Our week at Agano Junior Academy is almost complete and what an interesting week it has been. The city, indeed the country, is still suffering from the after effect of the recent terror attacks. We are cautious on our travels into the poorer areas of the city and stay inside the school building until we leave. We decided to move the drive back to the hotel a bit earlier in the day to avoid being caught in the gridlock of rush-hour traffic that moves so slowly through this neglected part of the city in the later afternoon. Once back in our hotel we shower off the dust of Dandora and relax in the pleasant surroundings that has been our home for the last week. It is very hard on the soul, that drive into and out of the slum.
We chose the Public Speaking program for this school after our visit last October. The students impressed us with their intensity and desire to absorb the lessons we brought them but we felt there was something missing. That something can be described as ‘voice’. We wanted to hear their stories even if it is just a little bit. For this, they need a voice. When we began the week the stories were unknown to us but bit by bit the process began to open up the rich treasury of children’s view of their world here in Nairobi and the Dandora Redevelopment Area.
Tomorrow each child will stand before their classmates and share a story written in their own words and spoken with their own voice. We are the listeners.