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Kenya school supported by Albany community bouncing back after the affects of the COVID pandemic

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Kasey GrattonAlbany Advertiser
The Schield Centre Kindergarten and Primary School
Camera IconThe Schield Centre Kindergarten and Primary School Credit: Trina Mboya

A charitable school in Kenya supported by the generosity of Albany residents is bouncing back after the affects of the COVID pandemic.

The Schield Centre Kindergarten and Primary School, situated near the town of Isinya, about 50km south of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, supports underprivileged children.

The school was started by the late Patricia Schield who sadly died before it was fully.

Trina, Joseph, Elrad and Aldino Mboya.
Camera IconTrina, Joseph, Elrad and Aldino Mboya. Credit: Trina Mboya

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The school was left in trusteeship to Joseph Mboya who, along with his wife Trina and her Narrikup-based parents Don and Lorraine Pink, has built it into a thriving hub educating more than 160 students.

Ms Mboya said the communities of Albany and Carnarvon had been “hugely supportive” of the school.

“My parents have been instrumental in connecting with the community through selling calendars, Rotary presentations and selling apples to benefit the school,” she said.

The Schield Centre Kindergarten and Primary School
Camera IconThe Schield Centre Kindergarten and Primary School Credit: Trina Mboya

“Through your contributions, essentially six primary and three pre-primary classrooms, two latrines and a boy’s dorm have been constructed.

“We have been blessed with two school vans purchased and now a school bus — which has helped us immensely as transport was a huge issue.

Several Albany schools have also gifted old computers and tablets to the school.”

The Schield Centre Kindergarten and Primary School
Camera IconThe Schield Centre Kindergarten and Primary School Credit: Trina Mboya

The school has this year celebrated the successful implementation of an ongoing Saturday program, which followed on from community classes that started in mid-2020 when schools were closed during the height of the pandemic.

The program now allows an average of about 50 students from the school and wider community additional education including extracurricular activities such as first aid skills, Kenyan sign language, music and acrobatics.

“Part of our aim is to help children discover their talents early so that they can be developed and nurtured,” Ms Mboya said.

The Schield Centre Kindergarten and Primary School
Camera IconThe Schield Centre Kindergarten and Primary School Credit: Trina Mboya

“We are finding that there is a run-off effect for those who come regularly, there is a correlation between Sat Club participation and an improvement in their grades.”

The program was a positive outcome of the pandemic for the school, which was hit with a closure from March 2020 to January 2021, impacting on the student’s education and meaning extra terms were added to the school year to make up for the time lost.

Ms Mboya said the school and its student’s families had also been further affected by the impact of drought and financial downturn.

If you are interested in supporting the school or sponsoring a student, contact trinamboya@gmail.com or lorrainepink@yahoo.com.au.

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