This month Bonface started the important search for a suitable plot of land for us. It is important to understand that in Kenya there is no website with all the plots of land together with the relevant information. Together with Rio, another volunteer from ULT, Bonface is therefore faced with the arduous task of going on reconnaissance tours to identify vacant plots of land that are for sale and usually inquiring about the owner through neighbors or the like. However, in order to be able to buy a plot of land without risk, it still requires legal research per plot of land, such as the possibility for a deed of sale or the “destination” of the land. Not every plot of land may be built on with a school; some are designated for residential buildings only, for example. But this is not the only thing that makes it difficult for us to find a plot of land. The prices for land around the slum are currently increasing enormously and for us this means that we have to act quickly without running the risk of taking unnecessary risks.
To avoid this, Bonface is busy every day to find a plot of land and our members in Germany try to help through contacts and research. Two weeks ago we finally had an important appointment with an architect who wants to support us in the further planning and realization of the school. We presented him a selection of plots of land and with his advice we decided on a “direction” of size and shape of the school. With the new circumstances it was quickly clear to us that the school will not look as planned so far, but it will look even much better.
Planning of the school
At the moment it looks like we will have to settle for a smaller site. Prices have increased enormously and we have to consider all circumstances. Of course, we may still get a larger lot, but with the new school planning, nothing has to change in the look of the school. We anticipate a slightly sloping lot since all the lots are on a slope. The school will be built across the slope, as you can see on the drawing, so that even during heavy rainfall the water can run down the slope without any problems. Thus, there is no danger of a landslide at any point. Since the property is small, we are planning two floors with four rooms each. Since we want to teach the two preschool classes in one room, seven classrooms and an office or teachers’ lounge are planned. The rooms on the second floor can be accessed via two spiral staircases to the respective entrances of the rooms. In order to be able to increase the size of the classroom when the weather is nice, one wall per room will consist almost entirely of sliding doors. Tables and chairs can be moved farther out, and one raised bed per classroom will help the children learn about sustainable agriculture. The sliding doors are not only convenient for making the room larger, but they also allow the room temperature to be well controlled. In the upper floor, the roof will also be equipped with a ventilation device so that the temperature in the room remains stable.
Planning of the schoolyard
In the lower left corner of the schoolyard the toilets will be located and the rest of the yard will be used to entertain the children but also as a retreat to learn and read outside. At the entrance to the school there will be a small house for a security guard and the “Thank you sign” for all our sponsors.