Korando Center Reopens
On January 4, 2021, the joy was palpable as schools in Kenya reopened for grades Pre-K through 8 for the first time since last March. The Korando Education Center once again is able to function as a full-time orphanage and education facility, and all classes are back in session. Due to the closures from last year, all Kenyan students will need to repeat a year of their education. Fortunately, the KEC was able to retain its teacher staff by continuing to pay them while the school was closed due to financial support from Ripple Effect Project.
Currently, 216 students are attending classes at Korando during the day, including 70 students who live with Dolfine at the Center full-time. An additional 116 sponsored graduates are attending local high schools.
As COVID-19 continues to disrupt daily life worldwide, Kenya’s government ministries have issued new guidelines to ensure the safety of all students upon reopening. For daytime school operations, this means all participants must wear masks and sit socially distanced in the classroom. Students are still served porridge for breakfast on the premises, but they must eat outside, and wash stations are scattered throughout school property. For students living at the orphanage, each student must have their own bed, with all beds positioned socially distanced, and the addition of more showers and toilets.
To meet these COVID-19 regulations for the dormitories, a massive renovation was needed to improve the existing dorm space and more dormitories were built. Luckily, the completion of 8 new classrooms in the new building early last year meant that there was now unused space in the old school building. This available space was renovated with help from Ripple Effect Project, as well as through donations from other friends and partners of the KEC. Today, all 70 boarding students have new mattresses, new bedding, and mosquito nets which meet these guidelines.
The sad reality is that many other schools unable to make these changes have been permanently closed, leaving some students homeless or unable to resume their education. Without the support of Ripple Effect Project through your donations, the KEC would have not had the means to overcome these hurdles. As the pandemic is ongoing, it is expected that the Center will continue to need to make improvements in the months to come.
Many of the children served by Korando already lived in poverty prior to the start of the pandemic, and the cascade of effects on these vulnerable students has been significant. As the KEC continues to serve as a place of refuge and hope, we humbly ask that you keep the needs of these children in your mind in the year to come.