St. Johns has a link with a Matili F.Y.M. Primary School Kimilili in Kenya. This followed a Lichfield Diocese Visit that the head teacher, Pauline Bloor made in February 2011. The aim was to learn from each other and communicate on a regular basis to bring the two communities together.
Matili F.Y.M. has over 1500 pupils with as many as 80 pupils in each class. The only furniture in the classroom is home made wooden desks shared by as many as six pupils. Classroom had very few windows and the floor uneven concrete. The children have to buy their own books and are provided with pencils often no more than 3 centimetres long. All the children wear a uniform of white shirts and blue jumpers and dresses, although many poor families had to send them to school in shirts and jumpers that were threadbare.
The majority of the children were barefoot and had to go home at dinner time as the school only made a soup for the standard 7 children who were taking the national tests which would enable them to go to high school.
However, despite this their enthusiasm for learning, manners and attitude to working hard was immense and a joy to see. There was a lot of very good teaching at the school and great support from the community through the management committee.
A joint project was planned to share ideas and enrich the curriculum of both schools through a topic on food and looking at religious education in both schools. Both schools grew sunflowers and exchanged information and letters. This has continued since and St. Johns has held two Kenya days. We have fundraised for the children to plant two fields of maize so the poorer children can be fed at school.
Another fundraising event in December 2012 will raise funds to plant another two fields and buy some paint and concrete to put in the younger children’s classrooms.
From 2012 to 2016 letters and work have been exchanged.
In 2014 the children named and bought a cow precious for the school. Another one was purchased in 2015 and money sent for some uniform.
Another project has been started with the School Council selling juice and biscuits and organising a competition to buy another cow. The name was chosen and £— rasied. The older classes have written some letters.