At the outset the parents were very keen that there should be a school uniform. Initially, the Amy Elgar Trust bought uniforms from other community groups in Laikipia. However, it soon became apparent that there was a great opportunity to train local people to make the uniforms thereby giving them a skill and a source of income.
The Trust invested in several Singer sewing machines, a part time teacher and the necessary materials. Initially the project was met with great enthusiasm and riding on this success, a purpose built project room was constructed. However the part time teacher proved unreliable, morale fell and the number of sewers diminished. We have recently appointed a new teacher and are confident that this important initiative will be successful in the long run.
At present the Trust buys all the necessary materials, the uniforms are made on site by the local ladies (and one man!) who are paid for each item made to an acceptable standard. The uniforms are then sold to the parents.
This project makes no money for the school but it has great long term potential. There are plans to bid for contracts to supply uniforms to other schools as well as smocks for a flower firm outside Nairobi (who currently buy them from India!).
This is one those projects where donors may have to wait patiently and not become discouraged by short term setbacks.