Moms of Musana
If Musana Nursery and Primary School were a human body, the children would be the heart, teachers the feet, administration the brain, and the matrons the backbone.
Each morning at 4:45am Pricilla, Mackline, Oliver, Ida, Edith, and Dorcas are up before the sun. Their first task takes place in the morning darkness as they make their way down the rows of bunk beds to prepare their 250 children for school. The belief that it takes a village to raise strong men and women is embraced at Musana Nursery and Primary School and this cultural creed begins with the moms of Musana…the matrons.
Often unnoticed by visitors, the matrons are responsible for ensuring that clothes are washed, the compound is cleaned, and the children are fed and bathed. When first stepping onto the Musana campus it’s easy to observe the kids at play and the teachers at work; however, it’s not as simple to spot Pricilla and Mackline in the kitchen making over 700 meals daily or Oliver sitting in the shade washing the dirty bowls from breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The matrons help to facilitate the success and wellbeing of their kids by acting as mothers, caretakers, cooks and supervisors to the hundreds of children boarding at Musana. Not only do these women never take a day off during term, but they also live alongside their kids sleeping in the dormitories just feet away from their students.
A typical day begins at the crack of dawn as each matron prepares her students for the day. The women ensure that their kids have bathed, made their beds, and mopped the floor of their room all before 6:00am. Breakfast is served at 6:30am, but before then the compound is cleaned with the matrons keeping a close watch.
As the children go to class, the matrons divide and get to work preparing to serve the meals for break and lunch. During this time dishes are being cleaned, tea is being steeped, and posho is being cooked. Come 2:00pm the women take a break to enjoy lunch. They can be found eating and laughing in the back of the kitchen with their neon colored bowls filled with posho, beans, rice, or porridge.
When school lets out at 4:00pm the children take their second bath for the day and are then fed dinner at 6:30pm. During this time the matrons are cleaning the kitchen and closing up shop for the day. While the children are getting ready to sleep, the women make sure their kid’s shoes are shined as a last order of business.
The matrons at Musana are the first to rise in the morning and the last to sleep at night. Their dedication and commitment to their work is not only honorable, but it is essential to the success of Musana Nursery and Primary School. With every bed that’s made and with every shoe that’s shined the moms of Musana continue to help the students thrive.