The staff, children, and their parents from Grovelands Childcare in Athlone, Mullingar and Tullamore facilities have raised €1,000 for preschool children in Kenya by staging their Christmas concert.
Regina Bushell the director of Grovelands Childcare believes that training of staff in this area to cope with the expansion of the nursery schools is the key to improving the standard of care and early education. This is much needed in the Pokot ethnic group in Kenya as she is informed that they have the lowest educational scores in the nation.
Building nurseries is part of the project as the majority of children aged three to six years are currently attending preschool in really terrible conditions. In the past funds raised by Grovelands Childcare went to providing soup kitchens to feed the children who sometimes go hungry as maize is in short supply. All the parents over the past four years have supported Regina and her staff in their efforts to improve early childhood care and education in the parish of the Risen Christ in Chepnyal, which reaches out to a population of roughly 30,000 people in West Pokot, Western Kenya. There are two Irish Daughters of Charity and an Irish Kiltegan priest there who look after educational and spiritual development.
All donations translate into a considerable sum of Kenyan shillings which will go a long way. It will be used entirely for the substation effort which serves currently over 260 children in five locations. Regina has direct contact Sr Patricia Beyrau DC who sends photographs and keeps her informed of developments and how the money is spent.
Grovelands Childcare will raise more money through the staging of their graduation concerts, and later in the year through an art exhibition, which will go to help fund training and create six new preschool locations in Kenya.
Regina would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff, children, and parents for their support during 2008.