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At the end of May two Trustees visited Unity School in Mombasa. Apart from the usual matters of finance and educational progress in general, we were especially looking at the repair work required in the kitchen and the completion of the remaining two classrooms in the Parry Building. (That were not completed last Summer.)

This is a brief update on what we found and what now needs doing.

Financially Unity School is struggling, as are most other privately funded schools, with the burden of taxation imposed by the Government of Kenya in the last twelve months. Tensions were already simmering with protests reported in Nairobi.  News items, this week, have shown how this tension led to violence with upsetting images being   broadcast. We are in constant contact with our friends in Mombasa and   I am pleased to report that all our teachers, students and parents are safe. Schools in Kenya are closed. This is the second closure this term – the first was due to threats of flooding although Unity School was unaffected


 In terms of teaching and learning, Unity school is in good shape. We visited many good lessons and, as usual, were able to take lessons in English, maths and Christian Religious Education.  We made a small start in the establishment of a school library.  A sale of second-hand books in March raised £300 which we were able to spend at a book fair held on the sea front in Mombasa. A cabinet was donated to house both new and old books which were catalogued.  Plenty more reading books are required – both in English and Kiswahili.  Reference books, other than school textbooks, were not obviously available.  

The kitchen, we discovered, was in a worse state than expected. This was compounded when a letter from the Health authority ordering repairs and the installation of a sink with drains to be completed within 14 days. This was appealed and no further comment has been received. The work is scheduled for mid-August when the school is closed and lunches are not provided.  Funding has already been given for this work and a contractor engaged.


The main task, as we already knew, was to organise the completion of the two classrooms that were not built last summer. Four estimates were requested for completion of the remaining rooms in the Parry building. One of which will be required for the new grade 8 class in January 2025. (The last step in the introduction of the new curriculum.)  After considerable discussion an estimate was accepted and work should commence in August.  The quotation along with estimated costs of furnishing with desks and chairs is £19,000. A generous donation of £10,000 has been received, leaving the charity to raise £9000 to complete the work.  This will be the focus of our fundraising appeals this summer.

 Finally. We left the management team with one further challenge.  The Nursery class are still using a small room in the orphanage.    We suggested that the Nursery class be moved out of the orphanage into one of the large empty huts. Refurbishment would be required including carpets, attractive play and rest areas, together with appropriate furniture. This would benefit the small children but look an attractive environment for prospective parents when they visit.  


If you are able to help with financing the building work, or any other matter, please contact any of our Trustees or use our Just Giving Page:

You will also be able to meet some of our Trustees at the vents we will be attending this summer,

July: 6th – Rustington Street Fair

July 20th – Broadwater Carnival, Broadwater Green, Worthing

July 28th – Worthing Lions Sea Front Fair – our stall will be to the west of the pier, but how far west will not be known until the day of the fair.

September 14th – Littlehampton Town Show.   Caffyns Field, Littlehampton from midday.

Below:  One of the unfinished classrooms – with a message from the children 


Schools Closed After weeks of Heavy  Rain

After fooding that badly affected the coastal regions of Kenya,  the Government ordered all schools to remain closed after the Easter break.  The start of the new term was delayed by a week. Then Cyclone Hidaya appeared off the coast of Tanzania and the Government of Kenya issued more warnings: all beach and fishing activities have been prohibited.

So far, Unity School has remained safe – and dry.  With the cyclone fading out we hope to hear very soon that the new term has started. 

Dear Friends

Exciting News!

We’re thrilled to share that the KPSEA Exam (for Grade 6)results are out! Our amazing learners have truly outdone themselves, and they deserve a big round of applause for their exceptional performance!
A heartfelt thank you to our dedicated teachers and Friends of Mombasa children who guided and supported these pupils together throughout the journey. Ensuring they had hot meals for their lunch, health care whenever they fell sick which enabled them to come back in good time and learning materials. We also thank our parents for their input.

Let’s celebrate this achievement together! Please join us in congratulating our outstanding Grade Sevens, who sat their National Exams with The last Standard Eight in Kenya. Their exams didn’t have multiple choices like the faced out 8:4:4 curriculum. 32 pupils managed several Exceeding Expectations level which is equivalent to A or Distinction. 4 pupils managed Meeting Expectations, equivalent to B or Credit and 1 pupils got Approaching Expectations equivalent to C or Pass and 1 pupil who is a special case got Below Expectations. The CBC curriculum has picked very well. Thanks to you all. We expect more exciting news this year. God bless

Best regards
Unity School Management




Latest from Mombasa


  New Classrooms –  The good news and the not so good news:


The next paragraph was written earlier in the Summer when the construction of 5 new classrooms was, apparently going well.  Unfortunately a major sponsor pulled out, leaving us with only three new rooms.   This was further compounded by a visit from the Health Authority who condemned the two older rooms used by the Nursery children.    On a positive note, funding for the science lab and music room has been going well.  Clearly our support of Unity School is needed more that ever.

With increased student numbers and the need to provide a library, science lab and provision for IT  we urgently require more classroom space. Fortunately the classroom block has space for 5 rooms on the upper floor.

After discussions with our contractor, five rooms were planned.  The cost to the charity is £8000 each for three classrooms.  We were expecting two more to be paid for  by a generous well wisher. Unfortunately this did not happen and we need to raise more funds to complete the project.  One of the rooms needs to be fitted out as Science Laboratory.  Another will be a music room.  A third will be a Library with IT facilities

Now we need your help in raising the money to pay for three rooms.  Please follow the link below  for more information and how to donate.



