Upendo Junior School

  Kiminini, Kitale-Webuye Road, Kenya


Started five years ago, Upendo Junior School (UJS) is now home to 139 children both from the local community and the Mt. Elgon region that experienced terrible post-election violence (PEV) in 2007/2008. The School was founded by Dr. and Mrs. Masibo Lumala, who gave up their home and a few rental houses for the displaced children (who were then camping in the local churches in Kiminini, Kenya) to acquire an education as the country waited for peace to return.

From two volunteer teachers and with minimal facilities, the school has weathered many a storm in its endeavor to provide quality education to needy children in a loving and safe environment. With generous support from friends and well-wishers from around the world, UJS now boasts of qualified teachers, wonderful playground facilities (albeit in adequate given the growing numbers) and has received a grade A- rating from the local education office. The founders are doing everything possible towards the realization of the school vision and mission.

UJS was initially started as a school for displaced and orphaned children following the Post-Election Violence (PEV) that rocked the country in 2007/2008. Many children in Mt. Elgon region found themselves homeless and for some parentless and camping at Kiminini Town. Although schools were in session, the many children accommodated in local churches could not be enrolled in the local schools due to lack of space and facilities. Bearing in mind the importance of education, the Masibos converted their home and a block housing three rental houses into a school.

With the time, the school opened doors to other needy and vulnerable children from the local community who would otherwise not be able to access any schooling for lack of basic facilities such as uniform, exercise books, food, and fees. Such children were often engaged by their next of kin/guardians in child labour o fetch some income and/or other domestic chores.

The school is situated at Kiminini, some 20 kilometers from Kitale town, along the Kitale-Webuye Road, in Trans Nzoia County. It stands on just half-an-acre of land. The 139 children not only learn under the tutelage of eight dedicated teachers, but also have meals, get a pair of uniform, have a chance to play and develop positive attitudes in an environment that espouses love, tolerance, godliness, kindness, obedience, respect, trust and cultural cohesion.