Project Kesho has been actively involved with the two primary schools in the Lundamatwe village since 2006. The Lundamatwe Primary School is the older of the two schools, started in the 1950's. More than 900 students attend on a daily basis from pre-primary through Standard 7, which causes significant overcrowding. The school is located in the geographic center of the village, where the majority of people live. However, at least several hundred students walk more than two miles each way to school every day. Due to the high number of students living in the Ulonge community, the Ulonge Primary School was recently constructed in 2004 to meet their educational needs. The school began as a community initiative because community members wanted to improve the educational opportunities of the children living in the area. However, there was only enough money to construct four classrooms at the school. Currently, the school serves about 300 students in Standards 1-6. Students from the Ulonge Primary School who are in Standard 7 (approximately 50 students) must walk two miles, each way, to the Lundamatwe Primary School.
As noted above, when Project Kesho began working with the Ulonge community there were only four completed classrooms at the Ulonge Primary School. To meet the need for additional space, we facilitated the construction of three classrooms and an additional office space. Funds were donated for Standard 7 classroom by the village government and another NGO, World Challenge, making Project Kesho's costs were minimal. We are very excited because this provides seven classrooms—enough space for Primary grades 1-7. Starting next school year (January 2010) everyone in the Ulonge community will be able to attend school in their own community!
There is a community movement in the Kibati community of the Lundamatwe Village to construct a new primary school. The Kibati community is about four miles from the Lundamatwe Primary School in a remote part of the Lundamatwe Village. Community members recently pooled their resources and now have enough bricks to construct two classrooms. The community is also willing to volunteer their time at the school site. Project Kesho is currently in talks with community leaders and local and District government officials to finalize such details as student body size, teacher requirements, and the availability of government funds for the project. Project Kesho is very excited about the prospect of a new school in Kibati, as it will serve a catchment area that is two to five miles from the closest other school. Not only will it cut down on the distance many students have to travel, but it will further address the overcrowding at the Lundamatwe Primary School.