How we experienced the lockdown

A summary of interviews with teachers from our partner schools in Nairobi about the impact of the Corona-Pandemic

What were the biggest challenges for you as a teacher during the Corona crisis?

Emmah Ito: To get the rent for the house and money for maintenance. My employer got me a job in Rongai doing agricultural work.

Henry Nyambane: I did tutoring, but it wasn’t easy because most of the students’ parents couldn’t afford it.

Evelyne Kimani: It was hard for both the children and the staff, who all depend on the school. I have been selling vegetables and fruits to earn an income. I came to an agreement with the landlord of the school that we now pay the current month’s rent plus the rent for the other months from now on – until everything is paid off.

Joseph Simiyu: Not having an income to support the family with food and rent was the challenge. We got a room at the school. We thank nyendo for supporting us to renovate the room. The wife and family grew some vegetables which they ate to reduce costs. I managed the school as a caretaker and maintained it during the crisis and used my bicycle as a means of transport to earn money.

How has your job changed as a result of the Corona crisis?

Emmah Ito: There are fewer pupils because most parents cannot afford the school fees. This means that the payment is low because it depends on the number of paying pupils.

Sharon Muhonja: It has affected the way I teach. I can no longer hug the children and be near them. The little ones don’t understand that. And there are fewer pupils because school fees cannot be paid or families have moved back to rural areas.

What do you want for Kenya?

Florence Mulanda: I would like the schools to be better equipped and for the government to help them because the schools are in the slums. Most students cannot afford basic things for school.

What did the Corona crisis teach you?

Evelyne Kimani: It is important to save for the future, for the school, but also for the family. I am very grateful to nyendo for the help – it has strengthened the staff and kept the school running.

Sharon Muhonja: Value what you do and don’t look at the salary. No matter how little it is, do something wholeheartedly and give your best without always expecting anything in return.

Christine Vugusa: Corona brought life to a standstill, plans were changed. I became idle and had no income. I survived by God’s grace and benevolence. I opened my mind and learnt that it is good to have a contingency plan for the future. It caused tension in my family because I was not ready to give up teaching and hoped that the schools would reopen.

What do you want to pass on to the children?

Joseph Simiyu: That the students get the best education and morale, that they continue their studies and live a good life.