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Oundle continues its work in Kenya
7th November 2013

Press contact:

 

Liz Dillarstone

Publicity and Press Relations Officer

Oundle School

01832 277267

07810 788458

ed@oundleschool.org.uk

 

Over the October Exeat, 16 Oundle School pupils and 3 staff once again ventured to Kenya, to carry on building on the 13 year partnership between Oundle and schools in the Rift Valley.

 

Trip organiser and History teacher, Ian Clark, commented, “This trip focussed on extra-curricular sport, especially football and rugby – we donated a number of indestructible “futbols” from the charity OneWorld Futbol to schools and orphanages; started working with two new orphanage partners, including the Sanata Restart centre recently featured on Channel 4; and delivered 3 wheelchairs funded by New House Housemistress Marianne Smith’s John O’Groats to Lands End cycle ride.  

 

Perhaps most importantly, we spent two days working with our newly founded partners SKRUM Kenya, working in our old partner schools of Ngecho and Kimbo, helping learn the ways of linking HIV education to rugby.”

 

Pupil, Sofia Lyall (17) commented, The highlight of the trip for me was definitely when we went to the Restart Centre which takes in children off the street in Gilgil and which is growing in numbers by the week. The children there were all so smiley and happy for us to be there, it was so much fun playing with them.” 

 

Pupil Millie Marks (16) added, “On the Kenya trip we met some truly inspirational people and coming back home made me appreciate even the smallest things. I had an amazing ten days and am hoping to return in my gap year.”

 

The creation of SKRUM Kenya sees Oundle working with former-All Black, Zinzan Brooke, who travelled to Swaziland with Ian back in February. They joined the initial SKRUM Kenya coaches, as they learned the SKRUM method of delivering the anti-HIV/AIDS message.

 

SKRUM is a rugby based charity based in Swaziland that has used rugby coaching to teach boys and girls about the dangers of HIV/AIDS, and has had a huge impact on the infection rate in Swaziland (the highest in the world, at 42%). Transferring this idea to Kenya made perfect sense, especially as it can be extended to other issues such as domestic violence, female health and the issues still related to the election violence of 2007-8.

 

Ian commented, “Oundle has partners in the Rift Valley of Kenya which makes it obvious for helping to get this project off the ground – these include our links with Touraid from 2010 and our long standing connections with schools such as Ngecho Secondary near Gilgil, and the Malewa Trust, which helps work with local communities on environmental education and life skills. Oundle hopes that linking all these segments together will help create a long standing and successful partnership in Kenya. Initially, SKRUM Kenya aims to work with schools around Gilgil and Nakuru – and after that, who knows!”

 

The second part of the trip involved 3 days behind the scenes at Ol Pejeta Conservancy – rhino walking, chimp watching, hartebeest counting and many night and day game drives. The two parts of the trip gave a fair reflection of how modern Kenya works, protecting its natural resources whilst trying to invest in its future.

 

Sofia added, I also enjoyed visiting the Chimpanzee house in Ol Pejeta because it was interesting to see how much chimps resemble human beings in their mannerisms!”

 

Ian concluded, “The two parts of the trip gave a fair reflection of how modern Kenya works, protecting its natural resources whilst trying to invest in its future. Hopefully, our pupils also learnt a little about the value of life and prosperity in other countries.”

 

SKRUM Kenya ‘Pass The Ball Not The Virus’

                                                

The SKRUM programme was founded by Michael Collinson who is also president of the Swaziland Rugby Union. From humble beginnings in Swaziland, SKRUM is now expanding to Kenya, South Africa and Lesotho.

 

SKRUM stands for Saving Kids Rugby Mission. SKRUM Kenya, in line with the overall SKRUM vision, aims to give youths in Africa hope for the future and for once the freedom of choice in their lives through social education and the opportunity to play the wonderful game of rugby. The target group of children we are aiming this programme at is between age 9 and 19, starting out in the Nakuru county and then expanding throughout Kenya.

 

The core ideas of SKRUM Kenya are to educate and discuss the serious issue of HIV/aids, gender equality, peace building initiatives, abuse, and drug and alcohol related issues. While doing this we also introduce them to the game of rugby, keeping it fun and enabling them to interact with a wide range of children.

 

The SKRUM Kenya mission and achievement strategies are to develop individuals particularly from families of limited resources who show interest and ability in the game through weekly coaching clinics in their schools, community rugby outreach, Sunday rugby programme and tournament participation. We will educate participants in all aspects of the game - playing, officiating, coaching, diet, medical and administration, through rugby workshops, courses, apprenticeships and volunteer programmes. We aim to develop children's personality and life skills through socialisation, exposure, ethos, positive peer pressure and mentorship found within the rugby environment. We will educate them on HIV and Aids awareness, as well as gender equality, peace building initiatives, abuse, and drug and alcohol related issues through regular classroom sessions in schools.

 

The coaches are great role models, they are a good blend of Menengai Oil Nakuru rugby players, teachers from the local schools and volunteers. They are passionate about the game of rugby and they strongly believe in the importance of educating our youths on HIV/aids and other issues that affect their country.

 

If you would like any more details on the project please do not hesitate to contact the project manager, Natasha Edwards at natasha.edwards@skrum.org or visit our website www.skrum.org

Facebook page - SKRUM Schools KENYA.

 

Quotes from individuals already exposed to our SKRUM Kenya project:

 

Richard Ochieng - games teacher at Kenyatta Primary School:

 

"Rugby has helped mould the character of my pupils in school. My work in the classroom has been made much easier. Rugby and the SKRUM Kenya programme has helped grow not only talents in sport but also improved the pupils discipline. Thank you."

 

Alice Gekonde - Department of sports, county division:

 

"SKRUM is pushing for a better future, it has put a smile so many African children and there is nothing more important than that, seeing a smile on a child's face."

 

Rosemary Mwangi - Chief of Bondeni:

 

"Long live SKRUM for empowering our young ones in sports, curbing HIV/aids and peace building initiatives. Congratulations!"

 

Gibson Weru Kahuthia - Nakuru Rugby Coordinator:

 

"I would like to thank SKRUM for the fantastic effort in rugby development in this county. This will go a long way in not only developing the talent but making them responsible citizens. Thank you very much."

 

George Nganga - Chief of Langa Langa:

 

"I sincerely thank the organiser of the SKRUM programme as it’s of great benefit to our people. As an administrator I highly commend you people and keep the fire burning!"

 

 

Background Information on Oundle School

 

Oundle School is situated in the quintessentially English Market town from which it takes its name. The School's buildings, dating from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century, are dispersed throughout the town, which is, to a large extent, its campus.

The School's history goes back to 1556 when Sir William Laxton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers and Lord Mayor of London, endowed and re-founded the original Oundle Grammar School, of which he was a former pupil. In 1876, the Grocers' Company decided to divide the School into two parts: Laxton Grammar School, mainly for the inhabitants of the town, and Oundle School, mainly for pupils from further afield. However, to mark the new millennium, the Governing Body decided to reunite the two schools under the common name of Oundle School, with Laxton as a House for day-pupils.

The School is now able to offer a range of educational possibilities to meet contemporary needs: co-educational day or boarding education, with Laxton Junior as a 4-11 day school, and Oundle School as a boarding and day school, with entry at 11, 13 or into the Sixth Form.

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