2021 Back to School Transitions

2021 Back to School Transitions

Each year, as our children return back to school, we’re all met with feelings of excitement as to what the new term will hold. While 2020 was a year like no one expected, as we start the new school term, things are still looking a little different. 

Kenya’s typical school calendar is made up of three terms per year. Each term consists of three months of school. In between these terms, our children normally get a whole month off from school to relax, unwind and enjoy before the hustle and bustle of a new term begins again. But due to the unexpected circumstances we all faced in 2020, school schedules have been adjusted by cutting down on term breaks to make up for lost time. 

Needless to say, it has been a real marathon with our children only getting a maximum of one-week breaks in between school terms and only about four days as mid-term breaks. Consequently, our kids have been loaded up with more homework and need to grasp concepts in shorter amounts of time.

Candidate Class Exams

Our group of Candidate class students will be sitting for their final primary and high school exams in the coming weeks. 

From left to right: Moses, Dues, and Levendah

In our Kitalale Home, Lavendah Chepkoech, Deus Kiptoo, and Moses Moit will be sitting for their Class 8 examinations. As for our high school kids, we have Alex Kwemoi and Grace Chelang’at from Kitalale and Serah Maria from Kikuyu. This will be the very first time for any of our kids from our Kitalale Home to take part in the High School Final exams, making it a big deal not only for our student candidates but also for the children and staff in general.

Alex and Grace researching college options for next year

Please pray for them as they prepare, study and review these upcoming weeks. We are extremely proud of them and have very high hopes for them to excel in their final National Exams!

School Break Fun

Despite the shortened school break, our children had this past term, we made sure everyone made the most out of it. Food has always been a huge part of our home and it was no different this time around. The one thing that our kids missed the most is a delicious home-cooked meal. This is especially true for our boarding school children. Our staff made sure they cooked the children’s favorite meal to fill their happy bellies. 

Aside from the food, they miss their family. The first night home is always for catching up! Stories were told about their time in school, their challenges, as well as their big wins for the term. With so much to talk about, nobody wanted to sleep that night and our children and staff at each house spent great quality time with each other to catch up before going to bed. 

Fun in the Sun

We also had the opportunity to take the children out for some fun in the sun during our pool day. Each and every one of them had so much fun cooling down amidst the hot Kenyan summer. At Kikuyu, we have some prolific swimmers, bringing out their competitive side which was seen especially in the older kids. They could be seen trying to outswim and race each other in the pool while the younger ones enjoy splashing around in the baby pool. 

Cooling down on a hot Kenyan summer day

On the way back home, there was a happy silence that filled the air. After a successful pool day, everyone was exhausted and most of the kids were fast asleep as they made their way back home.

Family Fun Day

During this break, our Kikuyu home had another fun day planned for our kids. We had a chance to organize a fun family day, an idea that came about from our aunties. The day started out with the children’s morning chores, followed by a gathering in the dining hall, a short prayer, and then a debrief on what the day was going to look like. The children were split into two groups. The first group was responsible for helping out in the kitchen and the second group was tasked to lend a helping hand to the younger children as well as help set up the activities for the day. 

After a scrumptious meal, the older children went up to the guest cottages area, to sit down and have a meaningful discussion about college. Freddy and Mercy, our two wonderful college students, led the discussion with our high school students about college studies and college life in general. 

Freddy sharing about college

Our staff, Samson, Cecilia, Simon, Peninah, and Damaris, were there to provide any additional counseling and guidance to our teenagers. The session was so interactive and engaging that nobody realized how fast time flew by. 

Freddy, in particular, was extremely happy to share his college life experience and was amazed at the questions asked by the other children. 

While the older children were busy talking about life after high school, the younger kids had fun playing with each other and drinking fresh juice which was prepared by the aunties. 

Academic Highlights

James – Kitalale Home

For a while now, James had been struggling with his academic performance. While he has always been one who excelled in his studies, this took a turn for the worse at the end of his Form Two year when he started struggling with his grades. We were all concerned about him and had meetings with him and his teachers to discuss how this can be improved. With his drive for academic success, James was keen to get some extra help from his teachers. We started seeing some improvements in his academic performance as well as his overall attitude towards school. Just like that, James was back on track! 

James has always been a natural leader who doesn’t shy away from celebrating others around him. He is a great big brother not only to his sibling Zakayo, but also to the rest of the children under our care. We are all so proud of how far he has come!

Everyone who has met James knows that he loves soccer. He plays as a winger, and is known to send dangerous passes across his opponents. He is a strong young man, who can be seen with a huge smile on his face every single time. James is a very respectful and responsible young man. During his free time, he enjoys watching soccer on TV, especially the English Premier League which is very popular amongst the young men in Kenya. A huge Manchester United fan, he knows all the players by name including the technical bench. 

His dream is to be an accountant and we can’t wait to see what his life has in store for him for his future. 

Grace – Kikuyu Home

Grace Gathoni is one of our Form 1 students in our Kikuyu home. She was extremely excited to start high school, even going on to exclaim that this was one of the best days of her life. Grace has worked hard in school and got accepted to her dream school – Bahati Girls in Nakuru County and given that this was her first year in High School made it even more exciting. 

We all know Grace with her outgoing personality. As soon as she started her first day, she made many friends and the teachers quickly realized this trait and entrusted her with the leadership role of Class Representative. 

Grace has come a long way in terms of her development. She has been through a lot of challenges in the past, and given her strong personality, this often leads her into trouble with the uncles, aunties, and teachers around her. Grace can be quite mischievous, which is her greatest weakness we have been working to improve. With the combined efforts of her teachers and our uncles and aunties, we are glad to report that she is now transforming into a responsible and dependable young girl. 

Grace enjoys humanities and social sciences and daydreams of being a nurse and hopes to study and work abroad. Having done so well in her Class 8 exams, we’re confident that she stands a chance to shine in her high school education, so long as she remains focused. We’re committed to working with her school to ensure that Grace reaches her full potential in high school and beyond.

We’re all looking forward to the new term and school year ahead. Despite things still not being 100% back to normal, we’re making the best out of it, staying safe, and ensuring that our children are supported through the new school term. The donations and prayers from our wider community support the growth and health of our children, so we are eternally grateful for your continued support.