Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tragedy Strikes

Often times the most difficult part of the work we do is that in the midst of movement towards hope tragedy strikes. Daily life at the school is going on wonderfully.... our students are engaged, passionate and making tremendous steps every single day.

Today was a day like most others at the school. Students began learning at 7:30, working on projects about eco-systems and conservation. Then, at about 11:00 terrible news reached the school: a fire had begun in Kibera. In Kibera fires are often devastating due to the close proximity of houses and the ease of rapid spreading. Luckily, the fire was no where near our school (which is well protected from fires due to its isolation from other buildings, gutters and a ditch). However, at pick up time Angela Achieng's older sister came to school for pick up and informed Angela and our community that their house and belongs burned to the ground.

In times like this, our school community is strong. Several of our students immediately offered to bring in any extra clothes that they have for Angela tomorrow, demonstrating the kindness and thought for others that is central to our curriculum.

Angela is a wonderful student and member of our community. Angela is six years old and the youngest of six children. She’s very bright, excelling in both language arts and math, and she enjoys playing on her own. Most days after school, she works on puzzles, draws pictures, and plays freeze dance. Neither of Angela’s parents is consistently employed, so her family only eats when they can afford to. They appreciate that Angela and the other girls receive a great education at the Kibera School, regardless of their financial situations. We will provide Angela with consistent emotional support, and the school community will also work to find temporary housing, as well as to find means to help the family rebuild their lives.

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