Our Affiliated Project: The Materi Girls’ School in Taraka, Meru, Kenya

 

Quick facts about the Materi Girls’ School:

  • Ages served: Girls of all ages are served.
  • Facility description: A complex including well-maintained, one-story buildings that contain classrooms, dormitories, teachers’ quarters, workshops, storage rooms, a kitchen and a dining hall. The 200-acre grounds also incorporate irrigated fields that produce food for the children.
  • Education: Preschool through twelfth grade. Instruction includes core academic subjects, with English as a primary focus. At the high school level, preparation for higher education is emphasized.
  • Academic year: In Kenya, the school year typically begins in January and ends in November, with one two-week break in April and another in August. Breaks between academic sessions allow the girls to spend time with their families in their own villages.
  • Nutrition: The girls receive nutritious meals each day.

Located in the Great Lakes region of eastern Africa, Kenya is known for its fertile highlands, grassy savannahs, wildlife and its namesake peak, Mt. Kenya. Its economy relies heavily upon agriculture and tourism. Kenya is also a cradle of civilization, rich in cultural heritage and diversity. The nation’s wealth of natural beauty, resources and culture, however, belie the poverty in which most of its residents live. Tragically, destitution and weak government institutions permit frequent violations of human rights. Kenya is also plagued by a severe shortage of healthcare workers which contributes to lower life expectancies, high infant mortality rates and widespread preventable disease. Takara — a village located some 100 miles north of Nairobi — is no exception to these maladies. Isolated and impoverished, Takara is one of the least-developed villages in the area. Life for its impoverished residents is a constant challenge. In this agricultural region, drought, famine and malnutrition are frequent realities.

For this reason, the Materi Girls’ School serves as a beacon of hope. Established in 1973, the school’s mission is to provide a well-rounded education to the needy girls of this area — regardless of clan, tribe or religion. Sponsored by the Catholic Bishop of Kenya and approved by the Kenyan Ministry of Education, the Materi School is highly sought-after for its high academic standards and distinguished reputation. It provides these deserving young women with the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and rise above the difficult circumstances from which they come.