Homa Bay, a district in South Nyanza, Kenya, has big water problems. In most of the schools there is no water at all. Children bring their little pail or can with water to school. For drinking and for washing. Often they have to go home to get new water. There is not even a tap in the city of Homa Bay that functions. People have to go far for their water. Some line up before dawn at the few places where water is still flowing, some hours every day.
Homa Bay borders the Victoria Lake, one of the biggest in-land lakes in the world. It is sad to see people searching for water while the big lake is just in front of the town. But the lake's water is heavily polluted and carries several infections. It is not safe to use the lake's water.
The Project: We Grow Our Own School, started when pupils and teachers from a school in HOma Bay took part in Globetree's Future Meeting in 1988. They shared their water problems with children and teachers from other countries and they learned: We all have the same problems and each of us can do something about it! So they discussed with the expperts that took part in Future Meeting 1988 and made a work plan for their own schools.
Back home, they told their classmates and schoolmates, even children from other schools, about what they learned and concluded in Stockholm. We can work on our own problems, they said, other children in other countries do the same!
20 Schools formed SONBO, the South Nyanza Bongu Organization. Bongu is a very special tree in South Nyanza: when you cut a branch, new roots come out and the tree repairs itself. The cut branch makes new roots and grows itself. A great symbol for the effort made by the 20 schools. Each school started to make its own nursery, its own composting pits. Children collected waste material and separated it; organic material for the compost and anorganic material such as paper and plastic, to be sold. They made a little money with these efforts and bought things they needed in the school: a real football, and a lamp, to be able to study in the evening at school - many houses have no light in the night. Teachers started environmental education. The children planted trees. One school has now such big trees that the wood can nbe sold for building material!
In 1994 the 20 schools decided to share their experiences with others, each of the original 20 schools will now adopt 4 other schools in their neighborhood. In a few years time, there will be 100 schools in the district that work as SONBO schools. Still a small number compared to the hundreds of schools and the tens of thousands pupils in the district. But, as the educational authorities said, " it looks like a success and we believe that many more schools will follow the example of the SONBO schools."
SIDA, the Swedish International Development Authority, through BIFO - the Swedish NGO Organization for Development Cooperation - gave support to the project. When Globetree has 20% of the Project money, SIDA will add the remaining 80%. Apart from money, Globetree helps the SONBO schools with Environmental Education and with Ecological Technology.
YOU CAN HELP US COLLECT MONEY FOR THE SCHOOLS IN KENYA. IF YOU WANT, YOU WILL RECEIVE THE REPORTS MADE BY THE SONBO PUPILS AND YOU MIGHT LIKE TO CORRESPOND WITH THEM. CONTRIBUTIONS ARE VERY WELCOME THROUGH GLOBETREE, SWEDISH POSTGIRO 778 13-4, OR THROUGH NORDBANKEN, STOCKHOLM, ACCOUNT NUMBER 3215.18.02205.
E-mail: email@example.com Last Update: Oct.13 1996