ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION
Who We Are
Iruri Primary School-Sharing a Vision is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Iruri Primary School in Karatina, Kenya, including providing full high school scholarships for top performing graduates and helping to improve the school environment.
Catherine Survillas, Director of the Board, first established contact with the Head Teacher, Geoffrey in the summer of 2010. At that time Geoffrey set out goals that he wanted for the school over the next several years. In these few short years we have been able to successfully complete many of them.
Scholarship for top performing 8th grade students for high school (43 currently on scholarship)
Cementing floors of the remaining classrooms, including kindergarten wing (December 2015)
Putting on class doors and window panes for all classes (completed in fall of 2015)
Plastering walls of classes and ceilings
Roof painting of all classes
Putting in ceiling and painting of Administration block
Scholarship for top performing 8th grade students for high school (43 currently on scholarship)
Construction of the school gate (2018)
Establishing a library (has been established and is ongoing)
Keep Girls in School Project (ongoing)
Tree reforestation project (ongoing)
Annual safari to Ol Pejeta Conservancy for top 3 students from each class
Annual Feast for the whole village to celebrate the completion of another successful year
A STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) project with 1 or more classes
Building of student toilets to replace outhouses for students (2017).
1 sponsored student 2012
5 additional students 2013
5 additional students 2014
5 additional students 2015
7 additional students 2016
9 additional students 2017
16 additional students 2018
12 additional students 2019
10 additional students 2020
Pictured: Geoffrey with Martin, our first sponsored student
Accomplishments - 2019
The year started off with a smooth administrative transition from Head Teacher Geoffrey Kerigu to
John Maina, continuing an enabling environment for learning. Other accomplishments were:
John and Catherine
Installation of Wi-Fi which has eased communications locally and internationally.
This has also helped in research for teaching materials.
Walls surrounding the school gate completed by painting and branding.
Nutrition program expanded to include the older students with a hot meal prepared in the school and this has led to good performance.
Introduction of new uniforms. Grades 2, 4, 6 and 7 have been fitted with the new uniforms already. The best performing class gets new uniforms every term and this has led to higher competition.
New roof and walkways covered courtesy of Hon. Rigathi Gachagua. the open walkways were a hazard to the students.
Accomplishments - 2018
2018 saw continued improvement of the physical school, but also some changes and opportunities to help our students physically, too. Probably the biggest project was the visit to the school by Dr. Bob Bechtel, pediatric ophthalmologist. He did vision assessments of over 300 students and 13 students are in need of glasses. Prior to his visit, only one student was wearing glasses. This was a joint effort of the Rotary Club of Elk Grove, the Nyeri Club of Kenya, our organization, and donations from supporters.
Also improving the health of our students was a project to add protein to the daily porridge for the preschool and kindergarten. The head teacher, Geoffrey, reported that it has been one of the healthiest years. This project is made possible through the generous support of Keith and Jelena Simmons.
Another addition to the campus was a school gate, which adds security and increases school pride. The gate will be eventually painted with the school colors and logo, etc.
Other improvements included plastering walls, tiling floors, adding ceilings to additional rooms, fixing the steps into the administration office, and buying the office a printer.
After the grade 8 students took the KPCE government exams at the end of the year, we had 12 new scholarships to give out for the upcoming year, with girls qualifying for 10 of those 12 scholarships.
Accomplishments - 2017
2017 has been so exciting as we complete more projects at the school. Over the winter break we wired the entire school and put in lighting in every classroom so when the students began their new year last January this was complete. The Government then surprised Geoffrey by bringing tablets to all Grade 1 and Grade 2 students, a laptop and projector, so lessons that align with the syllabus that are loaded on the tablets can be projected for all to see. This next January the new Grade 1 will get tablets and so on until all students in the school have them.
2017 saw the completion of our largest project yet: student toilets have been built at the Iruri Primary School! We were awarded a Rotary International Grant at the beginning of April, something we had been working on since February of 2016. Finally we submitted the application mid December 2016. The Elk Grove Rotary, The Nyeri Rotary Club along with our non profit raised and donated money for this project. Rotary International matches our funds locally and internationally and we were able to fund this $45,000 project. Thank you for all your participation to bring a healthier and more hygienic environment for the students!
Catherine Survillas travelled to the school in September for a joyous grand opening. A local Rotarian, Valentine Nyakiere, will be providing hygiene education that is a key component for the health of the students. They have outhouses at their homes so have not used flushing toilets and need the necessary education.
