PRESCHOOLS IN TURKANA, KENIA
Thanks to the 12 preschools locally managed by the Social Missionary Sisters of
the Church (SMSC), during 2020, 2,300 children (52% girls / 48% boys) received meals
twice a day from Monday to Saturday, thereby reducing the rate of malnutrition considerably.
Since 2007, the Pablo Horstmann Foundation has supported the missionary sisters with the aim of bringing children, who were previously engaged only in household chores or shepherding activities,
to learning English and Swahili to have access to elementary school. Also for this purpose, the granting of two meals a day has been crucial.
The school enrollement rate has consecuently increased from 17% a decade and a half ago, up to 65%.
Children who attend the preschools also receive basic health care, deworming, nutritional monitoring, multivitamins and basic principles of hygiene education.
Every summer, a group of Spanish volunteer teachers organizes a course for local teachers, in which they propose attractive didactic methods of teaching English and mathematics. Thereby they emphasize the importance of teacher's work for the development of children and their communities.
The closure of these schools in March 2020 by the Kenyan government due to the pandemic, led to a notable increase in child malnutrition (39%). However, the SMSC obtained permission to open schools one hour a day to distribute food and multivitamins to all children attending. In three months, the malnutrition rate fell down to 15%, and to 9.6% in December 2020.