Sight for Students – 5th December 2013

Mwanamvua Athman of Class 3 and Omar Suleiman of Class 2 were proud recipients of spectacles thanks to donations by Nicola and The Newcastle Eye Centre (UK). The pupils were having difficulties in their studies which was a cause for concern for parents and teachers alike. This led us into taking them for eye checkups and subsequent prescriptions and glasses from the Kwale District Eye Centre.
This was not the first time this has happened as Abel Ngaluko of Class 5 and Jibini Mwafungo of class 8 also previously benefitted from a similar scheme.

A letter from Paris – November 2013

Keen DGS supporter and sponsor, Sam Gardner, wrote a letter about her sponsored walk, with lots of photos, which she sent to her sponsored child’s class. The children in class 1 were amazed to get a letter all the way from Paris and the Teacher said it was good to be able to tell them a bit more about France. Sam completed a 15km walk from the Château de Versailles to the Notre Dame in 4 hours and 10 minutes, and raises much needed funds for Destiny Garden School. For a full report – see this link.

Roy Major returns to DGS – 5 December 2013

Roy, sponsor and supporter of Destiny Garden School, visited the school again. One of his main aims was to look at the water situation at the school and to give his expert advice. Today he met up with Jacob, the School Director and the local plumber, Peter, to discuss the progress of the piped water project. See the entry on 14 May 2013 for more details of his first visit.

School Cleaning Day – 14 November 2013

This was a memorable day for DGS as it held an environment cleaning day. Pupils from all classes were involved in the exercise whereby they picked rubbish, weeded the gardens and tidied up the compound, as well as sorting out the classrooms and washing the walls.  All the teaching staff were available to guide the students, as well as talk them about the best ways to care for and take a pride in their school. This activity was done in order to educate the children about their environment and hopefully make them be more responsible in helping to keep it clean and tidy.

End of Year Celebrations – December 2013

Destiny Garden School ended it’s final term with a party to celebrate a successful year, the graduation of the Kindergarten Class 3 students, and prize giving for the children who had come first, second or third in their class. A special meal was laid on for the children and their parents or guardians, who were entertained by the children and staff, and all the children received a Christmas present.  The guest of honour was Mishi Mboko, the elected women’s representative for Mombasa County.  The parents/guardians appreciated being involved and this  event helped to emphasise the importance and rewards of education and promoted a sense of community.

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Full Report by Victor Ongola, DGS School Manager.

The fifth annual Destiny Garden School KG3 graduation and End of Year event took place on the school grounds. This year’s event was a truly wonderful and inspiring occasion which will linger in our memories for a very long time, and was funded by the supporters of the UK Charity, Destiny Children, who support DGS.

The festivities began at 10.20am with a word of prayer from one of the parents present. Destiny’s Kindergarten children were the first to go on stage with their singing game dance which last year famously qualified them for the national music festival. This was followed by performances by the baby class and the upper primary much to the delight of the parents.

Mr Jeremiah Ndiye, the class 7 teacher then recited a poem which he had written himself called ‘Be proud of Destiny Garden School’ which was a sobering reminder to all present about the potential the school has. Abdalla who works as the school gardener and also cook has always been a talented dancer. On this day, accompanied by some members of his dance crew named ‘Kigoma group’ they took to the stage and entertained everyone with their dance routines and acrobatics. The rest of the staffs at Destiny Garden were not to be left behind as they followed on stage dancing and waving to a smooth gospel song.

This ushered the beginning of speeches led by Madam Susan and then the rest of the teaching staff who shared a common theme of urging parents to take care of their children during the holidays and to ensure that they do not forget about their studies entirely. They then wished them all a Happy New year and a Merry Christmas.

The guest of honour upon her arrival was then dressed in academic regalia much like the graduating Kindergarten 3 pupils. The pupils then led the dignitaries to the school hall where the pupils lined up, introduced themselves and what professions they hope to pursue in future which was quite exciting for everyone to watch and hear.

At exactly 12.50pm Jacob Boaz the schools director took to the stage where he introduced the guest of Honour Mishi Mboko who is also the elected women’s representative for Mombasa County. He then introduced Roy Major, who sponsors a child at the school, Rai Wong, a volunteer at the school, and last but not least Brenda Christine Jacob who is a school director. Brenda was first to speak amongst the dignitaries as she emphasised the need for parents to instil positive values onto their children as the schools name was not just chosen out from the blue but with a very good purpose which is to give the children a great destiny.

