18 young people from the Priory School in Bromley completed an educational development project in rural Kenya. The scheme was coordinated by the Elimu Foundation, a non-profit Bromley based charity that seeks to create wider educational opportunities for schools in Africa. The group completed a range of fundraising projects to support the trip including a sponsored walk and cake sales, while members of the group also received volunteering grants from the Jack Petchey Foundation.
After an orientation period, where they established lesson plans and learnt about Kenya’s culture and education system, the group began their teaching placements at the Township Primary School near Eldoret in the west of the country. The link between the Priory School and the Township School is one of several international links set up by the Elimu Foundation between schools in Nandi Hills region of Kenya and the London Borough of Bromley. As well as improving the quality of education in Kenya, the links with the school’s in London aim to raise aspirations and develop cultural awareness for inner-city pupils.
17 year old Stephen Miller said, “The welcome we received at Township was special when the students danced, sang and performed gymnastics for us. We were humbled by how enthusiastic they were to learn.”
The group taught in pairs in lessons relevant to the subjects they are studying in 6th Form. Due to financial limitations, schoolchildren in Kenya are largely restricted in the kinds of subjects available to them. The Priory School 6th formers were able to offer creative arts, music and physical education classes, which the Kenyan pupils were very keen to participate in. Although they spent most of their time at the Township School, the Priory students also visited a nursery which was being re-built as one of the Elimu Foundation’s latest projects.
As well as teaching, the 6th formers had the opportunity to view some of Africa’s specular wildlife including the Kakamega Rainforest, listen to traditional African storytelling, visit craft markets and go horse riding.
On the Priory pupil’s final night at the Township School, the students all came together for a celebration event. The pupils from both schools sang their respective national anthems to each other, exchanged flags and other gifts, and played a football match.
Bethany Saunders, 17, said, “At the end of the trip, I passed my notebook around some of the Township students for them to write what they enjoyed about our visit. Abigail’s message stood out for me – she said, ‘I enjoyed how enthusiastic you were to participate all the time. I love every one so much, thank you for staying with us.’ This, for me, was the highlight of the trip - knowing that our hard work benefited these students so much.”
To find out more about the Elimu Foundation, click here!
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