ABOUT THE SCHOOL AND STUDENTS
St. La Salle School in Karemeno, Kenya, is owned by the De La Salle Christian Brothers in Kenya, and it welcomed its first class in January 2016. St. La Salle School is a co-ed secondary boarding school that currently serves 150 students (125 boys and 25 girls) in grades nine through 11. The school will add grade 12 next year. St. La Salle School has 10 teachers and nine support staff members. Students come from the local community and the suburbs of Nyeri. The majority of students are from very poor families and depend on help from the school. They cannot afford the school fees of $US900 per year. While at home, some students do not have an adequate supply of food. The school is in the process of finishing the girls dorm, which will house 100 young women and allow the school to serve more girls. Constructing a new boys dorm will follow that project. St. La Salle has a hydroponic farm for food for its animals, and it harvests tilapia, which is used for meals for students and sold to raise money for scholarships. The school also grows a variety of vegetables and raises pigs for food.
St. La Salle School is located in the rural Karemeno village in Nyeri County, which is in the central region of Kenya. It is seven kilometers (approximately four miles) from the highway and 50 kilometers (approximately 31 miles) from Nyeri, the main town in the area. Karemeno is located in a semi-arid area and falls within the leeward side of both Mt. Kenya and Ambadare Ranges. As a result, it receives very little rain. It is very hot during the day and very cold at night. Community members farm to feed themselves and their families, not for profit or trade due to the lack of rain and frost at night. The roads are all-weather roads and are poorly networked. They are impassable when it rains and very dusty when it is dry.
LIFE AT ST. LA SALLE SCHOOL
St. La Salle School’s academic year is controlled by the government. It starts in January and ends in November. The year consists of three terms. Term one starts in January and ends at the end of March, followed by a break of three weeks. The second term begins in late April or early May and ends in July for another three- week break. The third term runs through September and November, followed by a long break in November and December. St. La Salle School is being well received by the community. During each term, students visit one very financially poor family, with a focus on the elderly. Since the students do not have money, they offer their time to clean the home and collect firewood for the family as well as share the Gospel.
5:00 a.m. – Wake up, study 6:30 a.m. – Breakfast
7:00 a.m. – Clean classrooms, feed animals, etc.
8:00 a.m. – Classes begin 1:00 p.m. – Lunch (half hour) 4:00 p.m. – Classes end
4:00 p.m. – Clean classrooms, feed animals, etc.
5:00 p.m. – Extra-curricular activities
7:00 p.m. – Dinner, studies9:00 p.m. –Bedtime
CHALLENGES AND NEEDS
Being relatively new, the school faces a lot of challenges and has a number of needs. It does not have enough classrooms, dorm space, textbooks or chairs and desks. Not having enough resources to support financially poor students is the biggest challenge. The school also lacks a means of transportation to take students to different events. It needs to build a septic tank in order to manage sewage overflow. The school would also like to create a website.
FROM BROTHER STEPHEN
Dear Friends, thank you so much for accepting to be twinned with our school. You are the first international friends that we have. As a young school and as your younger brothers and sisters just starting to crawl, we hope you will hold us by the hand and walk us along with you. We hope to establish a good friendship that will be beneficial to both of us. God bless you abundantly.
RELAN TWINNED SCHOOLS
- Benilde-St. Margaret’s School – St. Louis Park, Minnesota
Sue Skinner firstname.lastname@example.org
Becca Meagher email@example.com
- Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School – Oakland, California
Sheila Garcia firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Trinidad email@example.com
- West Catholic Preparatory High School – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Michael Field firstname.lastname@example.org