Providing Sanitation for Students: Living Fresh at Kayaba School
In 2005, to provide a quality, affordable education to the children of Mukuru Kayaba, Joan Atulo Lanya founded the Good Faith Educational Complex Centre, known locally as “Kayaba School.”
At 25, Joan was determined to offer schooling to children whose families could not afford school fees. “Every parent desires a good education for their child, but there is little they can do if they cannot afford it,” Joan says. She opened Kayaba School as a solution for these families.
Since she did not have the money to buy land, Joan started teaching her first class of ten students in existing homes in Kayaba.
“It was very difficult. The few parents who had brought their children were skeptical about it and transferred their children to other schools at a very high rate,” Joan recalls. Another major challenge Joan faced was the lack of toilets for her students.
In the area surrounding the school, residents’ sanitation options were limited, and flying toilets littered footpaths and the banks of River Kayaba, emitting an awful stench.
When her students sought permission to go to the toilet, they would do so on the riverbanks. Fortunately, the Fresh Life sales team helped solve her problem when they introduced her to Fresh Life. In late 2013, she acquired two Fresh Life Toilets that have since served her students and immediate community members.
While Fresh Life Toilets are lauded for their cleanliness, hygiene and safety, instilling these values in her students and community users was not easy to do, and it has taken consistent training on usage.
Her community and particularly her students have responded positively, cooperating with her efforts learning to properly use the Fresh Life Toilets has helped ensure clean facilities for all users.
Joan is proud of the many accomplishments she has achieved at Kayaba School. She has partnered with Jomo Kenyatta University to provide teachers, books, food, uniforms, and even assistance with school fees for her students.
Kayaba School is now soaring. Joan teaches 168 students, from three to thirteen years old. The students who started in 2005 are now in class seven, and due to sit for university entrance exams in 2016.
“I draw my inspiration from Barack Obama’s story; his humble beginnings teach my students and me that the future can be as bright as you want it to be,” Joan says, adding that she strives to empower her students and staff with a positive attitude. As a result, she says, there has been increased cooperation and teamwork among her students, teachers, parents, and partners.
Joan knows, however, that her work isn’t done. She is planning to expand the school to land she recently purchased, so that her students have more space to learn and play. Joan’s positive outlook and desire to provide her students with everything they need to succeed academically are truly inspiring!