Over 600 students including 225 children with hearing impairments are now using new school facilities donated by LG Electronics in support of equal learning opportunities in Kenya.
The facilities include a new library, ablution wing and borehole system at Machakos School for the Deaf, and 2 new ECD classrooms, kitchen block and latrines at Kyumbi School in Mavoko constituency, all built by LG in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity at a total cost of Kshs 8.9M.
Machakos School for the Deaf is the only school in the county catering for children with hearing impairment. It was established in 1986 by the Kenya Society for Deaf Children with the assistance of SHIF from Sweden as a mixed boarding school.
In January this year, Machakos County Deputy Governor Eng. Francis Maliti, presided over the laying of the stone for the new library. He pledged that the county government would work with partners to improve the education infrastructure in the region.
Speaking at the handing ceremony today, LG Electronics East Africa Managing Director Sa Nyoung Kim said the project was geared to promoting equal learning opportunities for children mostly from poor, under-privileged communities, while also providing clean, safe water.
“This initiative is about creating an inclusive learning environment including those who are disadvantaged but have a great desire to acquire education, so as to improve their lives and build a better future for themselves and their families and communities,” said Mr. Kim.
In addition to the physical facilities, LG is also donating several appliances to be used by the students and teachers in the two schools. These include commercial washers and dryers for the dormitories, refrigerators and microwave ovens for the kitchens, dining halls and staff rooms.
LG is also handing over some items to Kyumbi Dispensary as our contribution to improving the overall health and wellbeing of the local community. These are a refrigerator each for the laboratory and pharmacy and a microwave oven for the kitchen.
The project also benefited from a donation of 100 cases of Ariel Auto soap by multinational firm P&G through the Ariel Brand.
Habitat for Humanity Kenya National Director, Ruth Odera, said the new facilities and equipment would significantly address inequalities in access to education in the local communities.
“Providing inclusive education for children with disabilities, and those from poor, marginalized areas is crucial in addressing inequalities in access to quality education,” said Ms. Odera. Habitat for Humanity Kenya endeavors to meet this need through quality and spacious structural buildings and improving access to water and sanitation for the school community.
LG pledged to continue supporting children with disabilities and from under-privileged communities to access education in a conducive learning environment.
“As a responsible business, we believe in increasing social value by investing in under-privileged communities. This project is also important to us since it is aligned with the international sustainable development goal number 4 on promoting inclusive and equitable education,” said Mr. Kim.
The Kenya Basic Education Act (2013) recommends that the school environment and facilities should accommodate the various categories of learners with special needs. This is however a challenge due to inadequate infrastructure. Many students with disabilities in Kenya are not enrolled in school, a violation of their rights.