Got Matar TankFund-raising for the construction of the school started in August 2006. The decision to begin the first phase of construction was taken at the end of September of the same year. Detailed planning began immediately, a contractor was selected through local tendering, and construction of the first buildings started in November.

By 5th February 2007, at the beginning of Kenya’s academic year, the school was ready to take on its first pupils.

During this very short period the Community Development Group had arranged for the construction of a block of 4 contiguous classrooms, of which one would be used as a school office in the first year, leaving 3 rooms for the 3 streams of 50 pupils each into which Form One was to be divided. The classrooms are separated by folding partitions, enabling the building also to be used as an assembly hall. The Group also completed building of a washroom block and a kitchen, as well as of a perimeter fence to keep out animals.

In the same period, the Community went ahead with selecting and hiring staff, particularly teachers, and with enrolment of the first pupils. They also bought desks and chairs and text books. The first term began with 112 boys and girls and this rose to 142 in the second term. Fees have been set at a level which covers normal operating costs, but some children who are unable to afford to pay these fees will be awarded bursaries. (see details of the Bursary Fund here)

All of this was done at a cost of less than Euro 50,000 (about £33,500).

This initial performance has set the tone for the further development of the school. All the essential classroom buildings have been completed and equipped on time to allow entry of new students over a period of 4 years. Actual costs have been in line with agreed budgets. Only the cost of bursaries has exceeded our original estimate, because of the need to sponsor more children than expected.

This combination of enthusiastic and dedicated community-led development, technical and management skills, and donations from well-wishers, both outside and inside Kenya, is achieving most encouraging results.