When Mesics came knocking at the door of Dioraphte, the question was simple: We need co-financing for a new school building in Kenya. ‘We have been working on the site for 20 years, together with Sister Gemma, a Kenyan nun who is Chief Coordinator of the Catholic Women Association of the diocese of Meru,’ says Dirk Kam, founder and president of Mesics. ‘We have placed great trust in her and this has only grown over the years. She enlisted our help to build a brick school building for Mukothima Primary School in the sub-county of Tharaka. This is one of the poorest districts of the country, ravaged by drought and war.’
There was a clear agreement with the diocese: Mesics was responsible for financing the hardware, namely the bricks and the labour; the church for the land, the employees and the support staff. ‘That kind of simplicity and clarity increases the chance of success,’ Kam knows from his many years of experience in Africa. Meanwhile, the construction has been completed and Mukothima now has a stone school building consisting of four classrooms and an administration office. ‘The costs were slightly higher than expected as a result of the corona crisis, but in general the building was on time. Last week, shortly before the academic year started on 1 February, the bishop’s deputy, Father Matthew Kaymeni, came to bless the school. Unfortunately, due to corona restrictions, we were unable to be there for the opening. What is more important though, is that an additional 200 students per year will be able to receive an education’.
Project leader Sister Gemma:
‘Despite the many challenges that COVID-19 has brought us, we could also say that it allowed us time for the construction. I do believe that the fact that the students were not physically at school, has made the construction work easier and more timely. So it is true what they say: Something good can come from something bad.’