Education is power

Education is power
March 6, 2017 Suzan Bellis
In Blog Posts

We started our day with a visit at Liberty Visions Learning Academy.  It’s a small school that also caters to the needs of Huruma along with Githogoro Slum that is nearby.  They have 3 Pre-school Classes and the first 4 Primary Classes.  It’s amazing what is accomplished on that small little campus of cargo containers on a piece of land not any bigger than the Huruma Nursery School campus.

We  each took one of the small classes to observe and then rotated around to each of the 7 classes.  The classrooms are so small that the children have their desks side by side and barely room to get out of their seats.  The Standard two class was the smallest with all the desks together and the children having to climb on the table to get out.  It doesn’t seem to bother the teachers as they teach the children quietly and get fantastic results.  One classroom was shared by two classes with both teachers teaching their little group at the same time.  That takes concentration.  It really proves that these children are hungry to learn.   

They have no playground so they use the open field next to the school that has been ground down into pure red clay dust.  Of course, kids don’t care what the “playground” looks like as long as they can run and kick a ball.  The played one game where they call out a person to imitate a dance by the teacher.  When they called out Daniel he went into a wild breakdance and the kids were hysterical with laughter and then started calling him the Lion.

We left Liberty Visions to go visit Cheleta Primary, the local public school for Standard 1 through Standard 8.  We all couldn’t get into Chipo’s little boxy car and two of the team had to take a boda boda ride   (motorcycle)up to the school for 50 bob (.50)

After being welcomed to the school by the principal and being told of the conditions of the classroom and the government expectations we were escorted to the Standard 4 classroom.  Only 61 kids in this class with ONE teacher. There were 10 students squeezed around one desk.  How they had room to write or read would be close to impossible.  They were very well behaved and happy to see visitors.  Peter introduced the team and then spoke to them about how he grew up in Huruma and went through Cheleta, onto high school and then university.  Both Daniel and Mike shared about the importance of going to school.  Kylie shared the struggle to go to university in the U.S., but how important it is to continually not give up.  

We had brought them a gift of a pencil, eraser and round sucker (like a large tootsie pop).  They were excited to for the gifts.  All this time all the other classes had been dismissed for lunch.  The entire school is served the exact same thing out of a big pot….beans.  They had all sorts of different containers brought from home and ate the beans with their fingers.  Beats doing clean-up.

It’s overwhelming to see the number of children in the school, what is still hard to think of is that many children are still not in school.  As Daniel told the kids; “Education is power, hope and freedom”.  It is gift that if received will change their lives forever.

To end this day’s blog on a fun note.  We have heard that school in Albany is out due to snow.  Well, eat your heart out, it’s 85 degrees here and we all have sunburns.