Kenya: New Year, New Approach at Ondati


It’s a new approach for a new year at Ondati Secondary in Kenya, as the school looks to push on and improve the businesses on site. In order to arouse greater enthusiasm for the businesses from the students, the school decided to simply let the girls choose which different ‘business club’ they would like to join. With the newly formed ‘Beauty Salon Business Club’, the ‘Volunteer Friendship Club’ and a good harvest of nearly ripe pineapples, means we are witnessing much more enthusiasm toward our enterprises this year.

Reuben explains the nature of the business fair

Our controversial (!) new approach began with a ‘Business Fair’ for the girls where they could sign up for their favoured business. Thankfully, it proved to be a roaring success with almost every girl volunteering to take part in a business, and similar numbers of girls for each club! With the very heavy Kenyan Curriculum taking up so much of the girls time, the fact that they are willing to volunteer themselves to help with the school businesses is not only a credit to the girls but also shows how much they value the real business experience they gain from the work! 

It is clear that Ondati’s reputation is growing in the district. This has been highlighted by Samual Arwa, the Principle of Ondati Primary registering his daughter to Ondati when she previously went elsewhere. He cited the benefits of the extra curricular activities and the quality of teaching at the school as his reasons for the change.

Yet the most exciting new arrival to Ondati has to be ‘Nixa’, our new dairy cow. A high quality breed who we hope can produce a lot of milk after she gives birth! Although she was barely at the school 10 minutes before collapsing into an very awkward position and not moving, which caused widespread panic amongst the staff and students! Thankfully, the school chef intervened and calmly raised her head and encouraged Nixa to help herself back up, it was then we realised she would be fine. It appears the poor thing was merely stressed from the ride to Ondati. Crisis over!


So all in all a good start to the new year at Ondati! We will sadly be saying goodbye to Samina Bunker, the previous Field Officer. She kindly agreed to return to Ondati and help with the handover. She proved extremely useful in combating the swarm of bats which seemed to have made the volunteer house their own over Christmas and New Year! We will, however, be joined by Matthew and Milly, two volunteers who I’m sure will benefit Ondati and have the time of their lives doing so! 

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