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Africa Collaboration


Thanks to the school bake sale on Parents’ Day in May 2022, which yielded €2400, and another most generous fundraising event involving parents of past pupils, sufficient funds were raised to meet the cost of installing a solar power system in a school in Kenya.

It was the school where the last ‘crew’ of Glenstal boys had worked, namely Pattersons Memorial School

Now the young African students have electricity in all classrooms and can study at night! 

Power can be diverted to different parts of the school as needs arise. Such good fortune cannot be assumed in remote parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, and the African youths are very  glad of this improvement. 

We extend the deepest gratitude to all who supported this project last year!        




Africa Collaboration

2020 – 2022 Covid Years

2020 & 2021
During the height of the Covid pandemic it was not possible for Glenstal students to visit Kenya but it was possible to fund a classroom each year.  Funds were very low and the possibility of replenishing them was nil. 

2020 Entasopia Secondary School
The lady-in-charge, Samantha Du Toit, standing on the far right in the photo above, has for many years overseen the overall co-ordination of the twinning project, health & safety standards, and the smooth integration of the project with local community.  It is Maasi community living in a communal territory known as the ‘South Rift Association of Landowners’.

2021 – Olibortoto Secondary School (Grades 7-10)
We thank a group of friends for their help with the construction of half the Olibortoto classroom block. Thanks to the excellent organisational skillls of Joel Njonjo, seen below, on the phone, construction was done to a high standard in both schools.



Africa Collaboration

2019 Pattersons and Oloika

Ten suitable volunteers, as well as Mr Thomas Franklin, participated in the project which involved two schools, Pattersons and Oloika

We had some remarkable luck beforehand – at the annual Carol Service in Glenstal one of the volunteers outlined the project to those attending. 

He added that we normally buy laptops for the African school but, as luck would have it, an engineer from a pharmaceutical company in Cork was present and he informed us that his company was upgrading their array of laptops.  We ended up with 39 excellent ones for free for Kenya! 

These were shared between Pattersons and Oloika schools.


Africa Collaboration

2017 Olkiramatian Arid Zone Secondary School

This school includes a large number of Maasi ‘nomadic students’ who follow the cattle and sheep according to grazing conditions.  School attendance is thus irregular. 

Funds were needed from Bake Sales, sponsored haircuts, etc. to renovate classrooms, supply laptops…. As usual each Irish student must raise at least €1000 for the infrastructure of the school we visit. 

We are so welcomed by the intrigued local young people!

This year, like a shot out of the blue, someone, I still don’t know who she was, offered to fund some ancillary project even though her son was not participating. Options offered were installing and renovating the sleeping area in a residence for Special Needs children; or connecting it to the local power supply; or providing a water source.  Our benefactress decided to fund all three!  Those children now have, amongst other things, a clean room with proper beds and the necessary mosquito nets.


Africa Collaboration

2016 Entasopia

Entasopia has a large and well run school.  There are far more pupils than rooms to accommodate them.

We supplied the regular – funds to renovate walls and floors, purchase laptops from Camara.

There was a large flat playing field which facilitated much fun.



Africa Collaboration

2015 Olibortoto

This was the first school we had the good fortune to work with in Kenya.  It emerged as a possibility when we had made ourselves redundant in Tanzania and were still hoping to do some projects elsewhere. 

Six strong boys from Fifth Year signed up to partner with a school in the South Rift Valley near Lake Natron.  We were were based at Lale’enok Resource Centre in a wildlife conservation area where an old boy of Glenstal had worked.  It provided camping accommodation for the ‘Kenya Crew’. 

The school was supplied with €12,000 for renovation of school buildings; we also brought fourteen laptops, taught the children how to use them etc.  But the most important part was the good relations struck between the young people. 

All got back safe and sound, were amazed at how happy their African peers are though having so little.  They have clearly adopted the Maasai proverb “He who is unable to dance says that the yard is stony!” 

Africa Collaboration

2013 Mvimwa Abbey Schools; St Placid’s Primary School and Sumbawanga Secondary

Following the success of the installation of solar panels in 2012 and the previous acquiring of IT skills in 2011 many pupils from the ‘Tanzania Team’ risked being redundant.  However that July we were able to top up IT skills, introduce chess, and more.

A very successful addition was that an Irish girl came along, to the great satisfaction of the Kenyan girls. 

The fundraising the participants had done before going to Mvimwa was donated to scholarships for four girls to continue their education at Sumbawanga.  Instead of collecting firewood, cleaning the home and cooking, and becoming pregnant too early, they were to get an education. 

Ten laptops were also passed on to the Secondary School which the four girls would attend in Sumbawanga.  These laptops had been donated by a wholesale company in Ireland which was upgrading and had heard about the project.


Africa Collaboration

2012 Mvimwa

There was no visit this year but funds were spent and solar panels were installed.  It is not every year that there are enough sufficiently interested students to take on the work, discomfort and risks of a trip into ‘the unknown’ (especially if you could be on an Irish golf course or with Club Med’).  

However the solar panels were procured, transported and installed, thanks to previous and ongoing fundraising. 

We thank all the people who helped in any way, as professionals or amateurs, especially the members of  Solar Without Frontiers, to whom we are also indebted for the photos. The system should work for 25 years!

Professionals from Solar Without Frontiers we are forever grateful! 
Theirs was one of the great surprise windfalls of goodwill
and ability that we encountered over the years.


Africa Collaboration

2011 Mvimwa Abbey Primary School

On arrival at St Placid’s School we used computers that had been donated by Camara to teach IT skills.  We also learnt that there was a power shortage.  The funds were therefore used for buying solar panels, all the more so because Solar Without Frontiers had again offered to design, procure and install a suitable system FOR FREE! if we paid for the hardware.  Also, the Abbey of Munsterschwarzach agreed to take on the responsibility and cost of shipping panels from the U.K. to this remote spot.



Africa Collaboration

2010 – A Final Return to St Benedicts’s Hanga

While at Hanga Abbey in 2009 it was noted that there was insufficient electricity to power the computers, which often crashed.  It was imperative to get more energy. 

Being the time of Cop 15 in Copenhagen those volunteering for Hanga rejected the proposal to try and raise funds for an electrical generator in favour of solar panels at twice the price!   This seemed foolhardy until a member of Solar Without Frontiers doing some contract work at Glenstal, offered to professionally install solar panels for no fee at Hanga if the panels were paid for.  Such an offer could not be refused and ‘Tan Team #2’ took up the challenge.

Due to the generosity of many the funds were collected.  The panel system would come from Germany with the generous help of Munsterswachak.  In July the ‘Tan team # 2’ spent three weeks at Hanga doing the regular IT classes etc.  The SWF team arrived later and hooked up the system. 

It is good to go for 25 years, we trust!   We are deeply grateful to them.


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Glenstal Abbey provides external links as a convenience to our users. The appearance of external links does not constitute an endorsement by Glenstal Abbey of the views, activity or content contained therein.