St Martins School Kibagare
If I ever doubted how free spirited children are, my doubts are cast away, never to return. All it took was spending a day with pupils of St Martins in Kibagare, seeing them jostle and push in excitement, eager to get their photos taken.It all started in January when I received a request to take photos of the school which occupies a narrow stretch of Westlands adjacent to Loresho. The school started in 1992 and is run by the Assumption Sisters with funding from well wishers and partner organisations.
On the day of the shoot, I got to the school located in the heart of Kibagare a few minutes after 9am. After introductions with the teaching and administration team, I was given a tour of the school which helped me understand the shot list that had been shared in my brief.
The photography started at the primary school’s dining hall since it was approaching lunchtime and I wouldn’t have another time to shoot pupils in the dining hall.
In the kitchen, meal preparation was ongoing.
Outside, pupils were lining up, eager to get in and have their lunch.
Washing hands is mandatory.
His was a double excitement – to have his photo taken, and a meal of sumptuous githeri.
The pupils were very eager to have their photos taken and kept staring into the lens not to miss out on a photo op.
On Saturdays, about 1,500 children from Kibagare come to the school for a free meal. They don’t have to be pupils at St Martins and for many this is the best meal for the day.
Lunch is followed by a couple of minutes of play.
At one point, I had pupils almost climbing on me, just to get their photo taken.
Boys being boys.
The school grows it’s own vegetables to keep meal costs low.
The first agenda for the afternoon for the little ones is napping. I wish this was a policy at the workplace.
For the older pupils however, it’s back to class.
St Martins has a well-stocked library.
The library has a study area which students use when revising.
One of the school’s original structures. It’s great to see it still standing today as a reminder of how much St Martins has grown.
The secondary school administration and education block.
After shooting at the school, I ventured past it’s gates and into Kibagare, to give a context of where the St Martins is located.
I bought a tee from this hawker for Kshs100/-.
The drainage system in Kibagare needs a lot of work. It is a falling and health hazard.
At St Martins, the Assumption Sisters have created a learning haven for the community at Kibagare. It has also become a launch pad for many pupils who after receiving their education there have gone on to become exemplary members of society, with others returning to teach and mentor the next generation.
Here’s a short film giving a backstory to the photos.