Ecologia Welcomes Tarnos School

Ecologia Welcomes Tarnos School

Earlier this year, Tarnos School in western Kenya was welcomed into the Ecologia family. Founded in 2009, Tarnos is a low-cost community school providing quality education for children in a large rural area inhabited by the Kalenjin, Kikuyu and Luo communities. What began as a simple building for 50 children, is now a school for two nursery years and a full eight-year primary school, with 250 enrolled pupils.

Before Tarnos, there was no opportunity for the local children to get a good enough primary education to enter secondary school. Since the first cohort sat the end of primary school exam in 2013, every child has achieved entrance, with many continuing on to excellent Kenyan secondary schools. What is happening at Tarnos is exciting and its reputation for excellence attracts good teachers. However, staff retention is a challenge due to the inability to pay normal Kenyan salaries. School fees are kept very low so that local children from the poor surrounding area can attend. The Kenyan Government has introduced a new primary school curriculum which is more child centred and emphasises skills acquisition but implementation requires new resources which are costly.

The school continues to develop with plans to enhance diet with a vegetable garden and fish pond, find ways to increase staff salaries, and build a sewerage system to ensure health and wellbeing. Despite the ongoing challenges Tarnos School has been a success. The children enjoy high-quality education in an atmosphere of faith, hope and peace.

We look forward to a rewarding new partnership with Tarnos.

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susie Kemp

Susie has 30+ experience as a creative copywriter, editor, and proofreader, starting out as a 20-year-old copywriter in the Mad Men world of early 1990s advertising in South Africa. Ever since, she’s had a love affair with creative conceptualisation, thinking outside of the box, writing to a deadline, and being thrown in the deep end!

She took an MSc in Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University as a mature student, in 2015, and continues to keep herself busy working as a copy-editor, proofreader and copywriter in book publishing, corporate communications, and publishing project management.

Apart from her love of working with independent authors, Susie has a fondness for working in the third sector and likes to use her corporate communications and marketing experience to support projects close to her heart. She has lived and worked in the Findhorn area for 25 years, and has been involved in a number of third sector projects and organisations, and family businesses.

Working at Ecologia Youth Trust helps Susie to live in integrity with her values of supporting the next generation to be the best that they can be, and she sees it as a way to give back to Mama Africa, the beloved continent on which she was born.

Ellen Shaw

Ellen joined the Ecologia team in June 2018 as Marketing and Communications Manager. Ellen has lived in Scotland for 6 years and has worked for non-profit and charitable organisations across varied fields. She currently shares her passion for helping young people through Ecologia Youth Trust and she works as a dancer and dance teacher in her spare time.

Robyn Cooper

Robyn is the Associate Director of International Projects, having previously worked within the team as a Project Development and Marketing Officer from April 2019 until May 2021. As Associate Director, Robyn is co-leading the International side of Ecologia with Founder and Director, Liza Hollingshead, bringing a new energy into Ecologia as they look towards the future of the charity.

Liza Hollingshead

Liza is the founder of Ecologia and Director of International Projects. She was born and educated in South Africa and worked there as a high school teacher. She moved to live in the Findhorn Community in 1974. She started Ecologia in 1995 after being introduced to Dmitry Morozov, the founder of Kitezh Children’s Community in Russia, and was inspired to support the community in its mission to rescue orphaned children from institutions and give them homes, families and education in a supportive environment.

This led to projects supporting disadvantaged youth and children in South East Asia and in East Africa. TRead more about Liza’s story here.