Friday, November 20, 2009


Dear Friends,

Please view the video below. If it inspires you, please share it with others. You can view it here, via our website or via youtube:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Community Health

This week we were thrilled to welcome Australian nurse Vanessa Wynn-Jones, who arrived at the school to establish health records and lead HIV/AIDS workshops. Vanessa joined us after spending a week in eastern Kenya, where she worked in rural clinic treating the Massai people.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Vanessa led HIV/AIDS workshops for the Kibera community, first for men and then for women. Vanessa’s first forty minute workshop turned into a three hour discussion on the risks and effects associated with HIV/AIDS. Men from the community would not stop asking questions, eager to have access to her medical expertise. The women also showered Vanessa with questions, not only about HIV, but about other struggles they face in Kibera, such as depression and domestic violence. More than just informational talks, her workshops gave Kibera residents a safe space where they could share their health concerns with one another.

Friday marked the first day of health exams for the KSFG’s students. Vanessa met individually with the girls and their parents to establish medical records for and examine each student. She counseled parents on nutrition and sanitation, offered HIV tests, and referred students in need to medical specialists. These records are an important step in our continued efforts to care for our girls’ health needs, as well as their education.

Though only here for a week, Vanessa plans to return and will be heavily involved in the development of the school’s clinic, which is currently in the early planning stages. We have had such a great time with Vanessa this week, and we cannot overstate our appreciation for her dedication and expertise. Her work is truly a testament to the impact an individual can have on a community, even in six short days.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wonderful Volunteers!

Everything is moving along wonderfully at the school! Children are busy and loving learning, parents are becoming increasingly involved, and many exciting projects are developing.
This week I'd like to take a moment and reflect on the wonderful volunteers who have so generously shared their time enriching the lives of our students!

This past week Maggie Broadwater worked at the school each day. With her BS in Biochemistry and MS in Biomedical sciences Maggies was the first female scientist our students have ever met. Maggie served as a positive female role model and as an example of the life possibilities that come with an education. She spent the week teaching even our littlest students about the scientific method. The students loved her hands on examples and learned a lot. This week all of our girls say that they want to be scientists when they grow up!

On Wednesday Matt Podolin and Kate O'Reilley-Jones arrived in Kenya. These two '09 Wesleyan graduates will be helping at the school until March, filling in wherever needed and taking on projects of their own to expand the effectiveness of the school and its associated community programs. Sammy McGowan, a student at Brown University, has been working hard this entire semester. He is researching health issues in Kibera so that when our health center opens it will effectively cater to the needs of the community. Rebecca Green, a student at Hamilton College is working to start an after school program for our kindergarten and fist grade students. She will work with youth in the community who will run the program, focusing on the arts, reading, and math.

Through our talented volunteers our students hear and practice English, receive additional individualized attention, and get exposed to new skills and resources!

Below: Sammy McGowan and teacher Madahana Mable.

below: Maggie Broadwater