December 2011
Wangari's Christmas message is in the December newsletter, and three significant donations have been forthcoming to support our efforts to improve the water and latrine issues.

October 2011
Our first official newsletter is now on line. Click the link on the left to view.

September 2011
In September torrential rain washed away the pit latrines. Somehow the school has remained open but there is now an urgent need to construct a more permanent toilet solution!

We held our first Karuri quiz night at the Good Shepherd School this month and raised over £250 towards the toilets. A big thank you to the school and everyone who joined in the evening - watch out for the next one.

June 2011
The Cattle Drive at St Gregory's Catholic Primary School raised a total of £550, so we achieved the aim of raising enough for a second cow - a big thank you to everyone who came and supported the event.

May 2011
Sheila Dowling and Patricia Moore visited Sacred Heart School in May. Details can be found on the October newsletter.

March / April 2011
As the Easter holidays are now here, we have a couple of weeks to reflect on the achievements and events of the last few months. We are all amazed at Wangari's achievement at getting the school functioning in such a short time.

Wangari has sent a DVD which illustrates this but at the same time highlights how much there is to do. This term the issue of staff and student safety has reared it's head and steel doors have had to be purchased and installed to make the site less accessible to unwanted visitors. Additional roofing sheets have also been purchased and the kitchen area erected.  The provision of safe clean water in this semi-arid area remains a priority.

Patricia and Sheila from our committee hope to be going to the school in May (at their own expense) to support the staff in developing the curriculum. They also hope to provide first hand evidence of the tasks ahead so that we are able to focus and prioritise our fund raising efforts over the next year. The official school opening is planned for early June, so there will be lots to report when they return.

February 2011
Following our successful Charity Commission Registration, we have this month applied to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs for gift aid registration. We await their decision.

More children have been admitted and the school now has 70 day pupils aged 5-12, but Wangari has realised that much work still needs to be undertaken before the residential unit can be opened safely. She has identified 3 separate areas of need and the challenge this year is to raise a further £5,200.

(1) Cows for Karuri - we plan to buy 2 cows (£400 each) to provide milk for the children as well as teaching the benefits of keeping livestock.

(2) The Karuri Kitchen - 2 wood burning cookers are needed to produce hot food (£1500 each). At the moment food is being cooked outside which may be problematic in the rainy season.

(3) Tanks - water that is - the most urgent of all. 2 water tanks are needed (£800 each); one outside for cooking, washing and drinking, and one inside for toilet flushing. In the longer term, we plan to dig and install an underground water tank..... If anyone knows a firm or individual who would like to donate their time and expertise, and has a sense of adventure, let us know!

January 2011
In spite of many bureaucratic and weather related obstacles, Wangari performed a minor miracle in opening the Karuri School this month. With support from her local parish priest and a social worker the school has admitted 63 children in January, aged 5 to 12 years. These are day pupils at the moment as the dormitories need further work before they can be used. A head teacher and 4 other teachers have been appointed (total monthly salary bill £310) and the school is open from 7.00am to 5.00pm.

Needless to say there is no shortage of demand for places from the very poor people in the area.

The next major task is to complete the dormitories and make them habitable. The work continues and we shall update this news bulletin regularly.