Anthony (2015)

Since the school's opening in 2011 some children have completed their primary education. Anthony Karimi has attended the school since the outset and this is his story.

Among the small holdings and agricultural land around the area between Naivasha and South Kinangop there are many private schools, the majority of them run by churches, charities or American benefactors. However since 2002 the Kenyan government claims to provide education for all. In these state primary schools it is common to find over a hundred children in a class. Many families need help with the cost of uniforms and equipment, and if their children are to benefit from these schools they will also need help with a variety of social and health issues. Anthony, born on the 6th September 1999 initially went to such a state school but when the Sacred Heart School opened his grandmother was quick to ask if he could be admitted.

 He was a tall, lively, slim-built boy, alert to all around him. He seemed astute and able to look after himself. Initially he was placed in Standard 5, was happy at school and loved to play football and volleyball. However he did seem easily distracted and sometimes disturbed by memories of his previous environment. At his home there was poverty and considerable sickness and loss. Anthony’s mother, father and several uncles had all died of AIDS and there were others in the family who were HIV positive. Consequently Anthony, his three brothers and a sister all lived with their grandmother, who struggled to support them.

At school Anthony (always taller than many of the pupils and immediately noticeable) became quite a leader amongst the children and his academic achievements increased. In his final year, he became Head Boy and passed the National Examination and Scholarship to attend a Secondary School. Not only has this been a life-changing experience for him personally, he now has the potential to help the rest of his family in the future.

 

Sheila Dowling