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Co-operation with St. Augustine Education Centre

The co-operation of our school with the St. Augustine Centre, a private Primary School in Ruiru at the northern-most border of Nairobi, began in the year 2009. Some interns from the German organisation "Weltwärts" (the German name "weltwärts" translates as "world-wards") who were working at the center put the center's headmistress in touch with the GSN.

The school was founded as a Kindergarten in 2003 by Judy Nyambura (who is still the Headmistress of the school) and her husband Simon Njau Chege. The aim of setting up the establishment was to give the children in the neighbouring areas a good education and therefore better opportunities in life.

The GSN organised a sponsored run in October 2009, and managed to collect 14,000 Euros, which was donated to the school to build new classrooms on a piece of land the school had managed to rent.

The management team of project at the GSN had the pleasure of visiting these classrooms on the 23rd of May 2011.

 

Since then we have always interacted with the center, and been able to support them in various ways. In November 2011, a team of the school was invited to attend the school's first graduation ceremony of Standard 8 pupils, thus experiencing first-hand the wonderful work being done by the school, and seeing for themselves the progress that has been made.

 

More activities followed in 2012: at the beginning of the year, the Headmistress Judy Nyambura was invited to the workshop held by the Siemens Foundation, and received an experiment set with plenty of science material for the school. In spring, one of the interns at the GSN spent a week at the Augustine's center, supporting the teaching staff there. In autumn 2012, the GSN organised for 2 interns from the organisation "Weltwärts" to work at the center for one year.

Furthermore, there have been several collections and donations organised by parents and friends of the German School, by the German church community, as well as our supporters in Germany. Dr Anne Weber, a former Board Member at our school, as well as one of the initiators of GSN run, has been collecting money for donation in Germany after her return.

Last year the mother of one of our guest students managed to collect 500 Euros for the school by making hearts and selling them at a Christmas fair. This money was used to build a classroom where the students could take their national examinations.

Current status of the school

Some 380 children now attend the St. Augustine Education Centre, ranging from Kindergarten to Standard 8. This might be the only chance these children have of gaining their Primary School qualification, KCPE (Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education). The students pay a monthly fee of 3 - 4 Euros a month. The rest of the school's expenses are financed through donations.

In summer of this year, the couple managed to turn their private institution into a government recognised school, and is now being run by a school society - Augustine Center Society. The Board members, alongside with Judy and Chege, are parents of the children, and they are responsible for the management and funding of the school. The school draws up an annual budget, and is obliged to have an official annual audit.

The next new challenge is to buy a piece of land. Unfortunately the land where the school currently stands is not for sale. The lease expires in November 2017, and by then, the school must acquire some more land, where the new school can be built. As land prices in Ruiru keep going up, thanks to the construction of the Northern bypass and the Thika Highway, the society has begun looking for affordable land nearby. The first discussions have already started with landowners in the area, with the assistance of a lawyer.

The Augustine Center can definitely not raise the required amount of some 20,000 Euros by itself. The society is attempting to collect funds through fundraising events in the area, as well from certain Kenyan authorities. The German School Nairobi is therefore also trying to help raise part of this amount, by using its network both in Kenya and in Germany.

More information you find also on the webpage of the St. Augustine Center and in the following documents for downloading.