EU donates dormitory to Mazeras Memorial Girls


EU donates dormitory to Mazeras Memorial Girls

The European Union (EU) will grant Mazeras Memorial Girls Secondary School in Kwale County a Ksh 5.9 million dormitory.

The facility is part of a project, which started in 2013, funded by the EU through the Community Development Trust Fund (CDTF) at a cost of Ksh 5,372,700.

The Bombolulu community contributed Ksh 599,189 in form of labour and construction materials bringing the total project cost to more than Ksh 5.9M.

The new 80-bed capacity dormitory will increase the schools capacity to accommodate more girl students in a safe environment as they pursue their education.

The school, which was formerly known as Bombolulu Girls Secondary School was renamed Mazeras Memorial Girls Secondary School when it re-opened in 1999 following a fire tragedy that claimed the lives of 26 girls.

According to the school’s Principal Lillian Mwalekwa, the institution currently accommodates 250 girls out of the total 600 students, while the others are accommodated at boarding facilities in the neighboring shopping centre.

“Accommodating girl students outside the school compound presents numerous challenges such as high drop-out rates and early pregnancies, not to mention the risk the girls face of contracting HIV/AIDS,” Mrs. Mwalekwa intimated.

“The institution prioritized the need to increase the school’s boarding facilities in order to accommodate the 250 day students and applied for financial assistance from European Union through the Community Development Trust Fund to construct a dormitory,” Mrs Mwalekwa added.

Speaking during the handover of the facility, European Union Head of Social Affairs and Environment Section in Kenya Hjördis D’Agostino Ogendo, stressed the need to ensure that the girl-child can access secondary school education, reduce the number of dropouts and early marriages.

“Increased access to secondary education, retention and improved school performance can lead to higher transition rates from secondary to university education for the girl child,” said Dr Ogendo.

“This would be yet another step in empowering women and girls to make significant contributions towards national efforts to reduce gender inequalities.”

The boarding facility was equipped with beds, mattresses, double component lockers and curtains.

The project also included the purchase of and installation of water harvesting tank, setting up of kitchen garden drip irrigation system on a one acre farm to serve the school and surrounding community and provision of a solid waste management system.

Mazeras Girls Memorial Secondary School is the only girls’ boarding secondary school in Kinango District, Kwale County.

The county, which is semi-arid often, experiences several challenges, which include food deficiency, unemployment and high poverty levels making funding education a challenge for many families.

Due to these challenges, the communities in the county are left dependent on food aid and handouts to supplement subsistence farming in the area.

 

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Story By Elainer Mogoa
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