If you go to Form Three East of Mavoko Secondary School in the next few months, it will be different.
The class is going to be renovated, thanks to the seasonal hand-made cards being sold abroad after being designed and made by the school’s students.
The project started late last year courtesy of Superior Homes Kenya who gave the school Sh100, 000 for buying materials needed to make the cards.
But first, the company partnered with All and Sundry Director Kanyi Ohawo, who taught the students the art of hand making cards, a skill that they will take with them far into the future.
“Superior Homes Kenya gave us a fantastic opportunity to train the students on how to make seasonal cards. We gave a chance to any student in Form One and Two who had an interest in the craft. Thereafter, we narrowed down to twenty students who are excellent,” said Damaris Mbithi, a Mathematics and Business teacher at Mavoko Secondary who oversees the project.
The project is also viable as the model it uses is a winning one.
The cards come in various colours, textures and can be personalized. They are also signed by the student who made it.
According to Mbithi, upon completion, the cards are ferried to select Secondary Schools in the United Kingdom. From there, students from those schools sell them to the ready markets in United Kingdom.
Superior Homes on its part assists the Movoko Secondary School by locating High Schools in the United Kingdom to make the sales.
Students at the school are glad to be part of the project. “I have learnt a skill that I will use upon leaving school. I might even pursue a business on this,” says Waweru, a Form Two student at the school.
The decision to use high school students to sell in UK is purely for motivational purposes.
According to Superior Homes’ Sales and Marketing Manager Angelica Wambui, it is powerful when you use age mates (Kenyan and UK students) to promote as they relate to each other more.
The first bunch of cards was made late last year for the Christmas Season, and at least Sh40,000 was made. In February this year, the school also dispatched cards to the United Kingdom and an additional Sh40,000 was made.
“We hope to make more this year as we have learned new skills since our first bunch. More so, our students have harnessed their skills,” the teacher said.
According to Superior Homes, the project, which is also replicated in Athi River Secondary School and Kinanie Secondary School, is important in those public schools as most students are from poor backgrounds.
And the project has been noticed internationally.
Dubbed Cards Out of Africa, the project was submitted to Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Media Business Pitch to Rich 2015 which seeks to award ten thousand Euros to a winner who’s shortlisted by a panelist of judges.
Moving forward, Superior Homes hopes to extend the project to other schools around the country.
“We wanted to do something that would impact the lives of these students, our hope is that we will,” Wambui said.
By Margaret Njugunah