Perhaps the most ambitious of all of our projects at this point is to bring education of our kids in- house. The establishment of Rafiki Academy is the embodiment of that dream. Our own school, our own Principal and teachers, classes of 25 students rather than 50 or 60, will greatly benefit our kids. But they won’t be isolated. Fully 2/3rds of the students will be from the community (and be paying us school fees they would pay to the government) so that we will be fostering good relations with the community.
Four extra rooms in the Newark Rotary Technical School are being refurbished to accommodate three of the early classes (up to Form I). A generous grant from Rotary Clubs and District 6690 in central Ohio, areproviding the funds for equipment and supplies in the classrooms, including computers. Bryan Beske is pivotal in our long term efforts to develop an endowment fund to finance the school in perpetuity. All the physical equipment in the classrooms (excluding computer and electronic equipment) is made on site by Rafiki’s carpenters, welders, and others.
In the meantime, our biggest single budget item is school fees for all of our kids, which will continue for the many years it will take us to ramp up Rafiki Academy. Generous support from the Mission Council of First Community Church is helping us with that all important aspect of our mission.