November 2021: Kenya / Nairobi: Shipping container classrooms

Social distancing

Innovative skills keeps Slum Children in School despite the COVID Pandemic.

Access to education is a big challenge to children living in the informal settlements in the cities. The Covid-19 Pandemic has exposed the situation of these forgotten groups because of the much talked about social distancing that is easier to talked about but practicing is near impossible for the young school children in these places.

Emergency response

A school is built in a few weeks as an emergency measure to save slum children from the effects of the corona pandemic. How could children in overcrowded slum schools maintain social distance?

Necessity as the mother of invention came to pass. A local small  technical enterprise in Nairobi came up with the idea to fabricate used shipping containers into movable classrooms.

A PBF representative in Nairobi made  a request to be able to acquire these classrooms to save the many children whose schools had been closed down due to the crowding that would not allow them to adhere to the strict Covid-19 restrictive measures. The containers were fabricated and delivered to to an open piece of land acquired on the outskirts of the city. The classrooms are well designed with good ventilation and lighting allowing learning to continue for these children who would have dropped out of school.

Out of the City

Nairobi city with its almost 4 million residents is pretty crowded. The majority of the residents lack housing and therefore live in the shanties built from tin and carton. There are no public social and health services in these areas and here is where PBF help are mostly needed.

The onset of the Corona Pandemic brought many drastic changes to these crowded settlements. PBF has been supporting  slums schools in  Mathare with warm porridge that serves both as breakfast and lunch for the children whose parents cannot afford even a simple breakfast in the morning.

School Bus

We had to move the school to a different location out of the city. This brought another challenge for transportation of the children from the Slums to the new location. PBF again helped the school to acquire a second-hand van to act as a school bus to take the slum children to their new school outside the slums every morning.

Everyday challenges

Our programs are critical to providing a safe place for our main target groups, children ages 6-15 and teenagers ages 17-25. With this innovative approach, we hope that our school can acquire more shipping container classes to be able to enroll more needy children to get basic education.

NOTE: The 4 classrooms with a capacity of 15 children per class have been done from 2, 40 ft. shipping containers at a cost of $ 9000 per container. The fabrication takes 21 days to be ready. This makes it very appropriate to respond to such emergencies that could not be predictable. We are very thankful to the friends and supporters of the Peter Bachmann Foundation. The foundation funds slum children school feeding for children whose parents cannot afford basic meals, sanitary pads for the adolescent girls as well as sports materials like jerseys and balls.

Dan Amolo