Schools in Kenya have been closed since March. According to the Ministry’s latest announcement they are to remain closed until December. However, the students of Mekaela Academies will continue to receive education. In the beginning it was just homework which was distributed by email or as photocopies. Soon, there will be the new “Mekaela Online Academy” (MOA) on the Internet, where every level has its digital classroom. For sponsored children the Academy is free of charge of course, but they will need a smartphone or better yet a tablet. With Safaricom we have developed a tariff that costs only 500 KES (4 Euro) for 50 GB data volume, but the tariff may only be used to access the MOA site.
Mekaela Academies’ employees have forfeited up to 70% of their salaries since April. Nevertheless the running monthly costs are still very high. We could shut down the schools completely, but then we would have to start from scratch again when we open. If we could open at all.
The economy of South Coast, and especially tourism, is in a recession. Even if travel is possible again from August, it will hardly have much of a positive effect on our parents. We expect a noticeable recovery on from January 2021 at the earliest.
Through the donation campaign on our website we were able to cover the expenses of the first two months. A huge individual donation will help us to make ends meet for another two months, and we have applied for bank loans. We still have a big gap to fill until the schools reopen, but we will be able to do so because of the sponsorship money we already have.
Obviously, we currently incur no costs for example for boarding, nor for school transport, so this money should be available and it is, and we do not want to give the impression that we would take this source of financing for granted, but: we still have running costs, almost no income from school fees, and yet we take care of our children with huge efforts and as best we can.
We have no choice but to move forward. Through the Online Academy, our children will continue to receive education and next year – which will be a repeat year – they will have a head start over students from other schools. Hopefully for that reason we can win over parents from other schools as well.
At the moment times are tough for everyone, even in Europe, we are aware of that. For many is has become difficult to spare the money for their sponsorships, so our special thanks goes out to those who stand by our side in spite of all their difficulties. Our sponsors, the “Friends and Family” of Mekaela Academies are, once again, the ones who ensure that our project stays alive.
Asante sana, thank’s a lot!