On the 10th of January 2018, the World Scout Bureau Africa Support Centre handed over a classroom, 10 desks and over 50 text books to Jans Amboseli Academy, a small Maasai community school in Loitokitok, Kenya. This was in fulfillment of a commitment made by the office and the staff during their visit to the school while on a retreat in the area last September.
The community school located in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro, approximately 255 kilometres South East of the Capital Nairobi, near the border with Tanzania, has been largely built over the years with contributions from well wishers. Apart from offering education to the disadvantaged children who come from the predominantly nomadic Maasai community, the school also runs a feeding programme and provides refuge for the children.
The Head Teacher, Ms. Margaret says that, “the school was started in 2012 and has grown to cater for a current population of over 200 pupils and 10 teachers. We have pupils in grades 1 to 7 and hope to have an 8th grade class next year if we get a well-wisher to help us put up a classroom, just like these ones.”
As at September 2017, the school did not have facilities to accommodate it’s first 8th grade class. On seeing the need, WSB Africa Support Centre made a commitment to construct and equip a classroom for the 20 pupils who would be joining the 8th grade in January 2018.
“The Scout Movement’s vision is creating a better world. We stand for giving opportunities to young people so that they can develop their potentials to become responsible citizens in their communities and the world at large. We are really impressed by the dedication you have put in the work you are doing under these circumstances. You are changing the lives of so many young people in the communities around here. You have really touched our hearts. Apart from the small donation we have given you today, we have made a commitment as part of our corporate social responsibility to construct a classroom. So come next year, the [8th grade] pupils will have a classroom to study in,” said Frederic Kama-Kama, the Regional Director while making the commitment together with the team of Staff when we visited the School in September.
Three months down the line, the classroom and the textbooks were handed over to the management of the school. Speaking at the handover ceremony held on 10 January 2017, Mary Waweru, the Director of Operations at the WSB Africa Support Centre said that, “We are very happy to be here to handover this classroom and these books to support the work you are doing in providing education for these children. What you are doing is not just teaching them to read and write, you are giving them hope for a better future through the knowledge they are acquiring during their time in school.”
She also appreciated the staff and management of WSB Africa Support Centre for their generosity to this cause of education. “I wish to also encourage all the teachers, support staff and volunteers that work day-in day-out to ensure these children get an education. Your contribution to the lives of these pupils is greater than you can imagine. May you continue with the selflessness and passion for this cause,” she added.
The Africa Support Centre has also made a commitment to work with the Kenya Scouts Association to strengthen the Scout Group in the school to offer Scout programmes to complement the education being provided by the school.
The Mission of Scouting is to contribute to the education of young people, through a value system based on the Scout Promise and Law, to help build a better world where people are self-fulfilled as individuals and play a constructive role in society. This project therefore is a sign of Scouting’s commitment to the realization of this mission.