After fourteen busy days of activity from Nairobi to Kendu Bay and Masai Mara to Lamu, the Kenya Educational Assessment Trip for July 2014 has come to an end. It all started with a daylong seminar in Kericho for about 55 school administrators, including government education officials. The goals of the seminar were to clarify expectations of both ABW and the schools in the partner relationship that they currently enjoy, as well as to begin a visioning process for each of the schools that would help guide any future developments in which ABW might participate. In the days following this seminar, we visited 12 school sites gathering data about the schools and the performance of their students, evaluating the progress of current ABW projects, and assessing future needs of the schools. The vision of creating a strong partnership between the school, the community, the government, and ABW is growing stronger as people come to understand that ABW isn’t interested in simply providing a handout, but rather in collaborating with all interested parties for the benefit of the children in the local community. And as usual for an educational trip, the highlight was once again the children themselves and the joy they exude in just being able to get an education. To see grade one children demonstrate their ability to read, write, and converse in English; to see a physically handicapped child integrated into a regular classroom and being accepted by his peers in a society where this is not common; to see children drinking clean water from a well on the school grounds or eating a serving of porridge in the morning to help them think about their studies rather than their stomachs; or to see mentally challenged children learning vocational skills that will enable them to become contributing members of their society makes the work that ABW is doing, the work that you are doing all so very worthwhile.
In each of the places we visited the administration and staff of the schools as well as the parents of the community asked us to be sure to pass on their deepest gratitude to everyone who supports the projects that ABW is undertaking. And so, on behalf of the people of Kenya, and especially the children of Kenya, thank you for helping to make this part of the globe a better world.