Report from Dr Ekmans Girls' home in Garissa

Introduction

The girls home was established in 1995 by womankind Kenya , a non-governmental organization in partnership with the Monica and Carl-Axel Ekman foundation and it is a home for orphaned and destitute girls from the Northern region, some are also being protected from harmful cultural practices eg female genital mutilation, child labour, and early marriage/force marriage. The home provides quality education up to tertiary level, health services, standard meals, accommodation, and clothing as well as reading and learning materials.

The home has a capacity of one hundred and fifty girls to be accommodated at one given time. So far 15 girls have completed their University education and secured employment in various sectors in the country, 10 are currently in universities and colleges; 79 in secondary schools, while one hundred and fifty are in the facility pursuing primary education. The home provides a very conducive and healthy environment for learning and other co-curriculum activities to enable smooth stay and learning for the young residents.

Release of the girls

The year started of very well with high expectation for both the new students joining the primary and those joining secondary school for the first time. January and February 2019 went on well with high spirit and unfortunately on March 12th 2020 Kenya announced the first patient of corona virus (COVID-19) and this changed the mode of the nation. The announcement of the first corona virus case was followed by a presidential directives issued on15th March 2020 suspending learning in all education institution due to the outbreak of coronavirus and the fear that the crowded learning facilities will become a breading area for the diseases.

The presidential directive was immediately followed by a similar directive from the Ministry of Gender and social services that hosts children department that all children homes / centers be closed to cap the spread of the disease and place all children in the hands of guardians / caregivers until further notice.

Following the above directives the management of our girls homes immediately implemented the government direction just like all the other children homes and placed each and every girl in the hand of a caregiver and facilitated their transport to relevant destination in the country, we also agreed that we shall be making follow up and continue supporting until the end of the crisis.

We have done a follow up on their stay at home through their guardians / caregivers and none of them have been affected and all are safe.

Photo taken while releasing for COVID 19 break.
Photo taken while releasing for COVID 19 break.

Education

The center has a school, Ummulkheir Girls Primary School where the girls take their lessons together with girls from neighboring villages. The school has modern facilities i.e classes, latrines, modern office, a modern library has number of books which are stored in the library which encourage reading culture, has enough water and reliable electricity.

The girls are taught both secular and spiritual knowledge as they see this as an opportunity for them. The school has quality and trained teachers who are ready to assist the girls and encourage learners to succeed in life, the girls are also taught digital literacy as the school operates computer library. The school also provide extra lessons for the upper classes during weekend and evening. The school has a population of 295 pupils; out of this 155 comes from the center and the rest from neighboring community. Those who completed the primary school are also placed in secondary school for continuity of their education for a prosperous future life.

The table below shows breakdown of the beneficiaries for the center.

Grade/Class/Form/employed Students population
Pre-primary one 5
Pre-primary two 11
Grade 1 27
Grade 2 29
Grade 3 21
Grade 4 11
Grade 5 22
Grade 6 9
Grade 7 13
Grade 8 7
Secondary 79
University College 10
Waiting Admissions to college / University 2
Employed 15
Girls at the schools compound for co curriculum activities.
Girls at the schools compound for co curriculum activities.
Girls playing with ropes at the school compound during break time.
Girls playing with ropes at the school compound during break time.

Infrastructure

Thanks to Ekman Foundation, the center is a very conducive place for learning which has modern facililities eg 3 classic dormitories, storage tanks with clean water, Dining hall, big kitchen with utencils, prayer area, beautiful garden, Electricity, a big dust bin for both the school and the girls home. Has Games facilities which include slides and swings for both the center and the school which help them to improve in their physical development ,

Girls at the dormitory after school.
Girls at the dormitory after school.

Health

The Girls Home has visiting Doctor (Linyonyi) and also has an agreement with Garissa General hospital on issues of medication of the girls whereby they agreed medical service that is (IN AND OUT patients) service as the bill is settle at the end of every month .During the reporting period we have treated 19 girls with common diseases e.g. malaria and tonsils .They also receive assistance from Dr linyonyi who visit them during weekend as a follow –up especially those who have medical attention in the course of the week. Also, we have distributed malaria net for all girls.

Nutrition

The nutrition part of the girls has been improved by adding more vegetables on the Menu on every day and this is gotten through a contracted supplier and paid at the end of the month.

Story of one of the girls

Halima Mohamed is one of the total orphaned girls who joined the girls home at the age of 5 years and started schooling at the Center. She is one of the brightest girls who was leading the national examination for grade eight in the school in the year 2015. In 2016 she joined St. Teresa Secondary School in Embu county and did her Secondary examination in 2019 and got C. Her dream is to pursue nursing course and ready to pay back to the community like she was supported throughout her live by womankind and Ekman foundation. She has applied the course and a waiting admission. She is also appreciating and congratulating the two organizations for their continued support to vulnerable girls all over the country.

Challenges

Coordinating the welfare of the girls while at different guardians/caregivers during COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge to the institution

Thank you!

Bloggarkiv