Hello Bondo Friends, Happy New Year and we hope that you all had a Merry Christmas with family and friends!
We have been busy during the last month getting the children (24 in total now, down from a high of 37) ready for the 2019 school year that starts shortly. They are spread out over 12 separate schools.
There are 3 students in university and all are doing very well indeed. We now have 8 high school students in 7 different schools over a large area. All of the 10 children in primary attend the same school (Classes 2 through 8 with 4 students in boarding). We also have 3 boys that will be fully licensed electricians after 6 years of training, that will be a great success (they are now starting a 4 month work term at a mill and 2 sugar companies).
The primary schools work with a point system from 0 to 500. In order to get into a high school they aim to achieve 300 and above. It is highly competitive. The higher their mark, the more prestigious a high school will accept them. So when the children struggle to get to that point we have them repeat one year in order to finish above the 300. That is the only way we get them to move forwards.
Some of the students need to repeat the second year of high school in order to come out on top at the end of Form 4 (last class of high school). The second year is apparently the most difficult. This also happened to the first student girl who we sponsored who has now made it into her second year of university. It is now our experience that when you take a child from the street (whose illiterate mother cannot afford proper food, housing and guidance) and place them in private boarding school at say Class 3, they are at first shell-shocked and require lots of guidance. This is because they missed the all so important preschool and first years of primary, and as such will always be playing catch up…but that is OK as long as we haul them through, which is what we are doing.
We see a big difference with the children that started off in preschool (day school) even if they are not at a boarding school. When they reach Class 7 we try to get them into boarding until the end of Class 8, in order to prepare well for the important national KCPE examination to come above 300 points.
This all requires commitment from us and also the sponsors and so far we can only say “thank you for your patience and support”.
We sincerely thank you for your continued support and the trust that you place in us and the children. We wish you all a very healthy and happy 2019.
Best regards, Jennifer and Mark.
Halifax, Nova Scotia