“The school’s situation based on our assessment in 2016 was wanting,” Mr. Ochieng who was involved in organizing the concert said, adding that the school, which had pioneer pupils in 2009, “was not fenced; there were not enough classrooms.”
The Organizing Secretary who doubles as the Communications Coordinator of St. Austin’s Parish said that the urgent need to address the limited infrastructure at Claude Academy and the vulnerability of learners due to “extreme cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and forced early marriages” and the high illiteracy level upwards of 75 percent prompted the youth at St. Austin’s to act.
“That is how we settled on the school as we intend to improve the quality of education in the area to enable the children to have equal opportunities to education, (and have) adequate facilities,” Mr. Ochieng told ACI Africa about the mixed day-and-boarding school located in Chemolingot, Tiati East Subcounty in East Pokot.
The cost for constructing a library at Claude Academy is estimated to cost US$27,000.00, he said, and added that the concert, which was enjoined to the second children holiday camp that was first held in April aimed at raising 12.5% of the estimated cost, and that the balance is to be realized through other initiatives and partnerships.
While the target amount was not raised during the November 2 concert, the less than 800 participants in the event at St. Austin’s Msongari Parish were more than those who participated in the previous concert, Mr. Ochieng said, recalling the 2018 initiative.
Credit: ACI Africa
Asked whether members of the Kings and Queens youth group have alternative plans to raise additional funds to meet their target, the youth official said that plans are already underway for another concert at Easter 2024 and that tickets for the event will be available from February.
“This concert is just one of the ways of raising the money, most of our support comes from donor funding,” Mr. Ochieng said, and lauded parishioners of Kenya’s first inland Catholic Parish that is set to launch its quasquicentennial Jubilee celebrations on Sunday, December 10 under the theme, “Celebrating 125 years of faith: Walking together in the Holy Spirit”.
As a youth group, he said, “we also sell items such as t-shirts every Sunday and all the profits go towards the initiative.”
The initiatives in support of Claude Academy at Chemolingot in Tiaty Constituency over the years “have had a positive impact on the learners as we have witnessed a performance improvement,” Mr. Ochieng said, and added, “Last year the school topped the Constituency within which it is located.”