At the Maji Moto school project near Mombasa, the Rhein-Valley Hospital Association, based in Altstätten, is building a hospital ward. President Erich Kühnis sealed the cooperation with the sponsoring association Shilling for Shilling on site.

The children of Maji Moto sang and danced when Erich Kühnis visited them at their school in February. They had every reason to be merry and celebrate a feast. The expansion of her school is progressing and in October she will have her own infirmary.

The president of Rhein-Valley Hospital (RVH) traveled to the vicinity of Mombasa in Kenya to get an idea of the school project that the association has been supporting since last year. After closing the hospital in Kasambara-Gilgil in July, the board intensified the partnership with the Austrian association Schilling für Shilling (SfS).

Erich Kühnis (President of the Rhine Valley Hospital Association, right) seals the long-term cooperation with Eddie Kroll (President of the Shilling for Shilling Association).

The presidents Eddie Kroll and Erich Kühnis have known each other for 17 years and always kept the contact between the clubs. SfS was born out of the idea of collecting Austrian shillings, exchanging them for Kenyan ones and investing the money in aid projects. Among other things, both associations realized a well installation in Thuguniu-Kasambara in 2007. In 2015, SfS moved its operations to Mombasa. About a two-hour drive from the tourist town, the association built several water facilities in the Liconi and Simba Hills region. Three years later he opened the Maji Moto school. About 600 children were allowed to attend regular classes for the first time. Plans soon emerged to enlarge the school and improve the infrastructure. In the pandemic, Eddie Kroll’s team was no longer able to raise the necessary money on its own. It was no longer able to teach all the children.

Altstätter association jumped in

The association RVH, based in Altstätten, was given the opportunity to continue supporting people in need in Kenya. He stepped in, paid school fees for about 300 children, and funded self-contained projects. Within the planned time and within the agreed budget, Kerstin and Levi Amadula – project management on site – realized a drinking water tank, a chicken farm with about 500 animals and set up new classrooms.h completed projects. Classes have resumed. Since then, the students again receive a hot meal every day. This ensures that they are well nourished and efficient.

Both associations want to work together continuously and closely in the future. The presidents first sealed this contractually, then in February with a handshake and in the presence of the school children. “The board had convinced itself that the school is necessary. It is managed seriously and sustainably,” says Erich Kühnis. “The local people are doing an excellent job. The school gives many thousands of children hope for a better future through education.” The board takes its responsibility seriously, he said, and continues to work with motivation and joy. “The Rhine Valley Hospital Association lives on, we remain active in Kenya and continue to give people confidence.”

RVH opens infirmary

As a first major project, the RVH association is currently realizing an infirmary on the school grounds. The board wants the children to feel secure that they will receive medical treatment if they become ill. Furthermore, clean drinking water should always be available, the most important vaccinations administered and medicines (including antibiotics) available.

By October, the building will be constructed and the infirmary set up. The entire board travels to Maji Moto for the inauguration. He will celebrate with the children, their teachers and Kerstin and Levi Amadula. Then everyone dances and laughs together again.