Successful Examination Results


After three years of disrupted education our Standard Eight Students achieved high marks.

From Nobert Were (School Manager):

Once again our STD 8 made us proud. Thanks so much for all your help. Without you we couldn’t have achieved these standards. We were placed in the 13th position (out of over 100 schools) this time round.  Still we have trounced big schools that have existed for so many years and very experienced. The officials who came recognized our hard work and this too earned us lots of points during their inspection. Grade 6 results are out with some anomalies. But very impressive results. Most of them had distinctions in most subjects.


A new education system in Kenya


January 2023 saw the implementation  of the new system of education in Kenya. It is called the 2-6-6-3 system although the words used are not always consistent  and both the “6’s” are subdivided.  Since 1985 Primary schools have taken pupils from the age of 5 until 14.   The new system is a little more like the one we are used to in the UK., with a change at the age of 11 years.

Our own school (Previously Unity Freretown Nursery and Primary) now becomes Unity Freretown   Junior and Primary ,  And also  Unity Freretown Lower Secondary School. The two schools have their own Headteacher and Uniform.     Not all was plain sailing:


In December the Kenyan Government announced that all Junior Schools would be required to take the ‘lower secondary’ classes. This caused several problems for us and Unity School.  A building adjacent to Unity School became available for renting, and after some last minute and very much appreciated financial support from some of our supporters, we were able to help the Unity School Management to secure these rooms.  Desks, school uniforms and other equipment for the lower secondary was secured during the Christmas break in readiness for January 2023.  After a very thorough inspection the Kenyan Ministry of Education have given Unity School the go ahead to host the lower secondary pupils.  Further meetings have been arranged for all school directors and headteachers  so this will not be the final story!

More information on the new system is to be reported in the February Newsletter and on the website under “Our School”.


To watch a video made for us.   Click here.    The video shows recent pictures of our school and the work of our charity.


Scroll down to see older news items.

Celebrating the success of two of our former pupils.

We are very proud to announce that William and Silas have both graduated with Second Class Honours in Criminology.  Both have been with us since their early days in Primary School.  Having performed well in the KCPE when they were 14 years old, they have been sponsored through secondary school and University.

Graduation Day

Dressed for the ceremony


 Delayed Exams for Standard 8 students get underway.

This week sees the examinations that should have been sat in November taking place.  The school is closed to all but the Head teacher and the candidates. The Government provides a schedule of teachers from other schools to supervise the exams together with armed guards. (Some of our teachers are sent to nearby schools in return).   Spare a thought for the Head Teacher who has to collect the papers every morning from an office in Mombasa and is then escorted to school by an armed guard.  The reverse process happens every evening. 






Classroom 3

School inspectors visited Unity as part of the process of checking that schools were “Covid ready” for pupils to return.  They expressed their concern that classroom 3 was in a bad state of repair.  When the builders began repair work, it all fell down!   Rebuilding started from scratch.  Some of the other older classrooms have been smartened up with a lick of paint. One more classroom is awaiting rebuilding – If you can donate towards the cost of rebuilding, please go to “Support Us”.


Pupils return to school

 The first students return to school; Covid safe, of course.  Face masks, socially distanced desks in class and new handwashing facilities outside every classroom. 



School to reopen for students

 At the beginning of October the Government of Kenya announced that, subject to precautions, schools could re-admit pupils in grade 4 and standard 8 (10 and 14 Year olds).  Some of our Secondary school students were also to be allowed back. Just as the school started to prepare for the return of two classes, the government further announced that in 2 weeks time the rest of our pupils could return.   An appeal was launched to provide equipment, re-employ teachers, and generally make the school covid safe,  



Latest report from our School Manager, Mr Norbert Werre

Corona virus came with tremendous challenges that affected our school greatly.  This caught us unaware and in consultation with FOMC trustees we came up with ways of mitigating the challenges.  We have consulted with parents requesting their help in providing paper packs of assignments for the pupils (very few parents have internet access).  Some parents are able to give some financial help and we are grateful to FOMC for their financial help.    In addition, with their help, we are able to support those families in desperate need with a food parcel each month.  Our medical aid is continuing at least for the next few months, and we are looking at ways of whether any local Rotary could support us.  We are very thankful that we have access to the internet at the school and can keep in communication with FOMC.  Their support has kept our spirits up.  

Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic at Unity School

The Government of Kenya responded to the Covid-19 crisis by closing all schools and restricting movement. The Trustees of Friends of the Mombasa Children appealed for help to support teachers and Families during this period of uncertainty.  The response was so good that we have been able to provide an emergency medical programme and supply very basic food to our poorest families.  The medical programme arranged with Dr Luke Odiero will now cover malaria, minor accidents, fever, coughs, and other mild sicknesses.  We original hoped to provide a package of basic food supplies for about 10 of our poorest families – bearing in mind that many parents working in low paid jobs in the tourist industry have found themselves out of work. However, the senior staff at Unity have managed to stretch the money available to 32 families!  To help us continue this support we will need your help.  We are told that there are 51 families at serious risk and how long the crisis will last is an unknown quantity.    Head Teacher, Mary Obara and School manager, Norbert Were handing over maize flour, cooking oil, rice, sugar and soap. Oh – and Yes, we have suggested that next time they might observe social distancing by doing this outside, apparently it was raining hard when this family arrived!