From Royal Blue to Golden Hope: Witnessing Transformation at Murema Primary


Imagine a school with about 3,000 students, aged between six to 13 years. The corridors echo with the laughter of children, and the walls are adorned with a bright orange hue, perhaps from the red soil that canvases the area. If you take a moment to appreciate it all, it really is colorful. On average, every classroom has between 120 to 140 eager and cheerful learners. Despite the sheer numbers, dedicated teachers diligently guide them through their educational journey, ensuring each child receives the attention they deserve.

Now, keep that picture in mind and come along with me on this most wonderful story of transformation.

Three years ago, the Community Service Center (CSC) visited Murema Primary School in Kasarani, Nairobi. They took note of their plight and came back to the University invigorated with a new mission – to rally Strathmore staff and students to act in service to society. Staying true to this quest, just last year during the school holidays, a team of students and staff members from the Community Service Centre set out to paint the school. The long-standing relationship between CSC and Kansai Plascon Paints really came through, with Plascon donating 560 litres of paint. The result? A stunning metamorphosis. The once-clashing blue paint job gave way to a vibrant green and gold, seamlessly blending with the school uniform and breathing new life into the surroundings.

When I first heard of this from Arnold, a staff member from the CSC, I got quite curious yet pleasantly intrigued. Eager to witness the impact firsthand, I joined in on the next journey to Murema. I must admit, I was awe-struck right from the gate. What awaited us was not merely a fresh coat of paint but a profound transformation infused with love and empathy. The students’ eyes gleaming with pride, reveled in their newfound sense of belonging as they strolled past the freshly painted walls.

The transformation went far beyond aesthetics. Recognizing the dire state of the school kitchen, Strathmore University, through the Community Service Centre, and Warren Concrete didn’t hesitate to step in. Their efforts breathed new life into the facility, installing modern 600-liter jikos (cooking stoves) donated by Strathmore University, and initiating an “uji” (Swahili word for porridge) project to provide nutritious meals for every student.  Stepping through the doors of the kitchen, one is greeted by the spacious, sunlit interior which boasts smooth countertops and floor, freshly landscaped, thanks to the workmanship and concrete donated by Warren Concrete. Every corner of this culinary haven now exudes cleanliness and order, reflecting a commitment to food safety and hygiene.

In the face of current global challenges, everyone’s responsibility toward ensuring sustainability in all facets of life has never been more critical. Last year’s theme of the year at Strathmore highlighted the importance of ‘caring for both people and the planet’; this commitment remains ever so urgent and was visibly evident with the Murema initiative. The Strathmore Energy Research Centre not only donated but also installed a more sustainable energy source- solar panels adorned the rooftops, providing reliable electricity while minimizing costs and negative environmental impact. Landscaping was done in the school compound to curtail dust, ensuring a cleaner learning environment. Special needs students found solace in comfortable floor mats, while free Wi-Fi installed by Lime Fibre Ltd. bridged the digital divide, granting access to educational resources for all.

Beyond installing security lights and CCTV cameras, Murema Primary School received 80 fencing poles from Woodchem Traders, which contributed to the overall security and integrity of the school grounds. Additionally, this project involved the establishment of a dedicated “mabati (swahili word for iron sheets) children’s department” within the nearby Clay City Police Post. This strategic move placed law enforcement officers closer to the school and the community. The swift response and proactive approach to emergencies have not only instilled a sense of security within the school walls but have also led to a remarkable decrease in school property theft and a healthier, more secure environment for the entire community.

Murema’s story is a testament to the transformative power of compassion. It’s a call to action, urging us all to look beyond our comfort zones and recognize the needs of those less fortunate. It’s a reminder that even the smallest act of kindness can create a wave of positive change. Gratitude abounds for the generous donors who made Murema’s transformation possible: Kansai Plascon Paints, Warren Concrete, who donated the material used to landscape the school, the ICT department of Strathmore University, the Strathmore Energy Research Centre, and the Captain Ronald Karauri Foundation through the County Development Fund (CDF), who paid for the painting of the roof.

Murema is but one chapter in a larger story of empowerment and transformation. By partnering with the Strathmore University Foundation and the Community Service Centre, you too can be a catalyst for change. Your contribution, no matter the size, has the power to shape futures, inspire innovation, and uplift communities like Murema.

If you’re ready to make a difference, reach out to Together, let’s pen a tale of transformation for Kenyan children, one community at a time.

Article written by: Shirleen Chege


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