Excitement ahead of school handover

Excitement is building ahead of the official handover ceremony of latest Mellon Educate school building in Kenya.

Representatives from Mellon Educate and officials from local government and the department of education in Nairobi are expected to attend the ceremony on April 11th, when the new three-storey school building at the Ruben Centre will be handed over.

The Ruben Centre is an oasis of opportunity in the heart of one of the most deprived slums in Kenya. The Mukuru slum – situated in the industrial district of Nairobi – is home to some 600,000 people living in some of the poorest living conditions in Kenya. Open sewers, lack of running water and desperate poverty make life very difficult.

[three_fifth padding=”0 20px 0 0″]The school is a safe haven for its nearly 2,000 pupils, a place where they receive many of the basic things we take for granted – such as education and a secure place to play. It also provides meals for its children, some of whom are orphans and many of whom don’t get enough to eat at home.

Speaking about the impact the 24 new classrooms in the new building will have, deputy head teacher Gedeon Dallu said: “Our largest class has 85 students. The teacher has a challenge in concentrating on every child to ensure no-one lags behind. The new classrooms will ease the burden of overflowing class rooms and allow for further intake of students – ensuring many more children receive basic primary education. It will also allow the Centre to recruit more teachers to improve the teacher student ratio.”

The Ruben centre consists of a primary school, medical clinic, community development and vocational training facilities. The Christian Brothers from Australia administer the centre, and the indefatigable Br Frank O’Shea – director of the centre – is keen to provide secondary education facilities at the centre in the near future.

In November 2013, Mellon Educate completed and handed over a new medical centre building at the Ruben Centre. It provides healthcare for 60,000 people a year in the form of general medical consultations and treatment, antenatal care, testing and treatment programs for TB and HIV, and preventative health education programmes. Some vocational training is also provided.

The handover of the medical centre came on the same day as the official handover of the first Mellon Educate school project, at St Catherine’s school, also in the Mukuru.

Niall Mellon said: “The Ruben Centre is truly an inspiring place and everyone at the Niall Mellon Township Trust is extremely proud of our involvement there. This new school building will bring hope and opportunity to thousands of the most deprived children in Kenya. It is only through the efforts of our incredible volunteers that we have been able to do this – to provide help and opportunities for those who have such great need.”



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Pupils find a quiet spot in the yard

Pupils at school in the Ruben Centre

Children in one of the old classrooms

Walk too school

A pupil walks to school in the Mukuru slum