Last Thursday saw further messages exchanged with our twinned school in Kafuro. They were able to email us this time instead of sending text messages. Some of the key things we found out this time were:
- Many of the children will not get breakfast and will only have one meal a day – in the evening.
- All walk to school and some have to walk for over half an hour to get there.
- The school day starts about 8.30 and they have a break at 10.30 and then for lunch at about 1pm and then the school day finishes about 4pm but may children stay on for games after that.
- They are nearly on the equator in Kafuro and so have 12 hours of daylight – from 7am to 7pm.
- The children walk home after school and will have a meal then. They will play with friends or help their parents before going to bed. Jobs include fetching water; firewood; cooking and washing-up; looking after animals -and they also do some homework and wash/bathe before going to bed.
- Most live in simple mud houses with thatch or tin roofs. they do not have running water or electricity – so no television or computer games.
- The most common food is matoke (mashed green bananas) which is eaten maybe with a bean stew or occasionally with goat or beef or fish. They also eat pocho (maize porridge).
- People collect water from a local crater lake but this is not good for drinking and should be boiled first – although many do drink it (and some have stomach problems).
- The school has 7 classrooms – one for each P1 to P7 class. The P1 class has a roof but no walls and a mud floor! There are 2 new classrooms (built last year) which have plastered walls and good concrete floors and quite good benches and tables – but the only equipment they have is a blackboard. The other classrooms have bare brick walls which are not in very good condition. However it is warm here and it does not rain very much.
- The school had a big central playground and no fence between it and the neighbouring houses and fields. The playground has some grass, some bare mud and some trees. The children play ball games during their breaks.
- The school is very close to the National Park and Molly, the teacher, told how elephants had spent last night in the land just next to the school. The Park helped build a big trench to stop the elephants and other animals coming to destroy the crops and scare the children – but some elephants seem to have found ways across it!
- When the children grow up they want to be: Doctor; aeroplane pilot; nurse; nun; politician; engineer; teacher; head teacher; policeman. [None said they wanted to be farmers – which is what most of their parents do]
- They do have school monitors/prefects – who help with organising the children and supervise playing.
Photos and further information can be downloaded below