The Mara Rianda Primary School is situated at the northern end of the Maasai Mara. It is about 100 miles west of Nairobi and 50 miles south of Narok. Following Richard Long’s first visit to the school in March 2003 (See Home page) he shared the needs of the school with business and personal friends. The following is a summary of his letter:-
During my stay at the Maasai Mara in March 2003 I visited the Mara Rianda Primary School. The facilities provided to the pupils were very basic. In some rooms there were four pupils to a desk. All the text books were falling apart but were cherished by those using them.
I asked the head teacher what the school needed. He looked at me, pondered and then said “If you mean by a miracle we need chalk, white and coloured, pens and pencils, exercise books ..” and so he went on.
His simple request shocked me “Chalk would be a miracle”.
Those words became the charity’s by-line .
On 11 September 2003 Richard and his son Jamie left England for Mara Rianda. They took with them 100’s of pens and pencils, footballs and tennis balls. Upon arrival at the school they were met by Laurence the head teacher, the school chairman, a local government officer as well as about 300 children. With the funds donated they managed to deliver: Exercise books, Textbooks, Pens, Pencils, Rulers, Teachers books, Writing paper, Dictionaries, Clocks, Calculators, Footballs, Volley balls, Tennis balls, Skipping ropes and of course CHALK!!
In February 2004 the charity was formed and since then it has provided the funds for a fence, which was needed to prevent wildlife from coming too close, the successful drilling of a borehole at the school. The expressions on the children’s faces were priceless; they had never previously seen water incessantly come from a tap, they had only been used to using rainwater or water from the Mara River and local ponds.
In addition amongst many other things the charity has funded the building of three classroom blocks comprising ten classrooms in total, a kitchen and dining hall, latrines, solar lighting, salaries for two teachers, desks, educational and sports equipment and much more.