The second project	SMILE TWO  
We met a lady on the first project who had impressed me with her determination and selfless commitment to help the orphans of Mombasa who are who are affected or infected by AIDS and HIV. She had raised funds to build a home for them which opened in November 2005, and will, in the long term be able to give a future to 60 children.  We were deeply moved by this project again on the outskirts of Mombasa in another direction and felt we could help in some way. After discussion and research it was agreed that a group would raise the money to enhance the lives of all at Tumaini. In October 2006 we launched our second project, SMILE TU LIGHTS, (Let International Guiding Help Tumaini Shine). This would be a bigger and more ambitious project. We selected 23 girls and 10 leaders to travel in October 2008.  
We would release one the of the dormitories which was being used as school room back to sleeping accommodation and the boys and girls would be separated and more children could be accepted.  We decorated the dormitories, dining room, and consulting room. We built a cabinet from raw materials and furnished the consulting room. We redefined a store area into a hospice for the very sick children plumbed in a sink in and tiled the area and completely furnished it. We supported the building of a school by building two classrooms and furnishing them with desks, bookcases and equipment. We actually did some of the bricklaying and plastering which had been included in our pre project training programme. Our local college had designed a two day intensive bricklaying course for us which was amazingly successful both for the college and ourselves.  We landscaped the garden and had built a very large canopy. 
Any manpower needed we employed from the local community. We also purchased a mini bus for the home and Mikoroshoni to make life so much easier. It is to be kept at the home so that it can be used in case of an emergency with any of the children’s health. The group was divided into 3 teams and each rotated between a construction day, a summer school day with the children from the home aged from 2 -8 years and Mikoroshoni School where we did summer school sessions   
We linked with our Guiding friends and in fact opened a guide unit at Mikoroshoni and purchased their uniforms.  We had been touched by the will to improve the lives of the people of Shanzu from both the 2005 and 2008 project by Joshua the Headmaster and Pastor of the church of Zion. 
This man has a gift to give and devotes his life to giving young people the best possible opportunities in life. His Church, a shed which they rented had been taken over by gamblers and drinkers so they had had to leave. Now they had a small covered area only in which to worship.  
We considered the possibility of purchasing a small plot of land and giving them funds to have built a small structure to use as both a Church and community facility. It would need to be managed and developed further by the Church members and must offer the opportunity for the villagers to benefit from it.   
After meeting with Joshua and the Church Elders it seemed viable so we went ahead, and, with Joshua we purchased the land and obtained planning permission for a structure to be built.  This is now serving a very useful purpose and is the meeting place for worship, our Guide unit to meet in, prayer groups and community activity and we officially opened this in October 2008.                       

Stone_10K_-_Charities_files/guides1.

CHARITIES

 

The Stone St. Michael’s 10K is a non-profit race. All proceeds are shared between St. Michael’s CE (VC) First School and Stone Outward Division Girlguiding SMILE project. Since the race was re-introduced in 2005, we have raised in excess of £10,000 for our good causes, last year saw £4,000 distributed between our charities.


Here you can find out in a bit more detail where your entry money goes.

St. Michael’s First School in Stone is a Church Of England school founded in 1832, with 360 children currently on roll.


OUR KENYAN STORY

 

Our other good cause is Stone Outward District Girlguides and their ongoing SMILE project. Project leader, Maureen Recine has sent us some information about the project:

Our Kenyan Story International guiding and service projects are part of the guiding programme  It aims to give girls & young women  the opportunity to have a greater understanding of  world and cultural issues.  

Our Kenyan Story Smile (Supporting Mombasa in a Learning Experience) is the name the girls gave to our first project in 2005 and has become our “trademark” both here in the UK and in Mombasa. International guiding and service projects are part of the guiding programme which aims to give young women the opportunity to have a greater understanding of world and cultural issues. Background Our interest began in 1999 when we first heard of the needs of children in a specific school outside Mombasa. Many of the units started to sponsor children and in return receive information about the child. This simple act forged a link that we built on.  We felt that it would be a wonderful opportunity for the girls in the 14 -18 year age group to have the opportunity to visit Mombasa and work with the people and develop and understanding and appreciation of life in a third world.     

The first project Skills needed to carry out the project were identified and training sessions were undertaken. These sessions were led by professionals from the local community as a donation towards the project. This was the first learning phase for the girls and included joinery, painting and decorating, Aids & HIV, leading summer school sessions, speaking Swahili along with many more. In addition the girls had the raise the funds to cover all expenses to enable to project to take place. They raised a total of £32.000 In advance we paid for the external and internal walls to be plastered so that they we could decorate them. A library was defined from an existing room and 1000 books donated from the UK. We built bookcases and notice boards. We fully equipped the classrooms. Electricity and water were installed. We paid for new school uniforms to be made by a lady in the local village for all 350 children. We led summer school sessions for all the classes in the school daily  In addition we linked with guiding members from Mombasa and spent some time with them sharing all that we have in common. This project was a hugely successful and the village of Shanzu benefited greatly. Mikoroshoni School was transformed.

