Project Report: May Update on Solar Lanterns for Tana Students

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May 21, 2018
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May Update on Solar Lanterns for Tana Students
By Oscar – Volunteer

Patricia studying at home

Patricia studying at home

Greetings all,

This quarter of the year we have been affected with floods where 70% of Tana River County is being covered with water due to the current floods problem in the Country. Being in the Delta, we have been the most affected county.

However, we managed to get testimonials from Patricia and Ali as quoted below.

"My name is Patricia from Vumbwe village. I am 15 years old. When I was still a student at Kulesa primary school last year I received a solar lamp from Tana River Life Foundation. I am taking this opportunity to say thank you to all of you for assisting me with the solar lamp.

Before I had the lamp, it was not easy for me to wake up in the morning for preps because there was no available source of light. It was difficult to use the lamp because of the cost of paraffin and it was a daily expense my family could not afford.

Besides providing more study hours, the solar lamp also helped my parents earn some income in charging our neighbours hand phones, which helped them pay for my exam fees. I did well in the primary school leaving exams last year and am now fully sponsored by Tana River Life Foundation in Form 1 (Year 9) in Sacred Heart Girls Secondary School in Mpeketoni, Kenya.

Thank you all again.

Patricia John"

And Ali wrote

"I am Ali from Bubesa village in Mwina Location of Tana River County Kenya. My mother and brother are farmers. My father is mentally not well. I had many challenges when studying in primary school. We live in a small mud hut. Where we live, when it rains, our walls may be washed away and need to be repaired.

After school I have to help my mother look for firewood and fetch water and so have little time to do my homework until night time but there was no light at home. I continued with those challenges until by good fortune I received the solar lamp from Tana River Life Foundation. I was now able to do night preps and complete my homework. So even if I could not do my studies during the light time, but at night I was able to study without fail.

It also helped my parents as I was studying at night, the lamp allowed my mother to cook and do other things at home like weaving mats. After my primary school exams, I did not do as I expected, but the results was still good. I am now in Form 1 at Tarasaa High School and am partially sponsored by Tana River Life Foundation. I now know that in all hardship there will be relief. I want to be a lawyer to help my people know their right. Thank you all very much.

Ali"

Ali completing his homework using solar lantern

Ali completing his homework using solar lantern

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Updates are posted directly by Project Leaders, and to make your experience as authentic as possible, GlobalGiving does not alter these updates – they are the real deal.

About this project:

Solar Lanterns for Tana Students Solar Lanterns for Tana Students

by Tana River Life Foundation

ke.gifKenya, edu.gifEducation

Rural schools in the Tana Delta have been usually left out from development plans the communities live off the grid as the power infrastructure doesn’t reach their villages. Without light, students are unable to study nor do homework when the sun goes down. Providing solar lanterns will be enable students to do their homework in the evenings, providing them the opportunity to do better in national examinations. Beneficiaries are upper primary students in Class 7 & 8, aged between 12-15 yrs

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Project Report: Lighting Up the Furthest Corners of the Delta

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Nov 14, 2018
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Lighting Up the Furthest Corners of the Delta
By Oscar – VolunteerAssa Primary Night Studies

Assa Primary Night Studies

The months of September and October were busy months for TRLF staff who were criss crossing the Tana Delta, distributing solar lanterns to the most far flung and remote villages. First we did raise over US $ 2,000 during the month for the GlobalGiving Matching Campaign in 12th September. Thank you to all this who participated and the rest who are always supporting our projects. A total of 135 students from 8 different schools and villages have since benefited from this assistance during this period, the majority of them in Grade 7, and who will be sitting for their primary school leaving examinations in Nov 2019. See the table below for the breakdown of the solar lanterns distributed during the months of October and November this year.

  • Chamwanamuma Primary – 35
  • Serah Primary – 14
  • Odole Primary – 15
  • Shirikisho Primary – 25
  • Miticharaka Primary – 19
  • Assa Primary – 20
  • Kibokoni Primary – 7

All the schools are located in villages not connected to the National Power Grid, and unlikely to be connected in the forseeable future.

Some of the schools have arranged for these students to board at school from Mondays to Fridays to minimize the time students spend travelling from home to school daily. This allows them more time for participation in games, as well as night studies under the guidance of their teachers. This arrangement has been possible because of the solar lanterns. With their classrooms being lit up by the solar lanterns, students from these schools can now do night studies easily.

During the weekends when the students return to their homes, they carry their lanterns with them benefiting their entire families.

Assa Primary School is located 90 kms from our centre. The headteacher there, Mr. Anthony Nyagah , was very grateful and sent feedback that “students in Grade 7 are benefiting so much from the donation of the lanterns, and have started showing good improvement in their rate of learning”. Another primary school which benefited from this assistance, Miticharaka Prmary School, is located in a very remote part of the Tana Delta, with the only access being dirt roads across the many islets leading to the school. These islets are connected by hand constructed wooden bridges.