Mr Jacob then elaborated on the need for values in the children as that is what he had also envisioned for the school. Ms Rai and Mr Roy were both given a chance to say a word where they both thanked everyone for the warm welcome they had received and also praised the good work Jacob is doing at the school despite the challenges that exist.

Ms Mishi Mboko our guest of honour then quickly gave out certificates to the graduating Kindergarten pupils with each child posing for a photograph with her which was quite an honour. After all the certificates were given out, this signalled her chance to address the crowd which she did not hesitate to do. She reminded Jacob and Brenda how the school began and how much they have achieved in such a short period of time. She thanked them both for ‘hanging in there’ despite the challenges they faced all for the sake of education of the children in Mtongwe. She reminded the parents that the only inheritance they can give their children is education as most of them are very poor and have nothing material to give.

She then gave herself as an example of someone who grew up in a poor location but it’s only through education that she was able to make it as a women’s representative. Education is a must she repeated, as it’s also in the country’s constitution in the bill of rights. The 3 pillars of education she said were the director, parents and the teachers as they all played a very important role in the children’s success. She also had kind words for the kindergarten teachers for the work they do as teaching such young children is not easy. She made the audience burst into laughter when she claimed that some parents in the hall couldn’t not even give an introduction in English just as the nursery children had done moments earlier. She promised to help the school more in future as she considered it part of her. She then gave the teachers a small token of appreciation for the good work done. Mishi asked parents not to always expect to be given things as the secret of getting anything is also giving out something. A teaching which she claimed is in both the Bible and Quran. Mishi ended her speech on a light note by asking Brenda to take care of Jacob so that he may continue the good work at the school which brought about roars of laughter from the audience.

Gift giving was next on the agenda as first Mishi, Roy and Rai all took turns to give presents to the top 3 performing students from Baby Class to Class 7. The prizes included pencil pouches, mathematical sets, timetables and stationery which had been donated by local bookshops. Jacob was then left to close the formal part of the day’s activities where he reminded students to concentrate on their studies more next year so as to improve on this year’s performances.

The pupils were then ushered to the kitchen area where they were given the special lunch of goat/kitchen pilau (spiced rice). The parents’ lunch was taken to them in the hall by volunteers where they all ate to their fill. This special lunch was thanks to the generosity of many of the school’s sponsors. Parents were then left free to interact with the class teachers while we gave away the party bags to all the Destiny Garden School Children which is their Christmas gift from the supporters of the Destiny Children Charity. This marked the end of not only our celebrations but also the school year.

Volunteer Rui – November 2013

Rui, a Chinese volunteer who currently works for DHL in Germany, is working at Destiny Garden School for 2 weeks during November.  The children and teachers were delighted to have her support.

The Great Debaters – 19 November 2013

Destiny Garden School invited the neighbouring schools – ‘The Bridge of Hope’ and ‘Mtongwe Primary’ for a joint debating session. This was held at DGS’s newly built hall and the debate was ‘Which is better Knowledge or Wealth?’

The event began at 11am until 2pm and after a vigorous back and forth exchange of ideas the team in support of knowledge were declared the winners. The pupils then had a special lunch of Chicken pilau sponsored by Mr Mohamood Noor who had previously visited DGS back in September and is the Mombasa Senators personal Adviser.

The schools then assembled 2 teams to play a football match much to the delight of the schools teachers who were present. This was a truly wonderful experience for the school and we hope to have more educational functions in future at our door step.

Report by Victor, DGS School Manager.

Volunteer Janette says farewell – 17 November 2012

Before Volunteer Janette said goodbye to the children and the staff of Destiny Garden School, she had a few gifts to give them – a box for each class full of assorted pens, rulers and erasers to help those students who might run out during the course of the term, and a box of markers and timetable cards for the teachers.

Janette will be returning to Mombasa next year to do some more voluntary work for the school.

