Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thanks to the community... construction is well underway!


 From left K/1 teacher Madahana Mable, Kennedy Odede, Jessica Posner, pre-school teacher Janet Olesi, Headmistress Joan Okumu, k/1 teacher Naomi Njuku 

Every morning at 5:30 a.m. our construction site is bustling with activity.  Late into the evening people are still at work, sometimes not stopping before 8:30 or 9:00 p.m.  Then all night several young men keep watch, guarding the materials and the site, protecting a project that has become so very important to this vibrant and needy community.  All day young men from the Kibera community saw, hammer, chip away at rocks to level the ground, building our beautiful school.  All the while, they laugh and joke--the air is alive with their excitement.  As the youths work women cook and laugh, commenting on the construction and giving their own instructions.  Children stand on the side watching the progress, barely able to contain their excitement.  In only six days our school has begin to take shape, thanks to an outpouring of generous support from the Kibera community.  

In the meantime many other pieces are beginning to fall into place.  We just received a shipment of over 30 boxes from the Americans Friends of Kenya containing incredible school, supplies, the makings of our library, and uniforms.  On August 14th
Trees for The Future will begin to plant our sustainable garden, along with the community.  On August 15th we are planning to paint a community mural to decorate the school building.  We have also been investigating the possibility of solar panels and a biodigester, in line with our eco-sustainable vision.  The District Commissioner of all of Nairobi has even heard about our project, and called to give his support.  As the construction continues teachers, parents, and our headmistress all chip in.  In addition, Jessica has been meeting with the teaching staff to discuss the differences between our curriculum and traditional Kenyan schools.  Our teachers are eager to learn about our style of education based on exploration, hands-on learning, and creativity and ready to make it their own.  They have questions, ideas, and come with a deep belief that Kenyan education is in desperate need of reform.  

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