Vicki Burton is back with another update from Kenya as she and her National Citizen Service graduates and volunteers get down to some work at a school.
Jambo everyone! Day 7 is upon us and this morning after breakfast we all brought down our donations ready to take to the school. The bus dropped us off at the school at 8:40am before heading back to the hotel to collect our donations. We were greeted excitedly by the children again, who sang us their welcome song before the wonderful flag parade.
The children then went into their classrooms and some of our groups joined them with chalks that we brought and played some blackboard games. Meanwhile, the rest of the group sieved more sand in order to make more cement for the classroom walls and floor. Once the soil was sieved and wheeled to the classroom, it was mixed with cement. At the same time, Angie and Yazmin began painting the new toilet block.
The bus arrived shortly after with our donations and Ellie L, Ellie H, Taylor, Angie and I began to sort things into piles. We hadn’t quite realised how much we had brought and so it was a mammoth task. First of all, Susannah and Edith picked out things that either they needed for their children, or that they knew people in the community needed. The second task was to kit out the school football team so that they have matching strips. We were even able to give some of them football boots. So now, thanks to Tony Sweeney, Ian McGuckin and the rest of the HUFC Academy staff, Jubilee Academy FC will play proudly in their Hartlepool United strips against other local schools!
Next up, we distributed shirts donated from Norton and Stockton Ancients FC. We decided that as Norton has such a big girls and ladies football section, and it seemed a shame to only give strips to the boys, that it would be nice to give some shirts to the avid female footballers at the school! This was especially nice for Chris, who manages the ladies’ teams at Norton, and for Ellie H, Paige, Louise and myself, who all play football for Norton. We even taught them some chants!
The next job was to ensure that everyone in the school received at least a few items to take home. We had enough toothbrushes and pencils so that every child in the school received one. The upper classes also received soap or shower gel, and toothpaste. The younger children received either soap, shower gel or toothpaste. The very youngest children also received an item of clothing or shoes. We left lots of supplies for the school including hundreds of pencils, pens, paintbrushes, books, notepads, sanitary towels and so much more. We also have some Seaton Carew FC kits to give out tomorrow.
Continuing with the cementing of the floor, Gilbert gave us various tasks to do. The way they complete the work with so few tools is incredible. The floor is almost completed and should be set by Wednesday. This means we will be able to start painting. The school have allowed us to choose the colour scheme, but I’m going to keep you in suspense! We will be providing the paint for the school.
Angie and Yazmin worked all day and finally got the toilets finished; they are much nicer for the children to use and hopefully they will love them!
It began to get very hot in the afternoon so after we had lunch, lots of the games took place in the classroom. Chris had engaged around 25 children in a game of “Connect 4” on the blackboard. It was good, healthy competition with lots of chanting and cheering at the end of each game. The children love to dance and chant. We saw this even more when Luke and Craig were talking about footballers that the children knew and we ended up with a 50 child sing-a-long of the ”Yaya/Kolo Toure” chant, complete with actions! Luke got a brilliant selfie video of it!
We were collected from school at 3:30pm and went to the supermarket to purchase water and snacks. Unfortunately there was no paint at the supermarket so we are going to a specific paint shop on Tuesday afternoon. A little stop in KFC and a stop at another supermarket that had bread in stock, and off we went back to our hotel!
Back at the hotel we discovered the WiFi was out of action, much to everyone’s disappointment as we had some fantastic pictures to share on social media! Added to that a few power cuts during tea and all that was left to do was play some cards and bed again! Some exciting times ensued when Angie brought some bread and cheese down; anyone would think we’d been away for a month, but you do get sick of pasta, rice and potatoes! The days are passing quickly as we wake up tomorrow with only four days to go!