Kathy James Visits Destiny Garden School – June 12th

Kathy James and her friend Liz from England visited DGS. Kathy has been a keen supporter of the school since it first opened in May 2009 and this is her fourth visit. She brought along some football kits and helped serve a special lunch to the children,  which was rice and beans, and also bananas as a special treat. Kathy ad Liz went around each class giving sweets to every child in the school, for which they were highly delighted!

SACCO Society Training Day with DGS Staff – 2nd August 2013

This was a memorable day for the Staff of Destiny Garden as the ‘hunter became the hunted’. This was because the staff who are known to teach at the school were on the receiving end as they played host to Kingdom SACCO Society limited Kingdom Sacco is a community-based savings and credit society whose aim is to empower communities by promoting a savings and investment culture while providing affordable credit.

The SACCO came to teach us about its products and offer membership to our staff who like most people find reasonable credit facilities hard to come by as banks often offer very high back breaking rates which makes it unaffordable. They also most importantly came to remind us on the best ways to save money, a culture which many have yet to come to grips in Africa.

They began at 11.30am and went on until 5pm in the evening. This also gave the chance for the older children to guide the young ones while the teachers were learning. The children had completed their examinations on Wednesday and thus were doing revision or reading story books with their peers. The products they were offering were very convincing that eventually many of the teachers simply had to sign up at the end including yours truly.

Victor Ongola, DGS School Manager

Celebration Lunch for the Children at DGS – 24th October 2013

The UK sponsors of Belinda Moraa, class 2, sent funds to enable her class and the whole school to have a treat; this was in celebration of Belinda’s birthday. The whole school had a special lunch in her honour, which consisted of rice, beans and a banana, much to the delight of all the children in the school. Then Belinda shared a birthday cake with her classmates and the DGS staff. This would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the generous donation from Steve and Heather Arrowsmith.

You will see from the photos that the children eat lunch in various places round the school and DGS is currently looking for funding to build a dining shelter.

Tomato Harvest at DGS – 11 July 2013

DGS picked its first ever tomato harvest, this just follows last week’s harvest of Kale from our garden in the school grounds. See the news entry on 10 May for the start of this project. The harvested tomatoes will be used in today’s lunch which is maize and beans (Githeri).

Victor Ongola, DGS School Manager

Closing Day at DGS – 8 August 2013

Tuesday 8th August 2013 was the school’s closing day and also a very hectic one as they had a lot of activities going on at the school.

Matt’s ‘Alternative Gift’ of lunch of beans and rice was served to the children much to their delight as they not only got some nutritious rice and beans but also a banana each.

The students were urged to work harder in school next term and also help to their parents during the holidays. The best performing students were awarded with a bag of popcorn. The school also held it’s final meeting with the students in the top class 7. The school will reopen to the students on September 2nd.


Volunteer, Janette, Introduces Rounders to DGS – 10th October 2013

Class 5 had the rare pleasure of playing a game of rounders with bats and balls courtesy of Janette. Rounders is a bat and ball game played between two teams which involves striking a ball with a bat. The players score by running around the four bases on the pitch.  The kids at the school were new to the game as it is rarely played in this region. Class Teacher, Mr Dixon, who had prior knowledge of the game was also at hand to guide the students. The other classes will be given the opportunity to learn rounders.

Report and photos by Victor Ongola, School Manager.

Special Parents Meeting at DGS – 5th October 2013

Destiny Garden School held an extra special parents/guardians meeting; extra special as the parents who attended were beneficiaries of a free lunch that was courtesy of Mohammed Noor the personal advisor to the Mombasa Senator Mr Hassan Omar Sarai.  The event started with lunch where the parents were served Pilau, which is a popular coastal meal of rice with spices, roast goat, fish and ugali much to their delight.

The chief guests and speakers were Mr Mohammed Noor, Amina Bakari, a Paralegal and coordinator of human rights,  Husna, an engineer by profession.

Husna inspired the parents/guardians to realize that despite the hardships they may face, their children could still succeed in life. She emphasised the importance of education  and outlined how she had been successful in a career in engineering even though she too was raised in an environment not that different from the children at DGS.

Amina Bakari also stressed that parents/guardians should ensure that they give their children’s education first priority. She covered many topics including children being neat and tidy when they come to school, communicating with the class teacher regularly, effective ways to discipline children. Amina reminded them that DGS is not like other schools where students pay fees and therefore parents should not take education lightly.

