the only condition that the girls manage to obtain good results continously throughout their studies. In 2018, we manged to sponsor 3 girls. In 2019 we sponsored 6, and in 2020 and 2021 we helped 16 of them. In this new year, with your help, we hope to reach a new record!
The school material given to the girls at the beginning of the first year are three pens, two notebooks for each subject, two pencils, a ruler and one book every two or three girls. This is the maximum that the school can provide given the limited resources it has. Our activity focalises on the solution of two problems: the lack of enough books to provide every single student with its own copy and the actual impossibility to give the students the necessary digital competences to compete in the increasing globalised and competitive business world. We therefore wrote down with the teachers of the Irene School a project proposal to buy 4000 books and 10 computers. The first ones would be given to the single students during their stay at school and would be reused by successive students. The second ones would be used in "Computer Science" and Mathematics classes to apply what was learnt during frontal lessons.
In the next years we would like to develop our work with the Irene school in the best possible way, so that we will be able to use the experience acquired in other environments and conditions, in Kenya as well as in other countries in Africa and in the rest of the world. We are young, ambitious and determined and will not give up easily, but to succeed we need your help. Contact us for any kind of proposals or ideas to better our work and to fundraise. Help us with your skills and your time. Just write us! We are waiting for you!