After a 300-kilometer/186 mile drive from Nairobi, I arrive at Kagumo High School in Kiganjo, Kenya. The weather is cooler then I have experienced on previous visits to Kenya as it is now considered to be winter here. I guess the temperature to be around 70 degrees F.
Kagumo High School is an all boys’ boarding school where Form 1 (first year) student, Samuel, attends. KURA proudly supports secondary school funding for qualified boys and girls – 80% girls and 20% boys.
I look forward to meeting Samuel as I have only had the opportunity to know him through photos and recommendations. Samuel is from the village of Baragoi in Samburu County, northern Kenya. His single mother does her best to feed and support her four children but because of poverty she is completely unable to afford the fees needed for Samuel’s secondary school education.
I arrive on a Saturday when classes are not in session but plenty is going on. As I drive in through the school gate, I see many boys in school uniforms huddled together in a small open building. I am told they are all waiting to make calls to their families.
Kagumo is an attractive campus consisting of separate buildings and nice landscaping. As I get into the heart of the campus I observe many boys getting tea and bread for their mid morning snack. Others are in classrooms studying for their upcoming exams that begin on Monday. Academics are serious here and there is a strong tradition of academic excellence at this national secondary school where 90% of the students go on to university.
I finally see Samuel and we greet each other warmly. He is a bit shy and soft spoken but this is to be expected. We head to the administration block to sit down to talk. Samuel shares with me he is happy at school and that he currently has a B+ average which is an extremely good mark in this competitive school. His favorite subject is Physics. He especially enjoys the experiments they perform in this class.
Samuel also shares his daily academic schedule, which includes 8-11 subjects per day:
5 a.m. – Study period
6 a.m. – Breakfast consisting of 4 pieces of bread and tea
6:30 a.m. – Classes begin
10:00 – 10 min. break
11:00 – tea break
Lunch – maize and beans
2:00 – 3 classes
4;00 – break until 6:00 – games, sports, etc.
6:00 – supper (30 min.) – Ugali (maize)
Samuel tells me all 200 students live in a one-room dormitory. The students are assigned to clean the dormitory every Thursday and Saturday.
There is a month long break coming up and Samuel plans on spending his time back in Baragoi helping his family with the herding of their animals and reading.
If anyone is interested in sponsoring the secondary school education of a student like Samuel, please contact me. There are many more needy children waiting for this opportunity. Sponsoring a student, changes a life, a family, a community.
Hadi wakati mwingine