Petals Improvements

by Richard Smith Oct 2011

Improved Kitchen Stoves and Cooking PotsPetals School cooking staff were working in undesirable conditions with a smoke-filled room and inefficient stoves. Jared and I visited Migori Boys School kitchen to find out how they feed 500 students. The headmaster knew of Petals by its academic reputation and was happy to help. We got the names of contactors and arranged for two new cooking stoves to be built. The new stoves are fuel efficient and have an independent chimney. The large pots fit inside the four inch wide cement walls with a small fire door at the bottom.

 Petals New Land Purchase crop irrigationThe new land that was purchased is good fertile land but too flat to allow the rain water to drain off. There were also several large termite hills and some trees that needed to be removed. We found an agricultural consultant to take on the job of clearing the land ,leveling the hills, eradicating the weeds, ditching the field, and as soon as possible planting a crop. In stark contrast to other parts of Kenya ,the Petals area is getting too much rain. The corn cannot be harvested, dried, and the new field can’t be planted. This is putting Petals in a financial bind because they rely on the crops to feed the children and now will need to purchase corn and beans.

Meeting with Honorable John Pesa, Migori's Member of ParliamentI had the great opportunity to meet with the Honorable Mr Pesa, Member of Kenya Parliament. Mr Pesa is the area’s equivalent to a United States senator. Mr Pesa is well aware of Petals and its academic accomplishments in the area because he, himself, was an orphan and is the product of such a school. We had a very candid conversation about the whole Ngchoni area and Petals role in it. One exciting subject we discussed was the possibility of bringing electricity to the area. There is a very real possibility that Petals could have electricity in about three to four years and we should start to plan accordingly. The cost to bring the school’s wiring up to regular electrical standards is approximately $5000.

The Board of Directors of Petals. We discussed a wide range of issues including the responsibilities of the Board as Petals continues to grow. We discussed the importance of transparency and open communication.

Academically, Petals is a leader in the district. It’s reputation for academic excellence is growing.