GIRLGUIDING STONE OUTWARD DIVISION SMILE (Supporting Mombasa in a Learning Experience) 

Our current projectSMILE THREE

The village is called Kididema and it is near to Mtwapa about ½ hour from Mombasa City and lies in farming country. There are approximately 5000 folk living in mud made homes and have nothing, no water or electricity just a school building which the rains are swiftly washing away but they have hearts as big as mountains.  There are very many children, many of which are orphaned and looked after by families in the village. They have built small homes to put them in. There is a school approximately 2 miles away which the older children can go to if they are able to pay a nominal fee, most cannot. The women work small areas of land with children to give them a source of income. They have to walk for approximately 2 hours to get water and have no resources for health care or other income.  The council gave them a small amount of money to build two classrooms in the village and this they have started. The classrooms were built and the footings in for two more which was possible because they have sold two cows so that they can continue with the building. This shows the determination of the people to help themselves. The buildings are the most basic brick structures but a huge benefit to the people. They have no equipment beyond a piece of wood used as a blackboard.  

The Landowner has agreed to sign over the acre of land to the community so that the school can be built to meet the needs and we could develop it further to give them a church / community room and health centre.   These proud people do not want us to come in and take over their lives and order it, they simply want a helping hand to become self sufficient and to give their children a future. Illness is rife because of the lack of water and hygiene and this has accounted for the deaths of parents who had HIV and Aids resulting in the number of orphans. This will continue unless help is given. 

I visited in November and held meetings with the Landowner and his family, Headmaster, Village Chief and the Management Committee. I worked with a solicitor to draw up the papers which will hand over the acre of land to the community from the Landowner. This is in order so we can proceed with our third project at Kididema. 

We had sufficient funds and a donation to put water into the village in November and this has made a huge difference to their lives.  We also completed the buildings which had been started.  

We will have plans drawn up for the whole development which will consist of: Demolishing the existing building which is dangerous Put in toilets Put in drainage to take foul waste A large building which will have: Community hall / church/ school hall Headmaster’s office Staff room Consulting room Healthcare room including a wet room Crèche 8 classrooms Plaster  Paint and decorate the rooms Landscape the area Install play equipment Purchase gardening and farm equipment i.e. spades, forks, wheel barrows etc Equipment for the rooms i.e. medical, educational and play Pay for teacher training Pay for a House Mother to look after the orphans who are resident in the village Install electricity 

This is an ambitious plan and the community would need to sustain it once it was complete. Initial discussions have shown that this is possible.  The bulk of the work would have to be completed before a team of girls could work there. The team could then do all the work once the main structural work is completed. From initial findings it is expected that to complete this project we would need approximately £50,000. 

The new team has been selected and will train and raise funds and travel out in October 2012. The training programme began in January 2011 and will cover many subjects including Health, religion, social issues Swahili speaking AIDS & HIV Joinery Building & plastering Goat rearing Painting Plumbing First Aid Health & safety   Manual handling Team building Summer school programmes  We are very aware that none of this could happen if we did not have such a lot of support from the local community and the new team of girls and leaders will be prepared to work hard to make this become reality, it is all achievable.                          

Our Guiding Links in Mombasa Coast Region  Girlguiding Stone Outward Division has forged a very significant link with Guiding in Mombasa.  On the first visit we made contact with the Guide HQ at Shanzu and visited many units and shared our common love of guiding. The Guide HQ at Shanzu has a workshop where disabled young women can go each day to learn how to earn an income from making lovely quality gifts from material. There is also a camp site and girls who can, go there to camp although they do not have a lot of equipment to use.  There was such enthusiasm and friendship shown for guiding that we took the opportunity to open a Guide unit with help and support from Christine the region trainer and local commissioners. A volunteer leader was recruited and trained at the Guide Headquarters and in October 2008 we had the privilege of enrolling her and 15 girls at a special ceremony in the Church of Zion which we had funded and built for use by the church and community.  We purchased uniforms for the girls and also 4 tents so that they could camp. To say the girls were excited was an understatement. These girls come from very poor backgrounds they live in mud homes with no luxuries at all. They do not have running water or electricity in their homes and very few clothes. To have a guide uniform was a really big deal. Guiding has become very important to them; they meet twice a week for an hour. There is no electricity or water in the church so they could not meet for longer as it goes dark at 6pm.  The girls from Tumaiani visited a campfire that we held at the Shanzu site and it was a wonderful experience for them to meet other children and this helped to integrate them into the wider community. We therefore, with Christine’s help opened a Brownie Unit for them on 2nd September 2009 “Tumaiani Brownies”. We purchased their uniforms and they meet twice weekly in the newly opened school with Jill as their leader. An enrolment ceremony was held at a conservation park whilst I was there in November 2009. As there are now two older girls at Tumaiani it was necessary to start a Guide unit for them. This we have done and there are now girls from the local area in Bamburi attending with them and they have a wonderful time and have been to camp for Thinking Day this year. The boys from Tumaiani were feeling very left out and we felt that we should try and provide scouting for them. This has been established and we have opened a Cub Scout unit for the boys and have paid for their uniforms which they are very proud of. The leader for the group is Omar and he is very enthusiastic. Our local cub unit in Aston is linking with the unit and this is a great for them to have this link with scouting in the UK.  Girlguiding Staffordshire’s International Camp “Unity” was held in July / August 2010 and they invited a group from the unit to come to. When I visited in November 2009 I discussed this with Joshua the Pastor and Headmaster whom the community trust and had made Guiding possible for them and also Christine. They felt that if the parent’s agreed they would try and make it happen. I invited the mothers of the 5 oldest girls to meet me after church and I put this to them. They were shocked, worried and excited. Nothing has ever happed to anyone in the village like this and there was an element of disbelieve. They gave permission, and 5 Guides, with Christine and Joshua travelled to the UK. Without Joshua accompanying them they would not be able to leave the village. They did not have birth certificates which were needed to obtain a passport so this was step one. We then had to get passports and a visa for them, again not easy but Guide HQ in Nairobi agreed to help and we did, after a lot of problems get them. They had never seen an airport or aeroplane and had not been to the city of Mombasa which is only half an hour from Shanzu so it was a real shock for them. They did not have clothes or anything to bring with them.  

