Rihoy and Son, through their charity, the Ellen Jane Rihoy Trust, has announced investment in the construction of seven preschools in Kenya.
The initiative underscores the critical importance of early childhood education and the safety of young children in the region.
In many areas of Kenya, young children face the challenge of walking 10 km each day through regions inhabited by dangerous wildlife. Rihoy and Son, through the Ellen Jane Rihoy Trust (EJRT), responded to the urgent need to provide a safe and conducive learning environment for these children and, bolstered by a generous donation from the States of Guernsey Overseas Aid and Development Commission (GOADC), have commenced construction.
Seven schools will see the construction of classrooms specifically for pre-school children. The cost of one classroom is a fraction of what it would cost to send one local student to university and will provide safe learning spaces for hundreds of children from the surrounding areas.
Deputy Chris Blin, President of the GOADC, shared insights into their support for the project, stated: “Guernsey has a duty to extend a helping hand to those less fortunate worldwide. We recognised that a grant of £55,000 would help Guernsey-based Charity the EJRT to have a significant positive impact on seven school communities, so it was pleased to support this project.”
Deputy Blin also emphasised that the project met the stringent requirements set out by the GOADC, saying: “The Charity is well known to us as we have supported some of their previous projects. EJRT is chaired by Dr Liz Rihoy, a political scientist specialising in the politics and governance of conservation and community development in Africa.
“With her four decades of experience on the continent, she understands the local dynamics and collaborates closely with grassroots communities. Moreover, the project is entirely volunteer-driven, ensuring that every penny donated directly contributes to its realisation, bypassing administrative overheads.”
By Guernsey standards the schools are very simple structures, but compared to the woven shelters currently used, they will provide a much better and safer environment for the children and, with the added benefit of a rain capturing roof and tanks, can also help provide fresh clean water to the school and beyond.
Commenting on the project Dr Liz Rihoy from the EJRT said: “Through the generosity of Rihoy and Son and the GOADC we will make a lasting impact on the lives of vulnerable children. The establishment of these preschools not only paves the way for a brighter future through education but also ensures the safety and well-being of Kenya’s youngest citizens.”