The Kenya primary schools academic year ended on 26th Oct 2018 and will restart in January 2019. TRLF will then continue distributing solar lanterns to students studying in schools in Ndera and Salama location by mid January.

Onkolde Primary Students with their solar lanterns

Onkolde Primary Students with their solar lanterns

Demonstrating for Shirikisho Primary

Demonstrating for Shirikisho Primary

Miticharaka Primary Students with their lanterns

Miticharaka Primary Students with their lanterns

Road to Miticharaka Primary

Road to Miticharaka Primary

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Updates are posted directly by Project Leaders, and to make your experience as authentic as possible, GlobalGiving does not alter these updates – they are the real deal.

About this project:

Solar Lanterns for Tana Students Solar Lanterns for Tana Students

by Tana River Life Foundation

ke.gifKenya, edu.gifEducation

Rural schools in the Tana Delta have been usually left out from development plans the communities live off the grid as the power infrastructure doesn’t reach their villages. Without light, students are unable to study nor do homework when the sun goes down. Providing solar lanterns will be enable students to do their homework in the evenings, providing them the opportunity to do better in national examinations. Beneficiaries are upper primary students in Class 7 & 8, aged between 12-15 yrs

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Project Report: New Year, New Solar Lanterns

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Feb 11, 2019
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New Year, New Solar Lanterns
By Oscar Raha – VolunteerOzi Primary Students with Solar Lanterns

Ozi Primary Students with Solar Lanterns

Happy 2019 to our donors over the world and Gong Xi Fa Cai to our donors in Asia as you usher in the year of the pig. Your donations on this project is making a huge impact to many students in our community as so far over 200 households in Tana Delta Sub County have benefited since 2017. This year we were at Ozi Primary which is one of the most rural parts of the county as the nearby village is only accessible by boat and by motorbike during the dry seasons. Ozi village is situated at the mouth of the Tana River where it flows into the Indian Ocean. The school has a population of 461, with the highest enrolment being from the lower primary level.

The Government has installed solar in one of the classrooms to support its Digital Learning Programme to the lower grades during the day but parents are not willing to send their students to school during the night due to security concerns as well as worries about safety of the female students. It’s for this reason that the Foundation has donated 52 solar lanterns to the students of class 7 and 8 to ensure that they can conduct their night preps. This particular type of Solar Lanterns have a component that enables parents to charge phones during the day hence serve as an income generating resource to cover some basic necessities.

This year’s class 8 comprises 17 students, with 15 of them being girls and boys being only 2. It is a unique scenario in the area as mostly the number of boys in classes is usually higher than that of girls. This had a negative impact towards studying at the school at night as their class teacher Mr. Ngoka was quoted, “The community don’t want to bring students to school especially the female pupils. I have a hard task of convincing the parents on the benefits of letting their students do night preps. It wasn’t making sense to give students homework over the week as I was sure they can’t do it at home. Now I can give them assignments that I am confident they can do.”

After donating the solar lanterns, Bakari a class 7 student had this to say, “Although I scored 200 /500 for the last exams, I am very confident that I can improve my performance to at least 300. This is mainly because at home usually I don’t study at night but now I have the resources to. I have a sister also in this primary school and we will help each other study.” While Aisha a class 8 student said “I am grateful to all donors who had a hand in this project, as my results are somehow poor and I do hope that this year I can do a lot of personal studies at home to ensure that I improve significantly come the end of the year.

Oscar conducting an interview with Aisha

Oscar conducting an interview with Aisha

Demo on how the solar lantern works by TRLF Youth

Demo on how the solar lantern works by TRLF Youth

Bakari receiving his Solar Lantern

Bakari receiving his Solar Lantern

Road to Ozi Primary

Road to Ozi Primary

On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this project to a friend, family member, or colleague?

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Not at all likely Extremely likely

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Updates are posted directly by Project Leaders, and to make your experience as authentic as possible, GlobalGiving does not alter these updates – they are the real deal.

About this project:

Solar Lanterns for Tana Students Solar Lanterns for Tana Students

by Tana River Life Foundation

ke.gifKenya, edu.gifEducation

Rural schools in the Tana Delta have been usually left out from development plans the communities live off the grid as the power infrastructure doesn’t reach their villages. Without light, students are unable to study nor do homework when the sun goes down. Providing solar lanterns will be enable students to do their homework in the evenings, providing them the opportunity to do better in national examinations. Beneficiaries are upper primary students in Class 7 & 8, aged between 12-15 yrs

update email preferencesunsubscribeprivacy policy
GlobalGiving – 1110 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite 550, Washington, DC 20005, USA
GlobalGiving UK – 6 Great James Street – London, WC1N 3DA, UKContact Us

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May Update on Solar Lanterns for Tana Students

Greetings,

Solar May Report

Thanks you for your continuous support. It is the second term in Kenya and students just began the second term. This period instead of just giving the solar lanterns to the students, a small team of youth volunteering at Tana River Life Foundation was selected to give an encouragement talk to the students. By doing this, the youth could also get a better insight of what the Foundation does as well as give a chance for them to share their experiences to the students. We were at Onwardei Primary School and donated 24 solar lanterns to the class 7 students.