Mohammed Noor was next on stage and expressed his dismay at the standards of education within the coast region. Parents, he urged, have to play their role. When the children do well in school, there will always be people ready to assist them to go further in life. He apologised for the absence of the Mombasa senator.

Jacob Boaz, the School Director, wanted parents and guardians to understand that the school sponsors where not super rich but ordinary folks who were making sacrifices so that the children at DGS could study. He spoke about the sustainable agriculture projects he hopes the school will begin and how it would shape the school. He thanked the parents for attending and hoped to have more such forums with the parents in future.

For more photos please see this link – special parents/guardians meeting, 5 Oct 2013

Report by Victor, DGS School Manager.

New Gloves for the Cooks – 3 October 2013

UK volunteer, Janette,  come up with a pleasant surprise for the DGS cooking staff – she purchased some much needed cooking gloves! Janette joined DGS at the beginning of the month and will be working for DGS until mid-November.

‘Kick Polio out of Kenya’ Campaign – July 2013

Polio, a viral disease which affects the nerves system and can lead to partial or full paralysis, was once thought to have been completely eradicated in Kenya until a recent case was reported in May this year in Daadab refugee camp.

The Kenyan government has had to roll out an emergency immunization campaign all over the country. On Friday, 5th July 2013, Destiny Garden School was very proud to host Hadija Livono, Clinical Officer from Likoni and Shaffi Jumapili, Community Health Worker, (our night guard), who were charged with the responsibility of immunising children below the age of 5 years in our school.

The exercise did not last more than 30 Minutes as the children were given drops of the medicine as per order of their classes. We were grateful to host Hadija and Shaffi and hope that we can truly kick out polio out of Kenya for good.

Please see this link for more of Victor’s photos on Polio Imminisation at DGS

Improvements made at DGS – 15th July 2013

A kind donation from sponsor Matt has enabled DGS to install an automatic urinal water dispenser. This will now go a long way in meeting the health authorities standards and improve hygiene at the School.

Educational Tour – 21st June 2013

DGS children from classes 4 to 7 went on their first ever educational tour which was sponsored by Mr Hassan Omar, the Mombasa Senator. The start of the tour was a visit to the Sabaki River, the second longest river in Kenya, and were taught about the crocodile and Hippopotamus infested river. Next they went to the Vasco da Gama pillar and then on to the Malindi national Museum

Lunch was rare treat with pilau (rice, meat and Arabic spices) and brown bread, kindly provided by the Hon. Mishi Juma Khamis, the Mombasa Government Women’s Representative. The drinks of water and soda were generously donated by the Castle Royal Hotel.

The tour then visited the Gede ruins, the remains of a 13th century Swahili town. Highlights of the day were climbing a very high tree house and visiting the snake park. It was a wonderful experience and one the children will remember for a very long time.

Please see this link for Victor’s full Report – The Educational Tour Report

And this link for Victor’s enlarged photos – The Educational Tour in Pictures

DGS grows its own food – 10th May 2013

Destiny Garden School is growing its own vegetables to help supplement the feeding programme and provide a more nutritious lunch for the children. At present they are using any available land around the school grounds, but hope in the future to be able to buy more land to develop a small holding.

DGS Football Players to Represent the School – 30 May 2013

A follow up to the Football Tournament (May 2013) news story is that George Otieno (Class 7), Veronica Akoth (Class 7), Fatuma Salim (Class 7), Fatuma Saidi (Class 7) and Ummi Ebrahim (Class 6) were chosen to represent the division the following Thursday.

Then after this game George Otieno and Fatuma Saidi were deemed good enough to represent the district. We wish them all the best.

To see the football photos click on this link.

DGS take part in a Football Tournament – 21 May 2013

Report by Victor, the School Manager:

“Today was a very special day for Destiny Garden School. The school participated in the Likoni division football tournament which was held at a nearby primary school. DGS entered both the boys and girls football teams. The students and staff walked to the venue.

The girls’ team were the first ones to play. They did us proud as they comprehensively beat Donna Linda Primary school 3-0.

The boys were however given a sterner test by the Donna Linda boys team who beat us 3-1 later on in the afternoon.

