Joy as KPA donates beddings, food items to Joyland Special School in Kisumu

Smiles as learners at the Joyland Special Primary School in Kisumu receive beddings and food items from KPA. Photo; Fredrick Odiero

It was a major surprise at Joyland Special Primary School in Kisumu after the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) donated beddings and food items worth KSh450, 000 to support some 250 learners at the institution.

KPA Head of Litigation and Disputes Michael Sangoro indicated that the donation, which is part of the organisation’s Corporate Social Investment programme will benefit 250 learners with special needs at the institution.

Sangoro said the donation was made following an assessment of the institution’s needs and noted that the bequest would go a long way towards improving the learners’ nutrition needs and also create a conducive environment for learning.

The official who represented KPA Managing Director (MD) William Ruto said the donation was a demonstration of the organisation’s commitment to improving the lives of the community in areas where it operates.

He said KPA has invested in various sectors among them education where it has built classrooms, dormitories and laboratories and access to health where it has sponsored various medical camps in different parts of the country.

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Through the initiative, Sangoro said KPA has invested heavily in education, health, sports and environment sectors over the last twenty years.

Sangoro said the event coincided with a sponsored golf tournament at the Nyanza Golf Club.

“The golf tournament is an annual event which we hold here in the western circuit (Kisumu, Kakamega and Kisii), Nairobi, Central, Coast and Rift regions,” he said.

Joyland head teacher Susan Liyai said the donation would go a long way in helping the school bridge the shortage in nutritional needs for the learners.

She said this has been a challenge to them because these are learners with special needs and they require a balanced diet.

The school, which is one of the oldest in the area, Liyai said, was faced by a myriad of challenges with some of the buildings being dilapidated.

The head teacher said lack of finances was one of the biggest challenges with the school struggling to meet day to day needs of the learners.

Payment of caregivers and non-teaching staff, she said was another challenge calling on well-wishers to chip in and support the school, she added.

“Most of our parents are equally struggling. Even though they are required to pay KSh20, 000 only a year, a good number of them can hardly raise KSh2, 000 and we cannot send the children away,” she said.

Kisumu County Coordinator for Special Needs Education Cosmus Oywera lauded the support from KPA saying the school was in dire need of help.

He added that the allocation from the Government was not enough to address the challenges the institution was dealing with and called on other like-minded organisations to chip in.

The county has eight special primary schools and three special secondary schools, with infrastructure and nutritional needs being their biggest challenge.

By Fredrick Odiero

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Education News - Newspaper Vol 281