At Vision Africa, one of our core values is ‘Collaboration’. This means that we endeavour to work collaboratively with like-minded partners from various sectors which is crucial to improving effectiveness and efficiency. Collaboration can be a means by which we jointly create interventions, share knowledge and learning, share resources, and share experience all to increase impact of project activities.
We continually challenge the partner projects that we work with to develop collaborative networks and partnerships with other stakeholders who have interest in their area of work.
One of our partner projects, Percy Davies Special School in Murang’a County has witnessed the importance of collaboration and working with stakeholders across the board. In just a span of less than two years, the school has experienced massive growth in terms of infrastructure, government involvement, increased enrolment of learners, new teachers and support staff among others.
In mid-2016, the school got a new head teacher and a new board of management. Together, the management and the head teacher drew the strategic plan of the school and started writing proposals to various stakeholders to seek for funds to implement the plan. This was definitely not an easy job but the passion the board of management and the head teacher have for the school made them work every second for the good of the children.
The year 2017 was a transformational year for the school as the management’s efforts started bearing fruits. The projects and activities below were funded by various partners of the school:
- Two classrooms and a septic tank by the National Government through the Ministry of Education – this project was timely as the school had a dormitory constructed by another partner. The classrooms will provide a space for the extra learners to learn from. The septic tank provides a good sewer system for the entire school.
- A dormitory by the National Council for Persons Living With Disability (NCPWD) – the dormitory complements the government funded classrooms; the extra learners enrolled have both a place to learn from and a place to sleep.
- A teacher’s residence by the National Government through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) – the teacher’s residence is a very important facility in the school. The Education Act requires that there should always be a resident teacher in a boarding school to ensure child protection and safety. This has greatly enhanced the assurance of the wellbeing of the children in the school.
- Drilling of a borehole by the Christian Broadcasting Networt (CBN) – through the help of Ready Aiders, an organization of young people out to create awareness on special needs and especially Autism, the need for water in the school was aired and it reached CBN who through their CSR, have drilled a borehole in the school and fitted it with a solar pump. With the school situated in a semi-arid area, this is a great asset as it means ever-flowing water!
- Provision of breakfast and ten o’clock bread by County Supermarkets – through the school’s management, one of the board members volunteered to be providing the children with bread every day for two meals!
- Provision of therapy services to the children and equipment of the therapy room – through a working agreement with the Maragua Level four hospital, children in the school receives therapy at least twice a month from qualified professionals. This was facilitated by Vision Africa and we continue to fund the facilitation of the monthly therapy. We have seen great improvement on the children from the therapy administration. Also, teachers, non-teaching staff and parents are taught basics on how they can give the children basic therapy so that there is continuity.
As a result of some of the above, the school’s learner population has also grown from 60 to 90 and the target is to reach 105 learners.
These are just highlights of how much we can achieve through collaborations! We do look forward to seeing Percy Davies and all our other Partner projects make great achievements through creating collaborative networks.
In one of the fundraising training I attended by the Kenya Association of Professional Fundraisers (KAFP), one thing I learnt is that NETWORKS are everything! Don’t just look at a contact you have on the face value, look at the potential that contact can connect you to and how much you can reap from that.
Post by Mary Mwangi, Programmes Manager