Hello again Bondo Friends, another school year is upon us and we are happy to report that 18 ICO students are settled in school for Term 1 of 2020. Over the Christmas break they were provided with supplies, clothing and books. They range from Grade 3 to university and are spread out over 10 different schools. Of the 9 students in primary school, 3 are in boarding. All 7 of the high school students are in boarding, as is 1 of the 2 university students. 2019 saw the completion of electrician training after 6 years of support for 3 of the boys, and the promotion of 1 promising student from primary to secondary school.
The picture above was taken a few weeks ago when the students were receiving their supplies at the library that ICO built in 2013. We have also posted video statements from some of the ICO students on our Facebook page “BondoKenyaInitiative“.
It is 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 place 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. 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.
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 2020.
Best regards, Jennifer and Mark.
Halifax, Nova Scotia