Sunday, July 17, 2011
My work with Mutuuma School is not just in infrastructure but there is also the emphasis on academics. On the right here is a library built with help from friends Canton, NY and PA. Students use this library for reference work as well as for quiet study. we even installed solar power that many students used for studies and revisions after school before going home where many would not have light or time to study.
I also promised to pay tuition for high school to any student who scores 400 points and above out of 500 in the national examinations. So far no one has taken up the challenge. When I visited the school this June I was promised that this year might produce someone to take up the challenge. I am waiting to see.
I have a soft spot for Mutuuma Primary School, the elementary school I attended many years ago as well as a school that both of my parents taught at and became principals. Since 1999 I have tried as much as possible and with the help of friends and family to give back to that school. Here I want to share some images of the slow but steady growth of the school's infrastructure over the years.
Here on the left is a view of how the school was prior to 1999. When we were in school it was not as good as this because we had mud walls in many of the classrooms. Here below is a shot of one of the trips I
made with friends from Augustana College who supported the renovations of these and other classrooms. Some of the classrooms did not have windows (okay they had wire meshes) or doors. Here below you can see a shot of the school after we had completed major renovations to it. My thanks go to all my good friends across continents and family who have supported this endeavor. It means a lot to me and I want to continue supporting the school in whatever ways I can.
When I am in Kenya I try to visit my former elementary school and chat with the kids who all know me through the few projects I have been able to sponsor in the school. Seen here I am telling some seventh and eighth grade kids to work hard and go beyond the lives of their parents. I told them of my story when I was their age when I was working in our garden harvesting corn and the dry stalks were all hard to carry when the stinging hairs of the stalks were combined with my sweat. I promised myself to work so hard at school that I would never have to do that work for a living and would instead hire other people to do that for me. I hope this was inspiring to those kids especially to one named Mwenda who was very attentive to my pep talk.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Finally the basketball court is taking shape and hopefully there will be some playing going on in a few months. It was such a delight to see some of the kids from school and looking back at my own school days when we would never even have thought of basketball in an elementary school.