Two Countries/One Voice
“Harabe”- Swahili word for Pull Together
We are driving along the Kenyan highway with 25 educators and friends from Central Alberta. We have just completed the most amazing exchange of teaching and learning ideas in Male and Segera Schools. We have met curious and joyful students and their dedicated teachers. Our team of volunteers, with the support of a network of individuals, businesses and schools has donated time, expertise, money, instruments, books, medical and dental supplies and school supplies. We have had the joy of teaching Kenyan children, and of working together with their teachers to enhance learning experiences.
This is the third time our leader, Brent, has visited Male School. Since 2008, he has witnessed growth in the use of progressive teaching methods and an increase in the number of buildings designated for learning. The addition of a water supply has transformed dry fields into a garden area. Solar panels have been installed and will power a future Learning Centre (Computer Lab/Library) as well as facilities to support a meal program for Male students. Seeing so many projects connected to familiar names from Central Alberta has really made us feel like it is indeed “two countries, one voice”.
Emotions are varied and intense as we share this journey. As one team member put it, every person we meet “puts a thumbprint on our soul”. The Kenyan people carry themselves with a gentle grace, which we hope to take home with us. We have met many people whom we will call “Rafiki” (friend).
At our farewell ceremonies at each of the schools we were given the generous gift of creative performances by talented students-highlighting their successes in sports, singing, dance and academics. Our group has decided to support the building of a Learning Centre with computers and a library at both the Male Primary School, and a second one at the secondary school. This computer-learning centre will include shelves, books, maps, magazines, and collaborative work spaces for our eager learners. For the secondary school, we are also hoping to investigate a greenhouse project to enhance the current agriculture classes and increase food production for students at the school.
Segara school, the second school on our tour, will be partnering with Male school so the two schools can exchange ideas, expertise and teaching methods. Segera school has a construction lab, and it is the plan for the two administrators to arrange the construction of shelves and furnishings needed for Male school. In return, Male school will provide support to Segera to establish a school garden. It has been absolutely amazing to see these school communities working so hard for a better future for their children. It is a true example of Gandhi’s words “ Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Blog composed by Kathleen Galloway and Tim Trentham