Samaritan's Purse Canada has been helping bring good health through safe water and hygiene to Kenyan communities and schools for many years.
Gabriel Muthoka looked around at his 22 eighth-grade students, cramped in their mud-brick classroom. The walls were cracking and the ceiling crumbling.
They show so much promise, Gabriel thought, but this classroom is not suitable for their daily studies, let alone preparation for the upcoming national mathematics exam.
What can be done? Gabriel wondered.
Imagine then his elation last year when he discovered that Samaritan’s Purse would construct a new classroom at Makuuni Primary School—and Gabriel’s students would be the first to use the space.
Our team based in Kitui, Kenya, has had a relationship with the primary school for several years, providing vital hygiene education and constructing multi-room latrines on its campus. When the need for a new classroom surfaced, Samaritan’s Purse acted to meet the challenge, and Gabriel’s students were glad to make the move. The parents made the bricks for the classroom, while we provided the labor and the materials, purchased from a local marketplace.
Students began using the classroom at the end of March 2018.
“Everyone at the school appreciates this new spacious classroom,” Gabriel said. “The other one was so crowded and falling apart. Now we have a great place where we can learn every day and study for the national exams. I say thanks to Samaritan’s Purse.”
Dennis Katheke, the school’s head teacher for the past five years, said Samaritan’s Purse has furthered the overall welfare of the school. “They see the needs and help out so much,” he said. “We appreciate their help.”
Students and parents are thankful for our contributions to their school. Jackline, one of the eighth graders, expressed her appreciation. “It’s really nice, and I look forward to having our classes there. Thank you Samaritan’s Purse for our new classroom.”
Cecelia, whose children attend Makuuni, said the benefits of the new classroom extend far beyond the eighth-grade class.
“Now that we have this new classroom, I think it will attract more children from the community to come to our school and boost education in the area,” Cecelia said.
Robinson Masongo, deputy country director for Samaritan’s Purse in Kenya, agrees. This part of the country is semi-arid and sparsely populated, and students have to walk or ride bicycles great distances to get to school. “By helping to build the classroom near this village, we’re making school that much more attractive to families, encouraging student to attend school instead of dropping out or not going at all,” Robinson explained. “As a result, we’re helping to uplift the standards of education in this area.”
“Everyone at the school appreciates this new spacious classroom.”
On top of that, the partnership between the nearby Makuuni African Inland Church and Samaritan’s Purse in this area is extremely strong. “There is a very heavy involvement of the church in the development of the school,” Robinson pointed out.
Before construction of the new classroom began, Samaritan’s Purse invited one of the local pastors to come and proclaim the Gospel to surrounding villages.
“We enjoy empowering the local church to reach out to their own people and communities,” Robinson said. “We’re glad to do it here and elsewhere in our country. And we believe God is blessing as we serve in Jesus’ Name.”