The last quarter of this year has been a busy time for staff in NRCF as they reflect on the year’s achievements as well as the following year’s plan. We note that there is much to celebrate, from moving to a new office to students resuming school after the 2020 COVID-19 school shutdown. It has been more than just surviving. It meant embracing resilience and dealing with the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Compressed school calendar leads to unrest
The last quarter was the second term for students in primary and high school. This is due to the change in the school calendar and the introduction of a 4th term to make up for the lost year in 2020. This meant that students would stay longer in school with minimal school breaks. It also meant a high focus on academics and fewer extracurricular activities. However, this did not augur well with the students. During the second term, Kenya witnessed a high rate of student unrest characterized by strikes and arson in schools. More than 31 learning institutions were burnt down this term alone.
Four of our partner schools were affected; Loise Nanyuki (2 students attending), Kiriathiani school (1 student), Karima boys (2 students), and Makwa boys (13 students). The students have since resumed school but had to pay a fee to rebuild the damaged dormitories. Due to the unrest, the government had to send all students for a midterm break in November as students attributed the unrest to the fact that there was no school break in the term. Our staff continued to guide and counsel students especially during school visits in order for them to remain focused on their studies.
Kenya is still struggling with COVID-19
We conducted a second home assessment of our families where we learned that 86% of the households had someone working compared to 95% in July, while 14% had no one working compared to 5% in July 2021. 76% of the households had an income decrease compared to 57% in July, while 5% had an income increase compared to 10% in July.
The country has made extensive efforts to bring down the positivity rate as well as increase vaccine uptake. As of November, 9% of the adult population had been vaccinated with a target of 10% by the end of the year. At NRCF, all staff has been fully vaccinated.
We look forward to another successful year with you, our supporters, and our beneficiaries.
Best to all of you this holiday season,
Ngong Road Children’s Foundation