Limuru is a town about 20 miles from Nairobi centre, in the hills on the edge of the Rift Valley – a very beautiful area which was part of the so-called ‘White Highlands’ where many British settled because of the cooler climate. It is a tea-growing area and local people can often get casual labour picking tea leaves.
Misri is a growing area of real deprivation and poverty, and for several years Karibuni has supported a feeding programme for children from the slum at the Limuru Methodist Church Academy. This started when Trustees visited the project and saw some children eating cold ugali (cooked maize meal) or drinking black tea, while others didn’t even have that to eat and were watching those who did, as they ate. It was too distressing to ignore and the Trustees immediately agreed to support the feeding of these children.
Following the post-election riots a few years ago, and mass migration from the area, plus other local problems, the school roll dropped dramatically and the project was close to collapsing.
Karibuni offered to sponsor 6 new children every year into the nursery classes (6 in each of 3 nursery classes initially) and this has proved to be a real incentive to local people to send their children to this school – if the neighbours see visitors supporting the project, then there must be potential and it must be good! We currently sponsor 50 children at the Limuru Academy and a further 20 who have progressed to Secondary school. Karibuni makes a significant contribution to the cost of feeding all children at the Academy and also pays the salaries of the cooks and the caretakers.
The teachers and head mistress, Jane, are all very motivated, however they have suffered from several management changes over the last few years. With a period of stability, the Academy should continue to make progress.
In August 2015, three new classrooms were built for the top three classes, standards 6, 7 and 8. New classrooms, with solid doors, glazed windows and lined with wood replaced the old draughty corrugated iron buildings. The new buildings came at a cost of Kshs 1,400,000, the equivalent of £9,300. Find out more about Limuru’s new classrooms.