Our school is working hard to be prepared for the upcoming Kenyan presidential elections in March.
At the beginning of Feb. we had a staff work day where we were informed of what happened in the last presidential elections, what had led to the violence at that time, the current political situation, and what may happen this time.
Our school is praying for peace, but is also preparing for the possibility of violence. We want best case scenario, peace, but have alternate plans if needed.
Here are items that I can remember that are in the school plan:
1. Stocking up on petrol (gas), water, and non perishable staple food items and blankets. (In case of a lack of these items being available and in case students or staff who live off campus need to stay overnight.)
2. Tinting bus windows and adding Mylar to them in order to make them shatter proof in case the buses get caught in an area stone throwing or violence happens. Drivers are being trained in defensive driving techniques and how to keep students safety in mind during difficult situations, should they arise.
3. Putting in more security lighting around our campus perimeter and improving other areas of safety around our school gates with help from a U.S. grant of money. Rosslyn is also going to be hiring extra guards from a local city guard organization as well as hiring guards with large guns from the government for our entrance gate during the months of March and April as extra security. (Guards with guns is not unusual for Kenya.)
4. Teaching all teachers how to use Edmodo, a web-based site that allows teachers to communicate with students and families about school assignments. (Some local organizations are requiring all their staff and families to leave the country for one to three months, depending on how the presidential elections go.) We need to ensure that all students can “attend” school where ever they are on the globe.
5. Encouraging families to stock pile staples such as water, petrol, flour, sugar, long life milk, canned items, etc. Enough to last two weeks if needed.
6. Encouraging families to have a list of items to carry if it is necessary to leave the country on short notice. Have extra cash on hand. Have important documents scanned and accessible.
7. Don’t drive into the city area more than necessary during this upcoming election time. Always think of alternate routes to places you go in case you come upon a road that is blocked. Tell a friend whenever you leave and return to your home so someone knows where you are at all times.
8. No school for the day of the election and two days after.
This all sounds so morbid, as if we are thinking the worst will happen. Actually, Rosslyn feels very positive about how the elections may proceed, but want to be prepared for any scenario that may happen. I appreciate all the thought the school is putting into this. They obviously care about their staff and students.
Please keep praying for peace as the elections unfold this March.