We fully enjoyed our day out competing against other schools despite the little practice time we had before the games began. The best players from the tournament will be chosen to represent Mtongwe in the district finals on Thursday. Some of our players i believe have been chosen but this is subject to confirmation.

The day did however end on a sad note as Caleb Munyekenye of class 6 fractured his arm whilst playing for our team. He was rushed for x-rays in Mombasa and later this evening had his hand put in a plaster. He had broken both his Radius and Ulna bones and will have the plaster on for 4 weeks or so.”

View more photos.

Roy Major Visits DGS – 14th May 2013

Roy Major, sponsor and supporter of Destiny Garden School, visited the school whilst holidaying in Mombasa.  One of his main aims was to look at the water situation at the school and to give his expert advice.

Victor, the school manager, said:

“Roy Major made his long awaited visit to our school and was quick to get to work where he got to know, the water situation around the school, accessing the underground water tank, water system in the washrooms, the kitchen and also kindergarten. Amazingly he never sat down for a single minute for almost 3 hours after he arrived. He got to meet, the staff, students and also our local plumber, Peter. 

He and the plumber got to work as they did the measurements of the area and what he expects to be required. He decided that piped water was the way forward for DGS.  All in all, it was a good day as we made more progress at DGS thanks to Mr Roy Major, who has proved to be a charming and caring person.”

Roy took the opportunity to meet the students of DGS and visit some of the classrooms.  He even gave an impromptu speech at the school assembly!

DGS’s Closing Day – 12th April 2013

Today was the school’s closing day. Parents were invited to see the performances of their children in class as well as interact with the teachers. The best performing students numbers 1-3 where awarded with drinks which they shared with their parents. Also the top 3 students from classes 6 and 7 were rewarded with brand new uniforms.

The parents/guardians for class 6 and 7 students were asked to allow their children to attend school from Monday next week for the next 2 weeks during the holidays. These classes will run from 8am to 12pm and are to help the students finish their syllabus quicker and prepare for the district Mock examinations which they will be doing in the month of July next term.

Tree planting at DGS – 9th April 2013

This was a memorable day for Destiny Garden School as it was their ‘national tree planting day’. Lafarge an eco friendly company donated over 270 seedlings to the school for them to plant.

All the children from kG 3 to class 7 were handed a seedling each to plant and own. The concept created by the school Director Jacob, and his wife Brenda, means that all the children who planted the seedlings will be left with the responsibility to water their plants and generally care of their seedlings survival. The children in turn will learn to be more Eco-friendly and more responsible in there lives. The children tagged each plant with their names.  Jacob also planted his tree near the administration office in honour of this occasion. Photos to come.

Special Lunch for the Children of DGS – 5th April 2013

The school lunch at DGS is usually just vegetables and rice or ugali.  The sponsor of Fatma, who is pictured here in the centre, sent some funds over to pay for a special treat for all the children; beans to add to the vegetable stew and a banana for all 340 children.

Victor, the School Manager, said: “Students of Destiny Garden were recipients of a rare lunch treat. Thanks to the Price family in Australia, the students were treated to a healthy sumptuous meal of rice and beans and a banana each. The children were very excited about the occasion and mingled during their lunch hour very happy. Some even mixed the bananas with the rice and beans to enhance the taste of the meal.”

For more photos please see this link – Special Lunch April 2013.

Regina and Bernd’s last day at DGS – 15th March 2013

Regina Schack and her good friend Bernd Zwatschek visited the school on the 25th of February 2013. Regina and Bernd who are on their third visit to the school hold a special place in our hearts as they have always come to the aid of the school whenever they have been called upon. They both sponsor children thus providing a regular income to DGS.

Last year Regina and Bernd raised funds for the construction of a modern kitchen unit for the school;  the old one was not deemed fit for food preparation by the local authorities. This year they have raised further funds to help complete the building of Classrooms 7 and 8.  This has been a great help in the development of the school.

Tuesday March 15th  was Regina and Bernd final day at Destiny Garden School. They sponsored a special lunch as a gift to the children; the  lunch consisted of Meat, a banana and Ugali.  Regina gave away woollen socks knitted by her grandmother to the top performing students during the Mid-term exams from class 1, Kg3 and Kg 2.

