Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Eight Down and Five to Go!

Submitted by Patsy Dingwell

Carolyn and I are extremely pleased with the results of our visits to eight schools in Nyeri District. We now have a much clearer picture of their progress since twinning and their current and future needs.When we visited Muhuti Secondary we were treated to a dress rehearsal for their Traditional Dance competition. This is the first year that Muhuti girls have joined the dance troupe. On Friday the thirteenth, they will be performing in a provincial competition in Murkurwe-ini town - defending their championship! Mwati Primary School will also be performing as three time National champions! We are so impressed with the dedication of the teachers, many of whom will remain at the schools every night and alternate week ends. Administrators receive no or very little extra salary and generally they are the ones who will do week end shifts.

We have managed to collect all the information and have great photos of home and school life for our PEI students to prepare their presentations. We also visited three potential twin schools. Ithangi school is one of these schools. There, we were touched by the sight of orphans wearing special uniforms that were purchased by the GCI team in 2006. These uniforms were a different color (green and pink) and had Global Classroom Project embroidered on them. Ithangi School was started in 1983 and has 160 students. They have eight teachers, only five of whom are paid by the government; parents are paying a small wage for the other three teachers. They have no electricity and do not anticipate getting any soon as they are far from the electric grid. They have a small water tank and when it is empty the children fetch water from a river. When we asked Headmaster, Patrick Thumi, for his priorities, he was very clear that Ithangi needs more teachers and textbooks. They certainly recognize the value of education and keep it as their number one priority.

The Kenyan children and teachers continue to inspire us!

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