It’s been a long, tiring, but all in all amazing week. Construction is almost complete on the school, and construction of the health center has begun as well! We have been meeting with different contractors regarding our biodigester and finally found a great company that does eco-sustainable work for community projects. Our biodigester construction will start in September thanks to a generous donation, and will include the construction of 5 toilets, two showers with water heated by the biodigester, and a kitchen powered by the methane gas produced from the digester.
However, the highlight of this week was today when we distributed uniforms to all of our students. For all of our students these uniforms were the first brand new clothes that these children have ever been given. In addition, uniforms are the only clothes that most of our children have. The excitement as 45 little girls tried on uniforms, traded sizes, swapped styles, and paraded around was incredible. The happiness from parents, students, and teachers alike was simply uncontainable.
After we finished distributing uniforms I visited the homes of several students in the afternoon. In the slide show below you can see the photos from the home of Melvin Apiyo, a pre-school student. Melvin lives in a single room with her nine brothers and sisters, as both her parents are HIV positive, often sick, and unable to find work. Their house is almost falling down, indeed it is almost as if Melvin lives outside. When I first went to visit I didn’t see anyone at home so I began to leave. However, Melvin came running from around the corner with about 10 other children to see what a white person was doing in their neighborhood. I asked Melvin if she wanted to show me her house and she opened the door with great pride as about 20 plus children gathered to look on. As I took pictures and Melvin posed the kids exclaimed in Swahili look at Melvin! Wow! Melvin eh! Melvin, usually a shy but incredibly precocious child just kept posing, loving the attention. When we took a picture together the kids went wild over Melvin. She stood smiling as she became the neighborhood celebrity, and then ran inside her house to show the crowd her beautiful new uniform. As I left I heard every child exclaiming, I want to go to that school, including Melvin’s three brothers!