Our Ananda Marga Nursery School in Njoro was started in the year 2003 by Didi A. Vikiirna and Didi Nityaprema. Since the beginning of the second school term in May thisyear the kindergarten has 136 children, four teachers, one cook, one gardener an assistant and one cleaner. The school has moved into
full-day education, from 8am to 4pm. The school provides morning hot porridge and lunch for the pupils and the staff. Our school fee is the lowest in the vicinity if not in Kenya and this helps the poor to send their children to our school. However, we are attracting more children from better educated parents now because of our methods of teaching, a loving environment, and the sumptuous meals.
The mud-structure school in our master unit which we have had since the beginning could not house the expansion and we had to move two classes to an existing vacated building in our master unit which was built as volunteers’ quarters but was never used for that purpose. Despite several attempts to repair the roof, it is still leaking very badly so that the whole entrance interior floods when it rains. We have to finish repair work which will be extensive and hopefully the major repair phase can be carried out in December during the school holidays if we have funds! In the meantime, we are fixing whatever we can of the roof and reducing the leakages, just to save it from further damaging the ceiling and for safety aspect too. Once the roof problem is solved we would like to initiate the electricity supply!
Water supply is a major problem all over Kenya. We do not have a direct source of water supply currently and buy water from donkey-cart suppliers. But for cooking water we get it from our friendly neighbour, the Children’s Home. One way to solve our water problem is to build a borehole to pump water from but this again is another expensive project. We are looking for sponsors for constructing new school buildings for both nursery and primary schools. We already have the architectural plans and drawings of the proposed buildings including the estimated proposed budget of the whole master unit. We are just waiting for donors to continue with the project.Thanks to donations from friends in Singapore, we have finished constructing new tables and benches for the school. The school compound also has new fences; both bamboo and concrete boundary fences were constructed. Eighty percent of the concrete wall is complete. The bamboo fence was constructed from the savings from our food budget. We had to buy new mattresses and laid down vinyl mat flooring for the ‘nap’ room which we use for the kids after
lunch. For the first time we can have a room for doing indoor exercises for the kids.We also started a regular series of talks on our Neohumanist education with the teachers, sharing our Ananda Marga philosophy and practices. More NHE teaching methods will be introduced at the opening of the third term in September.Religious education is taught in all Kenya schools; from primary one, it is a compulsory subject. Most teachers are likely to pray together with the students in schools. Last term we had some student volunteers from Duke University, North Carolina, USA, who were visitors of the nearby Egerton University and who had a chance to share their time with the children once weekly for almost two months. An Italian margii sister Anandi also visited us and had a chance to share her art work with the children.
At the last recent school holidays in August, we decided to start a Tuition Centre (for kindergarten to secondary level). The initial idea was to have a place where children could come and learn to read English but donations of story books were hard to come by so we decided to open a Tuition Centre. Every other child in Kenya takes tuition during school term even so during school holidays. Another reason was also to give jobs to the unemployed qualified teachers. Despite the rush, it was successful and we intend to continue with the project. The profits will go to further education on NHE values for the community.