Malezi Centre Expanded
On January 27th, Teacher Grace, founder of Malezi Centre, officially inaugurated the school's four new classrooms with help from Chairman Kilonso Abraham, student Mercy Nafuna, and Area Chief Joshua Karanja.
The growth of Malezi's student population since its relaunch in 2014 has been exponential, with it nearly quadrupling from 60 to 215 students in a span of four years. With this surge in enrolment, came the problem of the school becoming uncomfortably squeezed, which even necessitated partitioning certain classrooms to accommodate two different grade levels in one space. Out of the many challenges the school faced, this became the most urgent to solve.
After a budget and launch plan to expand the school via the construction of a new annex to house four classrooms was put in place, I started fundraising late in September, 2017 to help make the project a reality. With thanks to many acts of generosity, all the needed funds were found and the final touches were made to the new rooms shortly before Christmas. The goal all along was to open the annex the first week of January of this year to surprise the students who would be returning to school then, after an extended holiday break. And surprised they were. :)
In addition to solving the overcrowding issue, the additional space has enabled Malezi to offer each grade of Primary School where, before, the school was short by a couple of grades, leaving students in something of a lurch. This means students who successfully complete Class 8, the last grade of Primary School, can now apply to take the KCPE (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education) exam and potentially proceed to Secondary School. It was just five years ago that all of Malezi's students, across varying grade levels, were crammed into a single room with no windows, making this expansion another major milestone in the school's evolution.
Besides these tangible benefits, there are softer, less tangible ones as well. Parents and community members have witnessed, firsthand, the growth of the school over the years. With Malezi established now as a proper Primary School now, its standing and credibility has increased in kind, which will help to enrol new students, encourage the existing ones, and help spread the mission of the school further into the community.
From fundraising, to land purchase, to construction, to launch—the entire process unfolded elegantly and harmoniously. Here are some selected photos from the journey.