Although we will continue giving out solar lanterns to the students, in the next month we will be revisiting the schools where we donated and check whether the lanterns are still functional as well as monitor the impact it has on the students performances as well as their families.

The foundation is very grateful to your contributions and we do hope you can continue sharing about the project so that we can be able to reach the goal of lightening the lives of many students and families in the county.

Solar May Report 2

Regards,

Oscar – Volunteer and former beneficiary

Donate Now

Bringing Light to Students in the Tana Delta

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Students from Kulesa Primary School receiving their lamps

Rural schools in the Tana Delta have been usually left out from development plans. The communities live off the grid as the power infrastructure doesn’t reach their villages. Without light, students are unable to study nor do homework when the sun goes down. Providing solar lanterns will be enable students to do their homework in the evenings, providing them the opportunity to do better in national examinations. Beneficiaries are upper primary students in Class 7 & 8, aged between 12-15 yrs.

The foundation is working with schools to offer the students in the nearby villages with lighted classrooms, as well as take home lamps to do their homework and evening self-study. Many of the villages lack electricity and as a result students are not able to do their homework at night. The solar lanterns will provide electricity for lighting classrooms at night. Students in these rural communities are able to study and compete with students from other parts of the country who have better facilities.

Since 2017, we have been helping more than 200 students per year who are preparing for their primary school leaving exams. This will improve their results & chances to advance to secondary school.

At Bubesa Primary School, the solar lanterns had a tremendous impact on the performance of the students in the national exams last November. The graduating class emerged top for the first time in the Garsen North Zone which comprises of ten schools. The mean grade obtained by all the graduating students showed an improvement of 20.44%.

It has been shown that young people who have had more years of education are less likely to engage in behaviors detrimental to their communities eg. Join tribal militia that engage in tribal violence, teenage pregnancies but help their families. Health of these families will also improve due to less smoke inhaling.

Read about the progress of the project :

https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/solar-lanterns-for-tana-students/reports/#menu

From 9pm Wednesday 18th July ( Singapore time ) funds raised will be matched. Be the light ! 

 

 

 

 

Gabriel featured in the Sunday Times

Gabriel Teo, founder of Tana River Life Foundation was featured in the 10th June 2018 edition of the Sunday Times.

Image of Cover of Sunday Times 10 June 2018

Here’s a link to the article:

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/from-corporate-jungle-to-charity-work-in-africa?xtor=CS3-20

Watch a short video of his work in Kenya : https://players.brightcove.net/4800266888001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5793664935001

If you would like to find out more, please contact us at :  tanariverlifefoundation@gmail.com

 

 

 

Pre-trip Letter from Gabriel

Dear friends,
We are already in March 2018, but I hope it is not too late to wish all of you a good start to both the New Years. We are grateful for the year behind us, which provided much opportunity for learning, and greater development for many. Thank you all again for helping us create hope and opportunity for so many families here in the Tana Delta.We are now at the onset of the short rains, and as while we look forward to the expected showers, we are also taking precautions to mitigate any problems that may arise from flash floods and roads being cut off.

Mitumba Project
I will be in Singapore by 18th April to start the Mitumba Project collections, details of which are attached here and in our blog at www.tanariverlife.wordpress.com. Over 60 needy families benefited from the sale of used clothes, shoes and bags, enabling them earn extra household income to cater for their children’s school fees and other needs.


1st from Right: Mama Ade from Dumi Village has two orphaned grandchildren under her care studying at DEMSA

School Furniture from Singapore for Tana Delta 
The used school furniture donated by Singapore schools last year was refurbished by TRLF youth and distributed to over ten schools in Tana Delta, bringing a huge change to the quality of learning for many students. We are grateful to all at PIL Singapore Pte Ltd and PIL (Kenya) Ltd. Mombasa for arranging the freight forwarding and clearance of the shipments in 2017.



TRLF staff and youth help deliver refurbished classroom furniture using the TRLF school bus..

..enabling a more conducive learning environment for the most marginalized communities across the Tana Delta

Plans for more Infrastructural Development Support for Tana Delta schools
Many schools in villages along the only tarmac road in the Tana Delta have developed over the years with input from the various education stakeholders, including Tana River Life Foundation.
There is however, still a great need in villages off the tarmac road and in the most interior locations. In 2018, we hope to continue assisting in the infrastructural development of these remote schools in the Tana Delta.