The five villages in Girlguiding Stone Outward each agreed to look after a guide and have a suitcase ready for them when they got off the aeroplane with everything they needed to go to camp and to stay for a week in the homes of girls that they met in Kenya. Maddie Bennett who is a young leader in the Division and took part in 2008 project was so attached and emotionally involved in the work we did that she went back for a month in both 2009 &2010 on her own and stayed with a friend of ours. She ran guide meetings and also took the guides to camp for the day and taught them basic camp skills. Both she and they had the most wonderful time. What this meant to the group of seven is not possible to put into words and to say that it was an opportunity of a lifetime does not come close. I know that you can not imagine what there life is like in Shanzu but they are very happy and never ask for anything. The opportunity made a huge change in their lives and helped them to further guiding in Kenya on their return.   Conclusion  All of this represents a huge commitment in terms of time and energy but to see the way in which the people of Mombasa respond to help offered makes it worth every ounce.  Giving our young people this opportunity to help others in such a way and for them to gain so much for themselves is something I am very proud of.  The guiding part of our work is very significant and has opened up many opportunities for members from both countries. They develop skills that they did not realise they had and it has influenced the futures of the girls. Three have gone on to do voluntary work overseas in a gap year and all parents are immensely proud of what their daughters have achieved, as I am. You cannot put a price on this!

Maureen Recine

9th January 2011


Copyright © James Barlow 2017 | All rights reserved

HOME  -  INFO  -  HISTORY  -  ENTER  -  RESULTS  -  CHARITIES  -  SPONSORS  -  LINKS  -  CONTACT


As a school we strive to develop our children as life- long learners and instil in them a passion for learning. We are very fortunate to have extensive school grounds which include a large playing field, woodland nature area and outdoor classroom all of which help enhance our childrens’ learning.


Money raised from the 10K over the years has been a great benefit to the school. Recent projects include a vegetable garden, where food is grown and even used in school meals. A large investment in new computers has also been helped greatly by proceeds form the Stone 10K


Our PTA helps to raise money to spend on improving equipment and resources to enhance our childrens’ education and the facilities in the school.


Currently, we are working towards raising funds to further develop our outside areas to make our outside learning experiences even more exciting. The School Council have asked for more playground equipment and there are plans to develop different areas that this can be used in, as well as putting a new trim trail in place for all of the children to access. We are also looking at renovating our pond area so the children can enjoy even more outdoor learning.


We have excitedly launched our first ever Summer Online Auction, sponsored by Little Kickers. We have some amazing prizes such as a Mind-Less course from Su Guest at Heart Space, Foodies Llandudno vouchers, Dimensions Leisure Centre tickets, Balance and Beam summer holiday camps, Chocolat@22 voucher, Touchstone Wines Bastile Eve celebratory tasting of French wines, Meerkat Experience at Hoo Farm, Star Parties voucher to name but a few.


The auction is open to all, so please feel free to share the link with family and friends:

http://www.jumblebee.co.uk/stmichaelsschoolsummerauction


The auction will run until 9pm on Sunday 18th June. The auction is online only, so you can take part from anywhere by smartphone, tablet or computer. Please follow the link and bid on as many or as few items as you fancy.  You can then collect your winning items at the Summer Fayre and Stone St Michael’s 10K Road Race on Sunday 25th June between 10am and midday or in St Michael’s CE (VC) First School office following the event. If there is nothing you are interested in bidding on, you can still support all of our children by clicking on donate and giving a one-off donation.