One more project that is in the works is adding protein to the daily porridge the "baby" or Nursery Class currently receives. This will come in the form of dry fish. This will give them a boost as they begin their schooling. The other exciting news is that all 6 of our current graduated students, two in their second year of University, and our four from 2016 have all qualified and will start in September. We are so proud of these students.
The other exciting news is that all 6 of our current graduated students, two in their second year of University, and our four from 2016 have all qualified and will start in September. We are so proud of these students.
The year ended on a high note: another amazing Feast at the school to celebrate another successful year. There were motivational speakers from the community to encourage the students to strive hard in school. Several members of the Elk Grove Rotary made the trip to join the celebration. It was followed by another successful Annual Wildlife day for the top students and teachers. See more details and pictures here.
We head into 2018 with scholarships from donors for 16 new secondary scholarships!
Accomplishments - 2016
The year included 3 visits to the school by board members and friends. Catherine Survillas there in March to coordinate future improvements and visit with teachers and students. She also delivered dresses to the 2nd graders generously donated by the Cordova chapter of Dresses for Girls Around the world. (See news article). In June, Catherine returned with board members Dr. Nasim Fazel and her daughter, Monah, and Catherine’s son, Ryan, and his son, Bodhi. During this trip there were many projects shared with the students: Nasim made a presentation about oral health with the newly donated projector and Monah assisted by handing out toothbrushes donated by Global Grins. Ryan and Bodhi did a STEM project with
the 2nd graders: inflatable solar LED lights! Bodhi’s school in San Diego helped raise the funds to send the light kits that the kids can use as a light source at home. Traveller and support Victoria Pierscinski, a retired kindergarten teacher, did an art project with the students. The visit finished up with the 2nd Annual Wildlife Day. This is a safari to Ol Pejeta Conservancy for the top 3 students in each class and top 3 teachers in the school. This event is co-sponsored with Sweetwaters Serena Camp and includes lunch for the kids in their elegant dining hall. See this news article for more pictures and details.
Of equal importance were some of the improvements to the school structures this year. The improvements were funded by our organization, organized by Geoffrey Kerigu, and the work performed by the village. The walkways in front of the classrooms and the steps leading into them were completed. The outside walls were plastered, with some of our secondary school scholarship students volunteering their time when home from their schools. Another scholastic achievement was the recognition of the school for it’s rising test scores with a visit from another school to see what methods the teachers are using.
The year ended with a visit in November from board members Catherine and Donna and other travelers/supporters for the end of the year feast. Called The Feast, it is a celebration of another successful year at the school for the whole village. This year was especially exciting: special guests, current scholarship students and potential new scholarship students participated, along with the whole school and village. We had guests from the Rotary Club of Nyeri, who are, together with the Elk Grove Rotary Club, pursuing a global grant together to replace the outhouses with modern flushing toilets and washroom. An amazing meal was prepared and everyone celebrated together. See these articles for more pictures and information, Visitors Arrive, Preparations, Celebration, Visiting Rotary and The Students.
Accomplishments - 2015
2015 included 3 visits to the school by supporters: in April, Catherine Survillas visited to see the progress of a project to replace all the windows and doors in the school. When she was there, all the doors had been completed and the window replacements were well under way. This work continues because it must be done between quarters.
In June, Catherine, Bill Rathfon and Dana Reed visited school and were joined by Lynne, Kenny and Emma Rudy Srebnik, first time visitors. Bill and Dana did a science and engineering project with the 7th and 8th graders (see pictures here). Another day was spent taking the top 3 students from each grade and 3 top teachers on a safari to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy (see pictures here) including a visit at Serena Sweetwaters Camp (see pictures here).
In November, board members Catherine Survillas and Donna Selnick returned to the school to celebrate the graduation from secondary school the first two students with scholarships from our organization. The whole community became involved in the celebration, and we purchased two bulls for the feast. See pictures of the event here. We will add 7 more for 2016 for a total of 22 scholarship students for the 2016 school year.
Accomplishments - 2014
2014 was a very productive year for us as our team of 6 spent 5 days at the school in May. With Geoffrey's organization we were able to complete the cementing of all the rest of the classroom floors and a large portion of the walkways.
In addition we implemented the "Keep Girls in School Project" as sanitary napkins were passed out to the girls in the upper grades. Our reforestation project also began with the support of our Global Partners, Discover Kenya Safaris and Serena Hotels, who both supplied the saplings. Both of these projects will continue annually.