School Renovation Project in Nairobi

A year ago I visited the Loreshow Primary School in Nairobi, Kenya. When I first entered the classrooms it was a big surprise. The roof was leaking, ceilings were falling down and there were pot holes on the floor. It not only looked bad it looked dangerous. As I toured the school, one room after the another, they all looked the same. The Principal who was with me was pleading for me to help to renovate the school. When I see the projects that I need to get involved in it does not take me too much time to make up my mind. I knew at that moment that helping the school was in deed a worthy project.

In the words of the principal “Most of the students of the Loreshow primary school are children of underprivileged parents. Many of them come from the slums of the surrounding area. This school has seventy two orphaned children” she continued “most of the parents of our students are housemaids, watchmen, laborers and low income earners.”

Since it is too big a project to renovate the whole school, I decided to start with renovating one wing of the school which consists of four classrooms. Immediately I appointed a project coordinator and asked him to look for contractors and get estimates. The first estimate I got was too high and discouraging, so I put everything on hold until I could find money for the project. In August 2007 the Rev. Ellen and Rev. Ed of Dallas Unity Church were visiting Prague. They presented me with a check and said “Bhante, we have a check for you from our church congregation. You can use it as you wish to do a humanitarian project or to renovate the school that you were talking about.”

I was so happy and immediately made contact with Ajith who is my assistant in Kenya and requested him to do everything necessary to complete renovating one wing of the school. We made arrangements to hire a contractor but would provide the materials and supervise the project by ourselves. I knew that Ajith was perfect for that job.

In September of this year, when I arrived in Nairobi, while construction was going on I visited the school several times to see the progress and was personally involved with the work details and decision making. I asked Ajith to hire more people in order to finish the work in time. I was so determined to complete the renovations before I left Kenya and mobilized all the necessary forces to complete it in time.

On the day of dedicating the classrooms, teachers as well as the students told us that their prayers has finally been answered. It was truly a joyful day for all of us. Students sang joyful songs and danced at the opening ceremony. One of the members of the Kenya parliament also attended the event. The students thought that it was so special to have a member of par element in their school. Now the whole wing of the school looked like a brand new building. I hope soon we will be able to renovate more classrooms in Loreshow primary school.

Buddhist monks, a Christian congregation, people from the slums and members of parliament, from America to Africa?. what a miracle we experienced. Without any class, racial, ethnic or religious boundaries we have come together to think of children of our planet and their future. I hope we will come together this way more often and do the things that will make this word a better place for all of us to live in peace.

I am so grateful to the congregation of Dallas Unity church for the part they played in the experience of his joyful miracle.