Patmos School children resume lessons in the new Patmos School building
On the 4th January, 2021 Patmos School children were delighted to be able to resume their lessons in the brand new Patmos School building which was completed in the autumn of 2020.
The journey over the last 14 years for the Founder and first Headmaster of Patmos School, Richard Wanjala Manya, his dedicated staff and the whole Patmos School fraternity has been truly remarkable. From the early days when the school was literally operating from a small rented corrugated shack in Mathare, to the present day where the children now have a new purpose built school with trained teaching staff, is nothing short of inspirational.
It is a story of dedication, faith, belief and hope in a better future for the children in Mathare. This combined with a sincere desire by Richard, Orphan Outreach/Yatima Outreach and our kind supporters to ensure that all children are given the opportunity through a good education to reach their full potential. School sponsors have also played a massive role in ensuring that some of the most vulnerable children in Mathare are able to attend school and receive an education and daily meals.
Each Grade at Patmos School now has their own classroom which is light and airy and well ventilated with multiple windows. The older children each have their own desks and chairs whilst the younger children have benches and tables.
Already Richard has reported the difference the new, healthier school environment is having on the children. In the old school building the floors were dusty and difficult to keep clean which often resulted in children suffering with respiratory ailments. Whereas the new school has well constructed floors which are washed twice daily so as to ensure the school is kept as clean and dust free as possible.
In the old school building the children's play area was in the school compound and consisted of a dusty piece of land comprising mud and stones. In the new school a recreation area has been built on the top floor with a floor covering of astro turf. This area will be used for the children to play safely in at break times and will also be used for sports and after school clubs. The younger pre-school children will also be able to utilise this area at certain times of the day when they might need a short nap. The school now has mattresses and blankets for this purpose.
Orphan Outreach has been working with Patmos School since 2012 raising much needed funds for the school operational budget, for school stationery and equipment and supporting the School Feeding Program. Their dedicated supporters have also raised funds for the purchase of land over recent years and for the building of the school bore hole. In 2019/2020 with funds donated by an Orphan Outreach Board member, the new Patmos School building was constructed. Orphan Outreach supporters have also raised funds for the solar panels for the school roof and more recently for 30 computers for the school amongst many other things.
In January at the start of the new school year, all pupils were tested in all subjects to gauge their understanding of those subjects after such a forced long break from their school studies due to Covid 19. The marks from the tests were recorded and sent to the Ministry of Education for record purposes. Staff from Daystar University in Nairobi also visited the school in January and in conjunction with the teaching staff, carried out educational assessments.
In February the school organised for an e learning tool to be installed in the computers to enable pupils and teachers to access the information on-line. It will also help the teachers to test the understanding of the pupils by administering self-test questions through the on-line platform.
The Patmos School Board organises regular Parents/Teacher meetings to involve parents/guardians in their children's education.
The new Patmos School building comprises three floors. On the ground floor are the school offices and washrooms as well as a large kitchen and store room. The Pre-school classroom and Grades 1 and 2 classrooms are also on the ground floor.
On the first floor are the classrooms for the Grades 3 - 7 classes. There is also a computer room/library and a large dining hall.
On the second floor is the Grade 8 classroom, another office and a large recreation area. There are toilets/washrooms on all three floors.
There are currently 196 pupils enrolled at Patmos School. As well as the new Head Teacher there is a total of 11 other teachers at the school. Richard as the original Founder and Head of Patmos School has recently taken on the new role of Patmos School Administrator. There are also 2 cooks, 2 janitors, 1 caretaker, 2 security guards as well as a school social worker and 4 interns.
All children at Patmos School receive a breakfast of porridge and a daily meal under the School Feeding Program. Were it not for the meals provided at the school, many of the children would go hungry.
During the period of school lockdown as a result of Covid 19, Patmos School together with Yatima Outreach continued to provide much needed support to the children through the school Distance Learning Program. Read more
Whilst the school was forced to close for long periods in 2020, Richard and his staff, with funding from Yatima Outreach and kind donations by other supporters, ensured help was forthcoming to the families of the children by providing regular supplies of maize and flour as well as sanitisers and soap. Richard also ensured that the families had regular access to clean water from the school borehole. Read more
To read about the new Patmos School construction project from start to finish and see some wonderful photos, please click here:
To read about the Dedication Ceremony to the new school building which took place in January 2020 click here
To read about the history of the land acquisition at Patmos School click here
Please click on the below link to see some great photos and videos of the new school building which were taken by international photographer Ronnie Mosley who visited Patmos School in October 2020: