Jerry Kallman Sr.’s Decade of Work in Support of the Kishermoruak Community in Kenya
In 2008, Jerry Kallman established the Ridgewood Rotary Foundation dedicated to supporting the Kishermoruak Primary School in the Maasai Mara Reserve in southern Kenya.
*Excerpts from Jerry’s Progress Report in 2018
In 2008, Jerry Kallman established the Ridgewood Rotary Foundation dedicated to supporting the Kishermoruak Primary School in the Maasai Mara Reserve in southern Kenya. He was a regular visitor to the school and oversaw the allocation of donations that supported the feeding, fresh water, medical treatment, shelter, and education of some 600 local children.
Students at Kishermoruak receive their first radio from Jerry and Lorraine and the Ridgewood Rotary Foundation. The radio allows them to listen to lessons taught in Nairobi and stay current with other students throughout Kenya.
The Ridgewood Rotary Foundation’s program feeds more than 600 students two meals each day.
Jerry Kallman receiving recognition from the Kishermoruak Primary School Head Master and the Narok Rotary Club President”.
While classes were out of session in December, the contractor took up residence at the school and began laying the concrete platform for the two (end-to-end) classrooms we need to keep up with the burgeoning enrollment, particularly in the Pre-School and Kindergarten grades. The Parents' Council has donated the sand necessary for the project, saving us $1500.00, (and effectively making them "stakeholders" in the project). Heavy rains took their toll by delaying the delivery of other building materials, so a firm completion date is not possible to predict at this time. When completed, the construction will create a courtyard effect, with buildings on all four sides of the central compound. Cost of the project is $16,500.00.
After the results of the National Exams were made known, we have offered scholarships to high school to the highest ranking boy and the highest ranking girl among Eighth Graders. A year ago we introduced an option for graduates who did not fare particularly well in the National Exams-- sponsorship at Narok Vocational Training Center, in Narok, the County seat 40 miles from K-School. A variety of two-year courses in trades such as carpentry, masonry, dress making, auto mechanics and cosmetology were offered the pupils. Six students, four boys and two girls are currently in their final year of training. This year four students have opted to join and I am extending an invitation to you to elect to support one of the candidates. Tuition, room and board is heavily subsidized by the County, making the full year cost per student a remarkable US$255.
Through scholarships provided by the Ridgewood Rotary Foundation, more than 15 students (boys and girls) of the Kishermoruak Primary School have gone on to High School in Narok, Nairobi.
After we introduced a water catchment system, saving rain water run-off from the roof, (cost $1600) the school garden has thrived beyond expectation. Until now we have concentrated on vegetables but, following the lead of Maywood Rotary, who planted a single banana tree at their school, we have has a soil sample analyzed by the Narok County Horticulturalist with a view to introducing trees to the garden, and she has recommended banana, mangoes, artichokes, pawpaws and guaves. We envision starting with six trees and having the Head Teacher select six Eighth Grade students at "Tree Monitors", each being responsible for a single tree. They will be entrusted with the health and growing of the tree, thus engendering responsibility and reward (they would be presented with the first fruit.
In support of the recently established Women’s Empowerment Center in Narok, where reusable sanitary "towels" are being produced, we purchased a kit for each girl student. They are presented at a discussion where our staff describe menstrual hygiene management and also self-defense. I am also seeking other ways of cooperating and supporting the Empowerment Center.
I have struck up a correspondence with the British NGO DIG DEEP, which concerns itself with improving sanitation around the world, and is active in Kenya. They, in turn, put me in touch with The Maa Trust, a very active NGO supporting a wide spectrum of social and community needs among the Maasai people. In my correspondence with the Trust they offered to guide me in surveying the sanitation or lack of it at K-school, where I've noted boys use the outside of the latrine to relieve themselves rather than entering and follow more sanitary procedures. At any rate, latrines are woefully lacking by government standards at the school and there is no dearth of assistance at hand. Time and funds are the two main factors.