The hostel was built with local government money but funds ran out before it was completed. There will be 50 beds, allocated to the most able and vulnerable girls. Currently, some girls rent small rooms in town where they are vulnerable to male abuse. There have been several pregnancies each year resulting in girls leaving school prematurely. Other girls face long walks to and from home each day. As a result they are very tired and often distracted from studies by domestic work. The hostel will improve the quality of their education and the likelihood of them passing Form 4 exams.
Innocent Temu, a teacher at the school, has provided good quality information about the girls’ security, the running costs of the hostel and the contribution local parents will make to the project.
A matron will be employed to care for the girls. Parents will provide mattresses. The school will meet the cost of bunk beds from its own funds. The hostel will have electricity. The building is 266 square metres. Each of the 8 rooms is 12 square metres. This information came from Innocent.
Kevin Curley visited the hostel in April 2015. The work had been completed to a high standard. The school was awaiting delivery of the beds. By the end of July 2015 the first 48 girls to use the hostel were selected, with priority going to those who live furthest from the school.
Kevin Curley wrote after his visit in March 2016: I was pleased to find girls living in the hostel when I visited with Innocent Temu and the matron (a teacher at the school who undertakes matron duties in return for a house on the school site). Despite the national confusion about parental contributions caused by new government policy, parents in Manyoni have formed an independent committee. They collect money, buy food and other necessities and pay a cook. This model was useful to me in other schools where Heads are hesitant to act. Only 8 girls live in the hostel so far but more will come. Innocent says that if electricity is connected this is certain to attract more girls. This is based on his conversations with girls in the school. I agree.
TDT has agreed to give a grant for the installation of electricity.
August 2016: Innocent, the teacher at Manyoni Secondary School who led the construction of the girls’ hostel, has been in touch to tell us that the number of girls sleeping in the hostel has grown from 12 to 42 since electricity was installed. The hostel has room for 48 girls.