It is always a treat to visit the Kanyala Little Stars School on Rusinga Island. I have been dropping in to this school for the past 8 years and it has been interesting to see it grow and prosper. The school was started by Benta Odihambo, a local widow and ex-teacher who poured her heart into trying to improve the education of vulnerable kids in the community.
For a long time, she struggled to make it work but in the past few years, with support from CanAssist and other individuals and organizations the school has grown to 290 students all the way from age 4 to Grade 8.
This year we were pleased to provide funding for a building that houses two classrooms. Since the property is running out of space, provision was made with a strong base to eventually be able to move upward.
The school has had academic success with their grade eight students standing at the top of the local district and third out of ninety in the sub-county in standardized exams done to determine admission to secondary school.
The women of St Mark’s Church in Barriefield, just outside Kingston, have formed a special bond with Kanyala Little Stars and I was pleased bring money from these women to the school for purchase of sanitary pads for the older girls – a program that has dramatically improved attendance for these girls, one of whom topped the girls marks for the district.
I have missed having a visit with Mama Benta this year – she died unexpectedly in mid 2013, but the family continues to manage the school and attempts to keep the high standards.