Volunteer Janette’s Final Day – 28th February 2013

Janette spent her final day at Destiny Garden School marking exams and interacting withthe DGS children. This day was also graced by the presence of Brenda who is one of the school directors. Lunch, which consisted of Meat, a banana and Ugali, was sponsored by Regina and Bernd who also helped to serve it. This was great a treat for the children.

Janette expressed her love for the school during her time here and her desire to comeback soon. She also wished us the best in future. She was then given a special leso/kanga as a gift by the school Head girl (Jeniffer Anyango) much to her delight and surprise.

See this link for Janette’s review of her volunteering experience.

Building of classrooms 7 and 8 – 25 February 2013

The building class 7 and class 8 and the examination hall is progressing well. The bricks are delivered and work on the walls start.

Please see this link for further details and progress.

National Deworming Day at DGS – 7 February 2013

DGS Children were involved in a nationwide deworming program that had them receive free deworming pills courtesy of the government. All children and staff were given deworming pills as a way of eliminating worms from their bodies. Worms often affect  child’s education and thus it was also important on this day to highlight the importance of good overall hygiene.

The free pills were given out by the DGS teachers who had earlier undertaken training for this event. The deworming was also open to other children from the area who do not attend school at present.

UK Supporter donates an SLR Camera to DGS – January 2013

UK supporter of Destiny Garden School, Peter, donated a Nikon D40 SLR camera. Whilst this is for Victor, the School Manager, to take photos for the websites and the sponsorship programme, the children all wanted to try it out!

A Special Lunch for the Children and Staff – 24 January 2013

Today was a special day at DGS as the children and staff were treated to a special fish lunch at the school. This was indeed a pleasant surprise for many of the children have never eaten fish at the school before. The lunch was sponsored by Jacob, the School Director.

Volunteer Janette buys chairs for DGS – 21 January 2013

Following the recent admission of new students into the Kindergarten classes, Janette decided to donate to the school 25 new chairs to go towards the nursery section to improve there learning environment. The children were delighted with their new furniture and were quick to thank her for her generosity.

Volunteer Janette helps DGS – January 2013

Janette has identified and donated items needed by the teachers and children at DGS. These include blackboard dusters/erasers for class 1 up to class 7 and eight brand new sweeping brooms. The students sweep their own classes and pictured here are the class monitors for class 1-7 who were representing their classes.The teachers and students were all delighted by these donations.

UK Volunteer Janette’s First Day at DGS – 7 January 2013

Janette meets the staff and children at DGS. Janette, from the UK, is working as a volunteer at DGS for 2 months.

New Head Boy and Girl for the New School Year

DGS appointed a new head boy and head girl. Alphonse Ochieng and Jennifer Anyango, both of class 7, were given their new roles due to their hard work and brilliant academic performances  It is DGS’s hope that they will inspire the rest to also do their best in their studies, while also maintaining discipline.

The former head girl, Fatuma Said, and head boy, George Otieno, were thanked for their passed performance in this role.

Classrooms 7 and 8, and the Examination Hall – January 2013

The Kenyan Educational Authorities advised the school that it must have an Examination Hall by June this year, so that the class 7 pupils can take their mock Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education examinations. DGS are therefore building both class 7 and class 8 together, with a partition wall which will enable it to double up as an Examination Hall when required.

Please see this link for further details and progress.

Smiles for Kenya – report by Victor – 17th July 2013

Children at Destiny Garden School woke up to a wonderful surprise when they discovered that they would be the recipients of free toothbrushes, dental floss and toothpaste courtesy of ‘Smiles for Kenya’ and ‘A Broader View’.

All the children from Kindergarten Class 3 to Class 7 were given a toothbrush, dental floss and tooth paste, while baby class to KG2 were given pencils plus other toys like tiny bouncing balls and dice.

Oral hygiene is essential for overall human health as well as self-confidence. This initiative could not have come at a better place and time as oral health is often at the bottom of people’s needs due to other more life threatening situations faced in places like Mtongwe and its environs. Jacob and the teaching staff gave the children instructions on taking care of their teeth, and the importance of good oral hygiene.

The children were all delighted and grateful for this insightful and inspiring gesture by ‘Smiles for Kenya’ and A Broader View (ABV).