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The Grand at Clitheroe Ltd. has committed itself to raising awareness and funds to deliver daily meals to chronically hungry children in their local schools, based in Eldoret, Kenya.
The first grader is a film based on a true story.
It is 2003 and an illiterate 84 year-old Kenyan named Kimani Ng’ang’a Maruge, decides to enrol at a nearby primary school where the average age of his classmates is just six. It is at a time when the Kenyan government has just promised free education or all. He is an old Mau Mau veteran and is desperate to learn to read at this late stage of his life. He fought for the liberation of his country and now feels he must have the chance of an education. Moved by his passionate plea, head teacher Jane Obinchu ( Naomie Harris) supports his struggle to gain the precious school place.
The oldest pupil in the nation is first mocked by local villagers and physically attacked but is then invited to `America to address UN delegates on the importance of primary education for all.
Not only is this a moving film, it is also based in one of our Solomon project schools.
Kapkenduiyo primary school is one of the three schools where the Solomon project provides the school feeding programme. The headteacher Mrs Obinchu is immensely proud of her school and her pupils achievements. Not only has the school been internationally recognised with the film ‘The first grader’, but this year it also received a trophy for the most improved school in Eldoret.
Mrs Obinchu says
‘I am sure that the feeding programme has achieved this for the school. ‘The Solomon project ‘keeps the children in the school all day. Their health has improved and that means they can perform well. They are better disciplined. It stopped the girls going out and being at risk. Not one single girl has got pregnant over the past year. We used to have about 6 pregnancies a year.”
Mrs Obinchu explained that living in one of the worst slum areas of Kenya means there is a lot of illicit drinking. Such behaviour means the streets can be dangerous to young girls. The daily lunch means the girls don’t have to leave the school to find food and can stay until the end of the school day before heading straight home. For many the school meal is the only meal of the day. It is also the thing that keeps them safe.