Mamia,15 years old is a pupil at Hope Primary school in Kakuma Refugee camp four. She is a refugee child from South Sudan. Their classrooms were previously made of tents. Due to the hot zone climate in Kakuma region in Turkana County in Kenya, the tents became hot and stuffy in the warm months and made pupils develop headaches regularly.
According to Mamia, together with her fellow pupils they missed some of the class lessons due to the heat. “Our hands used to sweat a lot making writing difficult. She continues, “Sometimes wind was very strong thereby blowing the tents away. Blown dust settled on our exercise books making writing difficult. Sitting on the dusty floors made us look dirty and we felt very embarrassed especially for us girls”
Apart from facing such challenges, there was persistent noise from the nearby classroom resulting from wind blowing inside the tents. Congestion of students made it difficult to hear and understand during the imparting of knowledge by the teachers in the classroom.
“We preferred going to collect food at the distribution centres rather than going to school due to the poor state of the learning facilities.”
She adds that today they are grateful to World Vision Kenya and Donors for the classrooms they have built for us, now there is renewed hope to pursue education at Hope Primary. According to Maima they no longer miss classes because of the heat related illness, like persistent headaches, heat and dust.
The previous activity of collecting food at the distribution centres is no longer their priority, due to the change and better learning facilities in the school at Kakuma refugee camp.
“The classrooms are so nice and cool. Thank you GOD and Donors for we can now realize our dreams’’ says Maima
Maimas mother Neema, noted that her children are now motivated to attend - school unlike in the past. “With these facilities our children are now assured of a secure future” she explains.
Hope Primary School head teacher Mr. Simon Puot says that students’ movement in classes has significantly dropped due to class control unlike previously in the former classrooms made of tents. He continues that since the construction of the new block of classrooms school enrolment has shot up to 834 pupils from class one to seven since the opening of third term in 2015. “Some school drop outs have come back due to availability of good learning conditions brought about by the newly constructed classrooms”said Mr, Simon Headteacher.
Pupils of Hope Primary School in Kakuma refugee have revived their hopes in learning. The completion in the construction of the 16 classrooms was funded by UNICEF, World Vision Australia and Swiss with support from World Vision Kenya.
Written by Seminar Ptiso, World Vision Kenya, WASH Engineer – Kakuma Refugee Operations