Mustard Seed Project
MSP is a small charity working in deprived urban Mombasa. It was set up in 2009 following a holiday visit to the area by a retired teacher and a Civil Engineer who now spend two months of each year working in the community. We support the community through training and education for women and youths and giving financial support to a football club and two boxing clubs. The main, and most successful project is the school.
We set up the school with just 17 children in September 2009. The school grew by one class a year and now we have 300 children aged 3 – 14 years, with a feeding programme and a clinic, in classes of around 25. Initially the children were in a rented building but by the end of 2020 our own school building will be completed and will house all the children in the same place.
But this is just the building. What goes on inside is what makes the difference. The aim is to provide quality education and varied experiences so that all children reach their full potential regardless of ability. All but our special needs children are meeting or exceeding government expectations. This is partly due to our feeding programme and clinic which keep our children healthy and happy and able to take advantage of the excellent teaching they receive. Education does not of course just exist in the classroom. In 2017, a group of our children came second in a large national music competition having come first in all the regional heats for their choral speaking. A wonderful achievement and experience for children living in such poverty.
In 2018 our first group of 14-year olds took their Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education. The government considers a ‘C’ grade to be good but the mean score for our children in both 2018 and 2019 was ‘B- ‘. In 2019 one of our children achieved an ‘A- ‘, putting him in the top 1% in the country, earning him a place in a prestigious National school. We were equally proud of a student who had been receiving extra help because we considered she had special needs. She achieved a ‘C’. The children did brilliantly of course, but we must not forget the committed, hard-working staff who helped the children to achieve this.
Our big aim now is to be able to continue supporting our children and to enable them to complete secondary school. Unfortunately, although this is now ‘free’ the children still must pay for books and the feeding programme which sadly makes it difficult for many to access even this. And of course, when they complete their 4 years of Secondary Education it would be wonderful to be able to support some of them at University or other higher education.
A gift in your will would help ensure future sustainability of the project, including the feeding programme and would contribute towards secondary education and hopefully higher education for those who are successful in their Kenyan school exams.
For further information about this charity including how to donate tel 01778 341855 or visit our website at www.mustardseedproject.co.uk