What is the NSSPT doing to help?
The NSSPT has taken the stance that through educating the young, the situation for current and future generations of the Nairobi Slums can be improved. Our focus is to provide educational facilities for four to eleven year old children.
Paul Bell, Director of the NSSPT, began the plight in 1999 when he was struck by the horrendous poverty and conditions in slums when on holiday in Kenya. Paul and his family continue to travel to the slums a least a couple of times each year to progress the various projects the charity is undertaking. Like all the volenteers that travel to Kenya with the charity, the travel costs are self funded so that all donations can go direct to the projects.
The first school to to receive NSSPT money, was called The Top Mark Academy, a temporary corrigated iron building in the middle of the Mathare Slums. This facility teaches 110 children and has seven teachers. It has been up and running for a number of years.
In February 2007 the first school was opened that was fully funded by NSSPT money. Red Roof Academy will initially have three classes of 20 pupils, with this number gradually increasing over time. The building is a perminant brick structure consisting of eight classrooms, toilet block, shower unit, goat pen and headmaster’s office.
The NSSPT does not only believe in building schools but also providing the ongoing finances so that each child receives a good standard of education. The teacher’s salaries, children’s books and uniforms are all paid for by money raised in Jersey and Belfast by the NSSPT. But education also has to be fun! Many of the children living in the slums have never travelled outside the cramped conditions. In Feburary 2006, during the annual trip of volenteers, it was decided that a school trip whould be organised. The children took the new School Bus, that has been transported all the way from Jersey, to a local Giraffe Centre. Although, for us in Europe, Africa is synonymous with wildlife, these kids had never seen creatures like this and the look on their faces was priceless!
Another annual event organised by the NSSPT volenteers is the Sports Day. There is little room for playing games in the densely populated Slums so the kids are taken out to a sports field where they can run around, play football, netball and other fun activities. Its a priviledge taken for granted by children in the developed world but for these children it’s something really special.