In April 2002 we took a trip to Kenya to meet up with Kariuki, Pastor & Eunice and finalise plans. These were pre-mobile phone times, only very poor dial-up email, so it was difficult to communicate with them when we weren’t actually there. Shortly after we landed
Having been a Trustee since spring 2021, it was with huge excitement that I travelled to Nairobi to visit the projects and people of The Turning Point Trust for the first time, as part of a team of 8 from the UK (Directors, Trustees, and friends).
During the week, we had the privilege to visit all three sites (Mashimoni, Laini Saba and Kianda) and to see the incredible work in action. From watching the children develop their
“I want to score 300 or more in my end of term exams”
“I want to become a better footballer”
“I want to stop using bad language”
These are a few of the goals our current Transition Class students set at the beginning of the school year with the help of their mentor teachers. The students returned to school after a long time out of school, their mentors supported them as they settled in school.
“Hosanna! Hiyah! Blessed be your name, hoo-ha!”
Our grade 4 and 5 students belted out this song at full volume while throwing out karate moves in the recent holiday clubs.
In our first holiday clubs since the pandemic began, we explored the power of choice. Over two weeks, we met with our upper school students and secondary school students. The kids had a ball learning new games and songs while the facilitators took every opportunity to help the children reflect and learn.
Have you ever been amazed and perhaps slightly worried by how quickly a child in your life has picked up technology? A toddler who knows how to swipe through photos or a pre-schooler who finds their way to youtube on your phone? Yep, we know the feeling! Fountains of Hope students started using their new computer lab in October. Already, they are not just typing and researching, they are coding.
Kenya is a hub for tech developments in Africa, so many start-ups are innovating new tech solutions and creating new job opportunities. We hope that an early introduction to I.T. will equip our students for future jobs in tech.
Lara, in Class 5, said, “it is important to learn computers because then you can do what you want. You can be an accountant or a shopkeeper or any other thing.”
Lara’s group are getting to grips with a coding game where the players use code to advance their character through the game.
Teacher Kelvin brought his Class 5 students to the lab to research a recycling project. The students googled ideas for ornaments they could make out of waste materials before making various recycled creations.
At the recent ReimaginED Summit in Nairobi, we met innovators reimagining education in Kenya. One of the hosts summarised a common theme at the event when she urged, “we need to prepare children for a future we know not.”
We cannot predict what the future will look like, we can prepare children for whatever the future holds by building their resilience and creativity. And by equipping them with skills to take the lead in developing new technology that will help solve the challenges of tomorrow.
A few months ago, I sat in our social workers’ office listening to stories about the children we serve. Stories about what these children go through at home. I remembered our teachers also sharing their struggles to involve parents in the school. Together, we started questioning – how might we bridge the gap between school and home for our children, families and teachers? How might we get to know the children and families better? How might we help parents support their children’s learning? We knew that visiting homes would be a great start to deepen this partnership.
A week later, a group of staff led by the social workers, started visiting the families we serve. This activity has become a weekly priority ever since.
In March, we hosted 50 students we support in high school in a 3-day retreat. On the first day, the students came full of anticipation for what we had in store. All smiles, they greeted each other with fist bumps and high fives as they resisted the urge to hug one another in excitement. It was an opportunity for the students to take a break from their busy school life, take a step back and look at where they are now and where they want to be in the future.
Meet Delina, a fun-loving and happy young girl. She’s the firstborn of three children and lives with her mother. Delina’s father left home during the COVID-19 outbreak, deserting the family when her mother was expecting a baby. During the Christmas holidays, Delina’s mother gave birth then later began experiencing complications. This left Delina no choice but to care for her sick mother, younger sibling, and newborn baby.
The coronavirus being a completely new disease, we’ve all had to learn about the sickness itself, how it spreads and how to keep ourselves safe. Many of us have google at our fingertips or receive public health messages through our TVs and radios. In Kibera, this is more of a challenge. One of our first responses to coronavirus was to start printing posters about the virus from trusted sources – the Centre for Disease Control and the Kenyan Ministry of Health – to put up around Kibera.
Imagine having to watch your peers go to school every morning and listen to them sharing stories of their day in the evening yet you have spent your day fetching water for people because your guardian cannot afford to take you to school. It’s not an easy picture to paint yet this was the life of Leo for two years before he joined the transition program.