Christine a 13 year old young girl in class 6 and her five siblings
As one approaches the compound to Kamiti Primary School, the compund that houses Kenya’s Maximum prison, Kamiti it is almost difficult not to shudder. The school is one of the few education centres within the grounds of the prison.Voices from young children reciting poems from the kindergarten side of the school can be heard. Their voices instantly fill one’s heart with pure elation. Nostalgia comes knocking in as you remember some of the nursery rhymes you used to sing.
Some of these children would not have this opportunity to enjoy the beauty of early childhood development were it not for the Watoto Tusome outreach programme by Life skills Promoters and UNICEF.
Christine a 13 year old young girl in class 6 and her five siblings are one of the many beneficiaries of the outreach programme. They come from a poverty stricken background and have been in and out of school for a better part of their lives.
According to Christine, life was harsh and lack of funds caused all her siblings to drop out of school. It was at this point that they began to walk around the area looking for scrap metal to sell in order to help their mother.
“One day a woman from Life skills Promoters met us collecting the scrap metals and asked us if we wanted to go to school,” says Christine. Christine and her five school-going siblings were enrolled to Kamiti Primary school within no time through the Watoto Tusome Project.
The teachers at the school helped the children settle into school. “When they were enrolled, the teachers made contributions and helped to donate school uniform and shoes for them.” Said the senior teacher. Challenges still plagued them and they would miss school often due to lack of bus fare as the school was quite a distance from where they lived forcing their mother to move closer to the school in Soweto.
Their mother expressed her joy,” I am very happy that my children are able to go to school. They get a good education and at the same time they get to have meals during the day” she said.