By Sarah Ooko, World Vision Senior Communications & Media Officer, Kenya
Pupils of Naroo Primary School at Kainuk in Kenya’s Turkana County, are confident that they will excel in their studies and have a bright future.
The children enjoy learning, as well as spending time together in school, as they get knowledge that opens their young minds to the world.
This enjoyable experience is a far cry from what these children were forced to endure six years ago, when the school lacked sufficient infrastructure to accord pupils quality education.
"The school didn't have enough classrooms as of 2015. So, children used to learn under trees, sitting on rocks. The wind would blow dust on pupils and make their eyes itch. It would also make books and clothes dirty. Also, when it rained, children couldn't learn as there was nothing to shield them from the water," says 14-year-old Roselyn, a pupil at the school.
The school's head teacher, Nelson, notes that the infrastructural challenges hampered the performance of children at the school.
"Their concentration was always affected. While learning outside, they would get distracted by people, noise from neighbouring homes or passing vehicles. They were therefore unable to grasp much in class," he says.
Aside from the lack of classrooms, the school also lacked toilets. As such, the children used to rush to nearby bushes to relieve themselves at breaktime or lunchtime, when lessons were not going on.
When it rained, water would wash away faeces and other types of waste from the contaminated environment, and then drain them in the river that the school and community relied on for drinking and cooking.
"We used to be sick almost all the time, suffering from stomach pain, diarrhoea, cholera and other diseases. But we didn't know that this was linked to the contaminated water we were drinking," says Roselyn.
Upon learning about the plight of the children, World Vision embarked on tackling the infrastructural challenges.
The organisation built a classroom block for the school, as well as a modern toilet. It also installed a tank and funded the establishment of a pipeline network that supplies clean and safe water to the school.
"We thank World Vision for building the classrooms and also purchasing the desks and benches that make us comfortable in class. Our backs no longer hurt us and we have enough space, compared to the days when we had to squeeze ourselves under trees to take advantage of the available shade," says Roselyn.
Thanks to the clean piped water, she notes that they no longer need to waste time, going to the river to fetch contaminated water for drinking and cooking school meals.
As a result of the transformative change brought about by World Vision to the school, the performance of children has greatly improved.
"Last year, we were the best in this area based on the good performance of our children in the national primary school exams. Many parents who had previously taken their children to other schools are now bringing them back to Naroo Primary. The population in the school has also doubled due to the increased enrolment," states the Head Teacher.