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I am a Kenyan citizen, married with a boy and two girls. I have government training in early childhood development (ECD). I am currently pursuing my national diploma in ECD. I have worked in several private education institutions (Private School) since 1993 when I completed my formal education. My bitter realization was that many of our children cannot get quality early childhood education because the fees charged by these institutions are out of reach for our poor children.
This has led to many of our children seeking refuge in other backstreet informal schools set up by insincere business people whose objectives are to exploit the situation. These schools end up either not even paying its teachers in time or at all leading to very high rate of teacher turn over, there by denying the children the much needed continuity and consistency.
This made me quit employment from a private school situated in my current residential place. My main objective was to provide this much needed early childhood education to our poor children who were always being sent out of these schools for lack of school fees. I, in collaboration with other well wishers, set up a kindergarten named “The Terrian School”. We ask parents to pay a small fee (Kshs 500 or USD 5.5 per month) to help sustain teachers, who are more of volunteers. We, however, do not send any child away for lack of fees. Our children mostly come from poor parents who are either house helps or working as labourers around the estate.
It is in this background that I make this request for a loan (of USD 1,000 at interest rate of 10%) to facilitate the expansion of this Early Childhood Education Project, which provides educational opportunities for our poor children and employment opportunities to teachers.
The Terrian School:
Since the Kenya Government is currently not funding early childhood education, we saw it an obligation to work to assist the majority of our society whose children could not get better education. It with this background, that the idea to start The Terrian School was conceived. The school is situated in Utawala – Githunguri estate. Our children mostly come from poor parents who are either house helps or working as labourers around the estate.
Since inception of The Terrian School in January 2005, we dispatch an average of 30 pupils to standard one in public primary schools every year. The parents suggested that we incorporate lower primary school levels and in January 2009 we introduced standard one. Currently we have Baby Class, Nursery, Pre-Unit, Standards One, Two and Three, a pupil population of about 70, and four teachers. Our teachers are working as volunteers, being given a token of 3,500/= to 4,000/= a month, and are motivated by the fact that they give hope to those who were otherwise hopeless.
We have tried our best and our former children are doing very well in whichever schools they join.
The loan will help us to finish a two classroom stone structure, which we began recently, to at least a habitable/useable state. It still does not have windows, doors, floors and the walls are not yet plastered.
We embarked on a new construction. As mentioned in one of our comments posted earlier, we are now at class seven and a student population of above 150. We are seeing this number increasing to over 200 pupils before end of this term. We had to add two more classrooms to accommodate them. The first thought was to extend the existing iron sheet structure. But on a second thought, and after consultations, we decided to construct a more permanent structure. Our infrastructural objective is to have a three storey (ground, first and second floor) building, which will have one computer lab, an office and thirteen rooms to be used for classrooms for baby class up to class eight. This is a long journey, but as the saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, our first step has begun.
We have started with a two roomed stone building and covered the roof with iron sheets, for the time being. This structure is part of the bigger three storey building. We are doing this so that the pupils can start using it as we look for more funds to extend the building.
We could not complete the two rooms, to a level that they can be occupied, due to lack of funds. We expect this to happen with time. Our immediate concern now is to complete the two rooms to habitable level since we have pupils who must use the rooms immediately.
The two rooms require the following to be done as soon as possible to mitigate the problems that we have currently, in the order of most urgent first:
• Gaps between the roof and the walls need to be sealed so that water does not get into the classrooms when it rains. This will also ensure that the roof is firmly secured to the walls.
• We need to fix windows and doors to ensure safety of our pupils and secure our other learning materials.
• We need to make the walls.
• We need to plaster the walls
The journey began in earnest. We will increase/extend the two rooms to five (making the ground floor) as we get funds. We will then plan and put the shatter once before we move on to the first floor.
Once again, as mentioned in our earlier posts, we are more of a charitable organization. We are the people charging the least school fees in the area as to other private schools. At an average of Kenya Shillings 800/= per month, we are cheaper than even church based schools. Majority of our pupils come from less privileged members of the society and the money we are getting is mostly used to sustain teachers, who are doing a wonderful job. We cannot therefore depend on the fees from pupils to develop the infrastructure, but from well-wishers.
Lenders, you have stood with us in the past, we trust you will stand with us till the end of this journey. You have put smiles on the faces of the less fortunate pupils in the past. Please continue to put smiles on their faces.
We have been trying to post pictures of the new building for Lenders to see but have not been able to. We are still trying and as soon as we succeed we will have both the pictures and the design of our dream building. GOD BLESS YOU ALL.
Jan 20, 2015
Cost to entrepreneur
Lender interest: $954.44 at 5.41% annual rate over 11 months = $51.35
Service fee: $954.44 at 5% annual rate over 11 months = $47.46