Our children returned back to school on Wednesday January, 5. Schools across Kenya had reopened a day earlier on January 4, but there was a requirement that schools in informal settlements be inspected by public health officials before reopening. Hands of Love was inspected on January 4 and we were able to reopen the next day.
Although we had 188 children in March before the pandemic, only 155 have returned as of January 13 and we do not expect this number to grow any further. The disruptions by COVID-19 upended the livelihoods of many families and some had to move to their rural homes or to other parts of Nairobi.
After nine months away from school we are glad to have the children back despite the “new normal” which makes teaching and learning a bit more difficult. We have taken precautions to ensure the safety of our children. The time for bringing the children in the morning and picking them after school has been staggered to avoid congestion. Children have to wear masks, they get their temperature checked and they also need to wash and disinfect their hands. Additionally we have ensured that each sits on their own desk.
The adjustments needed to keep our children safe while in school have come at a cost. We are very grateful to our friends in Italy and the USA whose support made this possible.