David & Kahdija get their Kenyan Certificate of Education Examination scores!
Results from last year’s Kenya Certificate of Education Examinations were released in February. David scored an impressive mean grade of A-, while Khadija earned a solid C grade. Congrats to both of these kids!
David will almost certainly be admitted to one of the public universities. He was understandably upbeat when he shared shareed his results with other MCC children and staff. David had this to say: “I’m a little disappointed that I did not score straight A’s but still thrilled that I have secured a good chance to go to University. I’m hopeful I will be admitted to medical school. I have come a long way back and although I had a needy past and continue to rely on support from MCC and others, I have faith that the future need not be as bad as my past. MCC and Starehe have been my backbone and will continue to be so because that is where my colleagues and friends are.”
Khadija’s solid score means that there is a chances that she will be admitted to a middle-level college in the near future. That both students have do so well is very significant, considering the obstacles they’ve had to face. Says MCC Director Ngugi, “We look forward to working with the children as they enter adulthood and venture into universities and colleges and an improved quality of life from their achievements in the future.”
In other educational news, four more MCC kids have qualified for secondary school (Mulei, Kitheka, Mutinda & Nicholas), and two children were placed in vocational training. Mutisya joined Mumbuni Engineering School for a one-year course in Motor Vehicle Mechanics, while Mutunga will be attending Mumbuni Engineering & Driving Academy, where he will begin a course in Motor Vehicle Electrician (MVE).
In February, 87 MCC children were weighed-in, with only 17 children having lost weight. This is significant, considering the local drought. MCC continues with regular monitoring and nutrition support, with supplementary food supplies being proved to the children with chronic health concerns.
24 children were dewormed during the February in a scheduled follow-up to the deworming program three months ago. As a result, there has been a significant decrease in the number of children with recurrent ringworm complaints. This program is part of on-going collaboration with the Government Hospital.
During February, 16 children were given additional medicial treatment, with major complaints including headaches, coughs, wounds, eye and ear infections, and malaria-related fevers. One child was admitted at the local government hospital suffering from chronic wounds associated with diabetes, which was only recently diagnosed. It is anticipated his condition will improve now that his medical condition has been recognized and treatment provided.
MCC Supporters Tim O’Shea and Madeline Verhorset-Tims visited MCC for two days. They spent time with the children and staff. They also visited a guardian’s home to get the general overview of the home situation including various challenges that face the families on a day to day basis.
As reported in January, the season’s crop of cereals and pulses have failed due to lack of rains. The average annual rainfall last year was 200mm under in an area that receives an average of about 500mm, (with 500mm being pretty sparse rain for viable crop production.) The entire Makindu district is suffering from this drought, and it means continued food stress for families and communities in affected areas until after April.
Despite the drought, MCC’s shamba (farm) continues to do well. MCC staff manages sporadic irrigation, which has enabled the growth of vegetables and fruit seedlings. The fruit trees planted a few months back have survived so far, and additional plantain seedlings have now taken hold. Vegetables (particularly the indigenous types like cow peas) have been planted and will be ready for harvest soon. A variety of seedlings wait in the nursery, and will be planted to coincide with the long rains expected during March and April.
The guardians’ support group has secured a new official recognition. They continue to raise money and are expected to open a bank account by the mid-March. The group has plans to start a micro-loan program to its members later this year.
The Wendo Weavers co-op has has started sourcing external markets to sell their baskets. With a little support from MCC, the group traveled to Kariakor market in Nairobi in order to compare on products and pricing, as well as make new business contacts.
MCC’s bee keeping enterprise has been doing poorly in recent months, with no honey having been harvested as of yet this year. The hives have suffered from vermin activity and weather fatique, as well as from the drought’s negative impact on flowering plants in the area. In view of this, MCC staff have overhauled and cleaned the hives out. With the hives secure, fallow for a short time, and with increasing weekly monitoring of the project, we hope for improved yields in the months to come.