LearningfromKenya is an initiative linking schools with the area in Kenya where Education Exchange works. It provides all pupils involved with a focussed snapshot of life in Kenya through the eyes of real people living there right now. It is a stimulating opportunity for each school to develop outstanding authentic learning and sharpen their pupils’ independent learning skills
All schools involved use Kenya- and in particular the community in and around Wundanyi and Mwatate- as a source of information which can be used by teachers and pupils as they learn different subjects in the school curriculum.
Learning from Kenya and been running for four years and a total of twelve schools have been involved, mostly in Suffolk . For these schools, Kenya and Wundanyi move close to the centre of their school life for a time. The pupils have the chance to reflect deeply about the values and priorities of life in England compared to life in Kenya.
Some of the highlights have included:
- A LearningfromKenya celebration event in honour of Kenyan Independence Day (December 12th). Our Guest of Honour was Margaret Lesuuda, Education Officer at the Kenyan High Commission in London.
- A “Walk to Wundanyi” activity: a class committed to walking between them the 4,000 miles to Wundanyi over this school year
- A short-term loan scheme similar to those Education Exchange helps fund in Wundanyi: the PTA lent each pupil in the school £1 and in three weeks they raised over £1400- half went directly to Mvono clinic to buy anti-malaria bed nets for local children.
- A visit by three schools to the Kenyan High Commission in London, where the children met the High Commissioner and showed him what they had learned about Kenya (see picture below)
- Howard Primary School, Bury St Edmunds
- Melton Primary School, Ipswich
- St Gregory’s Primary School, Sudbury
- St Helen’s Primary School, Ipswich
- St Mary’s Primary School, Ipswich
- St Mary’s Primary School, Lowestoft
- Rose Hill Primary School, Ipswich
- Thomas Tallis School, Kidbrooke, South London
- Sybil Andrews Academy, Bury St Edmunds
- St Botolph’s Primary School, Botesdale
- The Oaks Primary School, Ipswich
In January 2017 our work in Suffolk schools was recognised in two newspaper articles, one in The Guardian and the other in The East Anglian Daily Times :
As this work progresses, it becomes clear that students (and adults) really value a chance to hear and see what Kenya is really like for the people that live there from someone who knows the people really well. Dave regularly makes the point that it is just an accident of birth that decides that we in the UK have so much and they in Kenya have so little. Yet we are all part of the same family: the seven billion members of the human race. How can we-indeed should we- try to level up those differences in some small way?? And there is another paradox that needs thinking through: on the whole, our friends in Kenya are much more content than we are in the UK…….
Learning from Kenya 2019
This year, Hopton CEVC Primary School have been very actively involved and achieved some amazing results. Dave led an assembly in January and School Council decided to raise some funds for Mwatate Children’s Home. In mid February, just before the Trustees visited Kenya, they organised a sponsored walk which raised the amazing amount of £1200.
This sum was given to the Home in two ways: firstly, the trustees took out to Kenya a wide selection of games and toys- most children we know in Kenya have to make their own toys.
The rest of the Hopton funds- around £1000- went on a much more practical project: to enable the Home to begin the task of harvesting rainwater from the roof of the building. At the time of writing this, the rains in our part of Kenya are a month late,and when they do finally arrive, it will be vital to store every last drop of water. Thanks to Hopton Primary School, half the roof has now been equipped with gutters and a storage tank. Here’s a photo of the work in progress:
Other plans are underway for the school to continue its support for the Mwatate Children’s Home. This is a brilliant link,which brings closer together children who know little of each other’s way of life. Special thanks go to Maggie Waugh, chairperson of Education Exchange, who has led the work at Hopton School.