Ojwando Primary School Project
Ojwando primary school is located in Ojwando Village in Siaya County in Western Kenya. The village is approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles) west-northwest of Kisumu, the nearest city, and 6KM from Mama Sarah Obama’s home in Nyagoma, Kogelo. The village, made of some 60 families, has a total population of about 5,000 people.
When Kenya, a former colony, declared independence from Britain in 1963, the population stood at approximately 7 million people from 40 different ethnic groups. At independence most of the country was undeveloped with only a few hundred kilometers of roads, limited electrification, the few schools concentrated around to 3 major urban centers, and most of the population illiterate. The young country set an optimistic course of rapid development, but was soon sidetracked by ethnic tensions and corruption. Consequently, the government’s main contribution in education was limited to providing a few teachers to new schools, with the construction of new schools in the new nation with a rapidly increasing population, currently at 40 million mostly young people, was with almost entirely left to local communities.
In 1973, the local community in Ojwando village came together to establish Ojwando Primary School. Small donations from resident families funded construction of a single mud and thatch building consisting of two classrooms. The government’s sole contribution was providing and paying for 2 teachers. The community has since pooled enough funds to construct two classrooms of cinder blocks and corrugated iron sheet roofs. The first, located on the original school location, is the elementary and middle school grades 1-8 blocking replacing the mud and thatch building. The second, located at a different but nearby location, is a block of two classrooms of a new high school (grades 9-12) the community established in 2014. Currently, the Kenya government provides 4 teachers and the community collects fund to pay for an additional 4 teachers. Also in 2014, with the help of Isaiah Nengo of De Anza College, on a Fulbright Scholar Program stint in Kenya, the elementary block was connected to the national electricity grid. The school currently has 630 students roughly half of who are girls. There is no running water and the pit latrines are quite rudimentary.
Objective and Rationale
In spite of rapid acceleration of urbanization in Kenya the majority of the population (approximately 70%) is still in rural areas. Western Kenya where Ojwando is situated is one of the poorest areas in Kenya. High birth rates coupled with generational sub-division of land among male descendants as is the custom has meant that family plots are average approximately an acre per family. Most families can barely grow enough to eat from the small plots.
The proposal here is to raise funds for construction of new elementary/middle school (grades 1-8) block to alleviate overcrowding and provide bathrooms with appropriate sanitation standards. The elementary school currently has 630 students in kindergarten through grade 8. Classrooms are overcrowded with up to 100 students in classroom meant to hold a maximum of 40 students. Funds raised will fund the construction of a new block of classrooms and proper toilets. All materials can be sourced from a local supplier. The main contractor is local and the labor employed on the project would all be local youth. Proposed amount to be raised of $30,000 will pay for the construction of 4 additional classrooms and 4 bathrooms.
There are 8 structures (4 classrooms and 4 bathrooms) to be built. They can be built en masse for $30,000 or individually for ~$3,750 per structure.
It is proposed that GamerGiving Charity act as the primary organizing and fundraising effort for the funding portion of the Ojwando Primary School Project. This includes setting aside a percentage of GamerGiving’s general fundraising (decided upon by the board) and a greater percentage (proposed 90%) of special fundraising activities organized outside of regular GamerGiving activity.
Length of Project
There is initially no proposed end date for the Ojwando Primary School Project; end of project being understood to be completion of objective. At any time an end date can be established by agreement between Isaiah Nengo and GamerGiving Charity.