Stara Rescue centre and school has been running since 2000. It started with 6 orphans children who were left behind by our group members who passed away. The school was introduced to a donor in the Netherlands (Childs Life International) and commenced leasing a plot of land to construct two temporary classrooms.
With an increasing number of children, up to 270 in 2004, World Food Program (WFP) started a feeding program at the school during school days and well-wishers during holidays. For most of the children, the meal they get is their only meal. The holiday feeding program was started to prevent children from going back to streets during holidays.
Currently, Stara rescue centre and school caters for over 500 vulnerable children. 70% of all the pupils are orphans, (15%) are from single-parents, (10%) neglected and abused, and (5%) from poor backgrounds. We have managed to screen 400 pupils and 48 were confirmed to be HIV-positive and are on anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs). The pupils are aged from 3 to 18 years
Stara Rescue centre and school is open six days a week and regularly operates classes from baby class, nursery, pre-unit and standards 1-8. All the classes adopt the national curriculum. It feeds and counsels, as well as offering spiritual nourishment to both the students and their guardians.
With the hoard from Swiss Association and the World Food Program (WFP), the school generously pays staff salaries and provides free lunch during school days respectively. Throughout the holiday seasons and Saturdays, Stara Rescue centre and school depends totally on well-wishers.
In the year 2007, Girl child Empowerment program was introduced in the school. This was mainly to:
Empower the girls with information that would make them make healthy decision regarding their sexuality.
Provide sanitary towels to girls who cannot afford them, for them stop using clothes and missing school.
Reduce the rate of HIV/AIDS and early pregnancy/marriage in young girls who are in school.
Ensure the young women and girls are provided with opportunities to learn scales to reduce their vulnerability and help them avoid risky behaviour.
Challenges facing the school
We lack food for holiday feeding program
We lack a dining hall.
We need enough furniture for the school.
We need a permanent/strong fence.
We need a computer laboratory.
We need a vocational training centre for our standard graduates.
We lack sanitary towels.
We need training materials such as flip charts and stationery.