Fabrication and Welding Workshop at Emmaus Community Centre
In 2017, we employed a mechanic-cum-welder and started fabricating most of our furniture and fittings, e.g. security grills for windows and library shelves. Beds fabricated in our workshop were donated to the students’ dormitory in Idsowe Primary and Sane Girls Secondary schools in 2017.
We also built the dormitory roof at Idsowe Primary School and a twin-chamber toilet for the girls at Buyani Secondary School.

Lighting up children’s future with solar lanterns
In 2017, we provided 50 children from three remote primary schools with solar reading lights. This has enabled them to read and write at night as well as allowed their parents to continue with income generating activities such as weaving mats, carpentry, and tailoring, even after nightfall.


Bubesa Primary School candidates emerged top in their zone with all but one girl going on to secondary school in 2018

Children from Bubesa Primary School are mostly children of subsistence farmers, who sometimes have to miss school to help their parents in their farms especially during the harvest period. The students themselves organized study groups and met to revise and do their homework under the light of a solar lantern hanging from a tree. It was most gratifying to note that for the first time in history, Bubesa Primary emerged top school in their zone in the national examination. We hope to be able to assist more students this year.

Improving access to a better quality education

Students sponsored by TRLF 2017 Partial 2018 Partial 2017 Full 2018 Full
Primary 0 0 8 6
Secondary 800 600 30 54
Youth 0 0 22 22
College 5 5 24 20
University 0 0 4 4
Total Beneficiaries 805 605 88 106

Integral Formation of Youth and Students
The TRLF formation programmes at different levels help youth beneficiaries discover themselves in a deeper way, so that they mature and develop not only intellectually but also physically, psychologically and conscientiously.
A large number of the fully sponsored students live in our community homes and assist in TRLF development programmes. This arrangement, while preparing future community leaders, also helps sustain TRLF programmes as it greatly reduces administration and project running costs.


Youth under formation learn many other skills, e.g. mechanical, electronic, IT, administration, agriculture, bookkeeping. In addition, youth are trained to carry out complex technical work, e.g. solar lamp posts installation, providing them with useful new knowledge while enabling TRLF to keep overheads and external contractors’ fees at a minimum.

Delta Mustard Seed Academy – Nurturing Knowledge with Integrity
We made huge strides at The Delta Mustard Seed Academy (DEMSA) – the nursery and primary school owned and managed by TRLF – after moving to the new premises that were completed in 2016. The premises were funded equally between Jonaron Foundation of Malaysia and our many donor friends and partners. We have improved record keeping at the school through a computerization exercise and also started to operate library facilities, and provide IT training for teachers as well as Grade 4 students.

We have continued to emphasize a more human and integral formation of the children, breaking barriers of tribe, religion and economic background. Our teachers are also constantly reminded to narrow gaps in terms of academic performance, and to ensure that no child is neglected. We have today an enrollment of 260 children, comprising 133 boys and 127 girls and expect this number to reach 400 by January 2022.



DEMSA children who are needy receive subsidised uniforms and bursaries while all children share two common meals

TRLF Youth – Giving Back


Multi storey farming saves on space, water & time and produces succulent kales

Evans Chikanda and Manase Maro were sponsored to study sustainable agriculture. During their holidays, they helped us start a vegetable plot and fruit orchard at the TRLF Emmaus Community Centre. With their help, we now implement sustainable techniques more suited for semi-arid areas, including planting in deep pits, multi storey vegetable plots, and composting of kitchen waste, among others.


During the 2017 elections break, Oscar trained TRLF staff and youth
volunteers at the Emmaus Computer Lab

We opened the Computer Lab at the Emmaus Community Centre in 2017. The lab was set up entirely by TRLF staff and youth under direction by Oscar Raha, who was the first TRLF-sponsored student to do degree studies at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) in Malaysia. This saved us a lot in terms of contract and consultancy fees. Oscar completed his degree in Business Information Technology in 2015 and is now the Tana River County ICT officer. Nevertheless, he continues to volunteer his time and expertise willingly.


Alice introduced research, discussion and presentation methodology to our students
to change their midset towards learning, placing their progress in their own hands

Alice Shauri is in her fourth year of medical studies and on her way to becoming the first lady medical doctor from Idsowe. She is also our organizer and resident tutor for all secondary remedial tuition programmes during school holidays.

Conclusion

As mentioned at the start of this letter, it has been a full year, but not only in terms of activities and progress, but also in terms of a deeper appreciation for God and his blessings. We thank each one of you for journeying with us and making so much possible for so many.
I will be back in Malaysia and Singapore from 15th April to 19th June 2018 with two of our youth, Solomon Makwola and Kingstone Madyera, and look forward to meeting up with you once again.

God bless.

Idsowe, Tana Delta, Kenya
15th March 2018

 

If you would like to download a PDF copy of the report. Please click here.