Quality Time at the Quentin Junior Academy

In our July newsletter, African Children's Fund co-founder and Chief Executive, Dee Tyrer, reported on the success of Porridge Clubs in Kenyan schools following her trip in June. The second instalment of her review follows below:

"After visiting projects in Kenya, I flew to Tanzania where one of the highlights was my visit to the nursery school - the Quentin Junior Academy - we support in Dar es Salaam. We have been supporting nursery education here for over ten years and Quentin provides a safe place to play and learn to children up to age six whose parents cannot afford to pay for childcare.

Dee serving Porridge at the Quentin Junior Academy

Dee serving Porridge at the Quentin Junior Academy

Without this provision the children would either have to go with their parents or be left at home, either alone or in the care of older siblings (who should be at school) or elderly relatives. Many of the parents work in a nearby stone quarry which is a dangerous place to take young children and others have makeshift market stalls along the edge of a busy road. Here the children often become street hawkers, moving from car to car offering trinkets for sale.

Two smiling students from the Quentin Junior Academy in Tanzania

The benefits of being able to go to the nursery school are therefore enormous and mean such a lot to the children and their parents. The Oxford Nursery has been amazing in helping us support this project and for the last couple of years, they have been fundraising to buy land and build a new school which means the Quentin Junior Academy saves money on rent and is more secure in knowing they won’t be turned out.

Students from the Quentin Junior Academy celebrating African Children's Fund during Small Charity Week.

The new school opened just before my visit and I was met by 62 very happy children who greeted me with some beautifully sung songs of welcome (in English). They were obviously very excited to show me round and help me in my first task of planting two trees which will supply shade for the children to play outside. The new school is a big improvement on the last one. It has two classrooms, a small office and three squat toilets (although only one is working at the moment). The classrooms are a good size and bright and there is land outside where the children can play as well as room for a vegetable patch which supplements the children's porridge meals.

There are still things to finish and Quentin has plans for improvements. They need to build a kitchen, bring in electricity and plaster the walls but for now all is going really well. If you can help us complete the work, please click on the button below to donate."