Back to School

Sunday, June 28, 2009- With a mixture of excitement and that back-to-school feeling, the students trickled in through the school gates to start another term after their month of holiday. I say holiday, but in fact most students spent their time working in their family’s fields or helping to look after their younger siblings… So maybe coming back to school felt more like a holiday to them.

So getting back to business, we started off the week with the first agriculture club. Membership seemed to have somehow grown considerably, so we now have three groups a week. First off was Senior 2. The students were rounded up under the shade of a tree and briefed about the agricultural mission of the day – digging and weeding. First stop the tool shed to collect various tools and then on to the matoke plantation. A lot of work has been done over the holidays, with the help of some of the sponsored students. There are now trenches in between the rows of trees to stop the water running away. There has also been much ‘mulching’, again to conserve water as we head into the dry season. Students were split up into groups with some digging more trenches and others weeding. At the end, activity records were completed ready for the next group to continue where they had finished.

Another job for the sponsored students in the holidays was to plant a load of sweet potatoes. This is great news for the pigs as they get to eat the leaves from the little piles of potatoes. It is also great news for staff and students as they get to add sweet potatoes to their school lunches.

Speaking of pigs… there has been a lot of swine fever in the local area lately, unfortunately killing large numbers. Luckily none of the student’s pigs in the Send a Piglet Home project have been affected, but it has meant that they have had to delay the process of them having piglets, so they don’t catch swine fever. We discovered that this has not stopped the cows in the dairy though, two of which are now pregnant.

More sessions with the teachers have taken place looking at how the projects can be integrated into their lessons. Teachers prepared their own lesson plans using one of the projects and then tried it out on the other staff, who played the role of students brilliantly! Some great ideas for lessons came out of this and they will hopefully be a fun and interesting addition to the student’s lessons in the future.


 It was celebration central last week as the school held a special day for staff, students, parents and the local community, to celebrate the feast day of Saint Denis. The day started with a meeting for all the teachers and parents, followed by mass, then on to the speeches. This was the perfect opportunity for me to introduce the local community to the Teach a Man to Fish mission and what we are trying to achieve. A massive lunch was prepared for everyone, which was then followed by some brilliant performances from the students.

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