Our Work in Africa

Kenya – Tarnos School

Since 2019, we have supported Tarnos School in Kericho county to create a centre of excellence for 300 economically deprived rural children.

About Tarnos

Tarnos School is a 1 hour drive from Kericho, a torturous seven-hour journey west of Nairobi. Founded in 2009, it is a low-cost community school for children in the surrounding areas. These areas are inhabited by the Kalenjin, Kikuyu and neighbouring Luo communities who had, until Tarnos was built, been without a good quality school.

Ecologia Trustee Anne Skene is a dedicated supporter of Tarnos School. It was founded and funded by her late husband, Danus Skene, a Scottish teacher and educationalist and his colleague Samuel Rugut, a Kenyan secondary Head Teacher. Samuel is the current leader of the school and is working with Anne and Ecologia to continue to develop Tarnos into an exemplary school.

From 50 pupils in its first year, to 300 children across 11 classes and a 11 year age span, the school has developed enormously since its conception.

The school is going from strength to strength. New buildings have been constructed, a new bore hole water system is in place, an ecological sewerage system with plumbed toilet blocks have been installed, and we have taken steps to see that Tarnos can now offer a quality Junior Secondary education as well as Primary. Most importantly however, the staff and us all here at Ecologia are determined to ensure that the Tarnos children continues to enjoy a quality and well rounded education for many years to come.

When the school started, the first 50 pupils came to a simple, single building. Each year the school expanded and by 2015 there were facilities for a full eight-year primary school and two nursery years accommodating children aged 4-14. The school currently has a student population of 300 spread across the 11 classes and will expand to 13 classes as the Junior Secondary develops. Class sizes are usually large in Kenyan schools but the founders aim to keep class sizes to less than 35 to give pupils a better chance of success.

Sponsor a child’s education today!

There are still children at Tarnos School who need your help as they fulfil their educational journey.

What We Are Doing

Together with Tarnos School, we support the disadvantaged children and young people in rural Kenya in many ways.

For The School

We are helping Tarnos to be a safe place for the children to be. We have helped the school to build a new ecological sewerage system and toilet block to be used instead of the older style long-drop toilets which can cause hygiene concerns. The recycled water is used to irrigate the small on-site farm.

To align with the new curriculum and educational model in Kenya, there was a need for growth at the school to also offer Junior Secondary education and address the emerging need for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. The completion of a fully equipped science laboratory at Tarnos School has been a major success and means that:

  • 30 Tarnos students remained at the school to begin their Junior Secondary education
  • The science lab contributes to the enrolment potential of Tarnos School from 300 to 405 pupils
  • The lab increases access to STEM education for disadvantaged rural children, especially young girls.

Tarnos school is in a very remote area and although a huge part of school life is after-school activities and events, many of the children’s families don’t have access to transportation and so walking is their only option. To make sure that the Tarnos children don’t miss out on any inter-school activities such as sports days and music competitions, we are helping to source a school bus to offer transport to and from school as well as to these extra-curricular events.


How You Can Help

You can help Tarnos School thrive by making a small donation. Click here to find out how to donate!

What does it cover?
A single donation:

£10 could by a class a full set of exercise books
£25 could buy art materials such as paper, paints, crayons for two infant classes
£50 could buy a class a full set of text books for the new curriculum
£100 can double a Tarnos teacher’s monthly wage to match Kenyan Government salaries.
£500 can provide day places at school for 4 disadvantaged children

A monthly donation:

£5 per month could provide text books for 10 children
£10 per month could provide a day place for one child for a whole year
£25 per month could increase a teachers salary by 25%

A single donation could help make the world of difference to these children and the school staff. Please support the children of Tarnos today!

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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.