From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
[CWS] Kenyan Government and CWS Launch School Safe Zones
Worldwide Faith News <email@example.com>
Tue, 15 Mar 2005 13:46:07 -0800
Kenya School Safe Zones Launch: Global NGO, Kenyan Government to Distribute
First Grants March 17, Nairobi
In the U.S.:
Jan Dragin/New York/Boston 24/7: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone: +781 925-1526
Ann Walle/CWS/New York: email@example.com; phone: +212
Christine Nguku: Christinenguku@yahoo.com or firstname.lastname@example.org; cell
phone: + 254-723-961278
Charles Mokaya: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org; cell phone
Jane Machira/Church World Service, email@example.com , cell phone
KENYAN GOVERNMENT, CHURCH WORLD SERVICE LAUNCHING SCHOOL SAFE ZONES PROGRAM
WITH SEED GRANTS TO 10 PILOT SCHOOLS
NGO Will Spearhead U.S.-Kenya Fundraising Campaign for Safe Schools Across
Kenyan Education Ministry¹s Mugo to Distribute Checks in Wednesday Nairobi
***Kenya, U.S. and International Editors, Correspondents, and
Radio/Television Producers: Media visits to pilot program school sites and
interviews with School Safe Zone planners available on request.***
NAIROBI/NEW YORK CITY Mon March 14 The distribution this Thursday (March
17) of more than Kshs. 1.1 Million (US$14,700) in initial seed grants to ten
public primary schools in Kenya will mark the implementation phase of a
School Safe Zones initiative intended to eventually embrace all public
schools across the nation.
Widely heralded free primary education in Kenya, introduced two years ago,
is now facing its own set of challenges, including classroom congestion,
lack of learning materials and desks, low teacher motivation, insecurity and
But the government of Kenya, the global humanitarian agency Church World
Service and a national task force of Kenyan educators, parents, religious
leaders and other public and private sector stakeholders have been working
together for nearly two years to create sustainable solutions for those
During a ceremony Thursday, 11:00 AM, at Kawangware Primary School, Nairobi,
Kenyan Assistant Minister for Education Hon. Beth Mugo, will distribute the
startup checks totaling Kshs. 1.1 Million (US$14,700) to the ten designated
pilot primary schools.
The initial funds will provide what have been determined as immediate
priority needs, such as fencing and perimeter walls to provide safety and
classroom rehabilitation including desks and teaching aids, sanitation
facilities and water storage.
School Safe Zones¹ pilot school beneficiaries include Kawangware, Mutuini
and Wangu Primary Schools in Nairobi; AIC Girls Rescue Center, Paranae;
Moipei and KMQ (Kenya Mines Quarry) Primary Schools in Kajiado District; and
Mjini, Kiangage and Gikandu Primary Schools in Muranga District.
While visiting five of the pilot schools in January, U.S. composer Tim Janis
was inspired to record parts of his new "Children of the World" CD/DVD in
Nairobi. He joins churches and foundations in the U.S. who have already
committed $67,000 to help Africa help its children: Before returning to the
U.S., Janis sent a personal contribution to Church World Service in support
of the School Safe Zones campaign and agreed to perform at several benefit
The vision of Church World Service Executive Director Rev. John L.
McCullough, and in consultation with CWS partners in Africa, School Safe
Zones is part of the non-governmental agency¹s (NGO) multi-year Africa
Initiative. McCullough, who lived and worked in Kenya earlier in his career,
has presented his safe schools vision to other leading NGOs and, in spring
2003, to UN-Habitat.
"The CWS School Safe Zones program is a community model," says McCullough.
"The work plan for each school was developed and certified in consultation
with parents, community, the national task force, and ministry of education
For the first level of implementation in the designated pilot schools,
stakeholders say the focus will be on such primary needs as:
o fencing and perimeter walls to provide safety
o classroom rehabilitation, including desks and teaching aids
o sanitation facilities and water storage
o advocacy for girls to attend school
All Kenyan schools to have School Safe Zone status by 2015¹
"By the end of 2015, we want all schools in Kenya to have attained School
Safe Zone status," says lay African President of the World Council of
Churches Dr. Agnes Abuom and Chair of the School Safe Zones National Task
CWS Nairobi staff and local School Safe Zones coordinator Jane Machira says,
"In addition to developing better school facilities, materials and faculty
supports, we are very much focused on establishing sustainable security
measures so that boys and girls can come and go to school every day,
knowing that their safety is secured both inside the school and traveling to
and from school, knowing they can find a school lunch, clean water, and
proper and safe bathroom facilities.
"Within some Kenyan private and boarding schools, student safety is already
being addressed," Machira explained. "In one Maasai boarding school, the
teachers are going out to girls in the community and saying, ?If you want to
avoid genital mutilation or being forced into an early marriage, come to our
school to be harbored.¹
"In fact," Machira said, "One father brought his own daughter to this school
himself to ask for her protection.
"The local government is supporting this school¹s offer of safe harbor," she
said. "We intend to bring this kind of security to all children in Kenya."
Church World Service Chief Development Officer Peter Crouch says CWS is
launching a fundraising campaign in partnership with the Kenyan School Safe
Zone National Task Force that is designed to attract contributions in the
U.S. from the general public, from CWS member communions, congregations and
from private foundations. The campaign will also seek support from Kenyan
corporations and U.S. multinationals doing business in Kenya who meet
designated criteria as socially responsible world citizens.
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