Senior Kenyan government members including the Governor of Nairobi Evans Kidero and the Executive Member in charge of Education Christopher S Khaemba attended an official opening yesterday of two schools built by Mellon Educate Organisation for a total of 3,500 pupils in The Mukuru informal housing district in the capital city of Nairobi.
Today Niall Mellon’s new education-led charity announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to roll out schools in the capital city of Nairobi.
The Kenyan government has committed to pay for the next 3 schools in the Mellon Educate Building programme which will cost approximately 150,000,000 Kenyan Shillings (circa €1,500,000) and Mellon Educate will provide its full management team, including Niall Mellon at no cost to the Kenyan Government.
Mr Khaemba praised the quality of the new modern three-storey school buildings at the Ruben Centre built over the past twelve months, saying that they should be replicated as the type of school that the Kenyan Government wants to construct in the coming years.
Niall Mellon, Chairman of Mellon Educate, said “he was absolutely delighted our new educational initiative in Kenya has been so warmly received, so quickly, by the Kenyan Government. To have received this substantial financial backing from the Kenya Government is a really positive step in our mission to provide educational improvements for 100,000 of Africa’s poorest children.”
Niall Mellon’s previous initiative of building houses in South Africa resulted in 25,000 homes being constructed by the Mellon charity for over 125,000 of South Africa’s people living in informal settlements.
The Mukuru informal housing district – situated in the industrial district of Nairobi – is home to some 600,000 people living in some of the poorest living conditions in Kenya. Speaking about the impact that the 24 new classrooms will have, deputy head teacher Gedeon Dallu said: “Our largest class has 85 students. The teacher has a challenge in concentrating on every child to ensure no-one lags behind. The new classrooms will ease the burden of overflowing class rooms and allow for further intake of students – ensuring many more children receive basic primary education. It will also allow the Centre to recruit more teachers to improve the teacher student ratio.”
The Ruben centre consists of a primary school, medical clinic, community development and vocational training facilities. The Christian Brothers from Australia administer the centre, and the indefatigable Br Frank O’Shea – director of the centre – is keen to provide secondary education facilities at the centre in the near future.
In November 2013, Mellon Educate completed and handed over a new medical centre building at the Ruben Centre. It provides healthcare for 60,000 people a year in the form of general medical consultations and treatment, antenatal care, testing and treatment programs for TB and HIV, and preventative health education programmes. Some vocational training is also provided.
Niall said “Over the past twelve years our charity has earned a great reputation for our ability to get things done quickly, with an emphasis on quality and I am over the moon that the Kenyan Government have whole heartedly embraced our charity now and asked us to play a central role with them in Nairobi to provide education opportunities for the poorest of the poor informal housing district dwellers”.