International project in Kenya

Building the school in stone

The finished main building


The following extract is taken from a talk to our club by member David Virgin in 2005. This follows voluntary work by the Virgin family in response to humanitarian needs of disadvantaged children living in appalling conditions. It describes the need at the time, and the Rotary Club of Encounter Bay, with the assistance of the 9520 district and the friends of Rotary. The club has been generous in its response annually and until the present day.

"There is a plan for a new classroom building and this is very much required. At present there are some classes which are held in rooms with no windows and no lights so it is difficult for the teacher and the children to see and concentrate. After enough fundraising occurs for this then they still want to build the boys orphanage house as the boys are still accommodated in triple height bunk beds in the same small room where they have always been. So in these respects there is still much to be done.

On the positive side the school now has a small library, a computer room and the dressmaking room. Most of the equipment for these rooms has been donated from Denmark. Also the children are now able to eat the provided daily meals in a large room and this is much more hygienic than when they ate in the class rooms. At meal time they all are given a metal dish and tin mug and this is another improvement we have seen.

With respect to Rotary's help with the uniforms, we are continually told by teachers, parents etc about how thankful they are that the children have the opportunity to be wearing a uniform. The school jumpers now have a logo with the school name as well as the motto 'strive to excel'. The children are supplied each year with a new uniform, a pair of shoes and now also a small school bag. Of course, for many, they only have one extra set of clothes so the uniforms get a fair amount of wear in the period of a year plus of course the kids grow out of them. So the funds we send are just so important and together with some money from the student sponsorship program they are able to have these uniforms. It is a huge expense in the school budget but it has a very top priority.

In the earlier years when they didn't have uniforms, the students were ridiculed around this area and were called 'parking boys'. The other better off children called them this as they were from the slums and would only end up with the worst jobs available. (That is of course if they got work!) So now they look as good as students from any other school in this city and you can't underestimate how important this is for their self-esteem."

At the city dump they have also started a small nursery school and the children at this school also are provided with a uniform. We visited some of the homes of these small children and it makes you want to cry as they are just constructed from materials salvaged from the dump."

Since 2005 the RCEB has been involved in a series of projects associated with the building of dormitary accommodation, provision of toilets, roof water catchment, a bore to secure water supply and associated filtration and reticulation. Most of these projects have been supervised directly by David Virgin who has generously given time and resources to support in excess of 700 children annually. This is a successful project for which our club can be truly proud. More details follow below.


Happy students

Rainwater Catchment and Sanitation Project - recent club commitments to Nakuru, Kenya

The Rotary Club of Encounter Bay has provided rainwater catchment and sanitation facilities for the benefit of 700+ children at the New Life Africa International School and Orphanage in Kenya. The project specifically serviced a new toilet block constructed in 2013 (with some direct assistance provided from the RCEB). It  also serviced amenities in a newly constructed school building. A budget of approx $15,500 AUD was required to make this project a reality. We sought support of District funds through a grant to supplement our own contribution of $11,000.

Club member David Virgin has provided expertise in the planning and has supervised the building of both the rainwater project and the new boys’ school.


Happy students in new uniforms

Lessons in new surrounds

Water Catchment Project

Raising Funds for Nakuru Project

Rainwater catchment project completed

Opening of the new Boys Home

Boys Home - Side View

New Boys Home

Food Hall - boys home

Water catchment from Boys Home

Domitory - Boys Home


The Rotary Club of Encounter Bay has now been involved with the New Life Africa School for 20 years, with David Virgin visiting regularly to supervise projects and to plan further action as required. Currently, David is in Kenya to work with local people to establish a regular supply of bore water for toilets and school use. The girl's dormitory is now complete, and they too have hot and cold running water.