Ely College staff and pupils recount the life-enhancing trip made by students to a Kenyan slum
PUBLISHED: 16:20 03 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:30 04 November 2017
Last month we reported on students from Ely College that had gone out to Kenya to spend their half term working and helping in the slums of Nakuru to develop schools and improve education. Here's how the team viewed it.
A team of 22 students, parents and teachers from Ely College gave up their half term to work in two slum schools in Nakuru - Kenya’s fourth largest city.
The team of 10 that visited Jubilee Academy - Ella Watkins, Stuart Cree, Eve Bannister, Ryan Lawrence, Abi Haynes, Alexa Haynes, Chloe Coxall, James Taylor, Rosie Howard Millar, Paris O’Keffe - spent the week building a platform around the classrooms that had been hit by severe flooding.
On our last day the torrential rain returned but we were thrilled to see that our hard work meant that no water entered the classrooms.
What students thought of their life-changing trip
Nomalanga Mhlanga (Ungana): “The most amazing and unforgettable experience of my life. It really gave everyone a chance to see a different view point and it helped improve my social skills by being surrounded by such a welcoming and wonderful group.”
James Taylor (Jubliee): “The trip was truly incredible and was an eye opening experience! Everything from fundraising to playing football with the overjoyed children is memorable. I look forward to going back in 2019 and continuing what we started.”
Chloe Coxall (Jubilee): “Most amazing experience of my life! I was completely immersed into a new culture and I had to embrace it. The whole trip was a hugely inspiring and heart-warming experience and my confidence developed so much in such a short space of time.”
Oscar Wolfe (Ungana): “It was an amazing trip and thank you very much to everyone who helped make it possible. I really enjoyed seeing the children at Ungana and getting to teach them music lessons with the instruments we brought over for them.”
Lucy Stephenson (Ungana): “I had an amazing time and it was really interesting to experience the different culture and way of living. It’s an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.”
Lily College (Ungana): “I really enjoyed working as a team to help so many young children and I loved to see the impact we had made by the end of it, it was amazing to see all the smiles on their faces.”
Rosie Thornhill (Ungana): “An experience I am definitely never going to forget. It completely changes your perspective of life over there. Truly eye opening”
Rosie Howard-Miller (Jubilee): “Such an incredible experience, seeing the faces of the children light up when they received new pants and socks is something I will always treasure.”
During our time at Jubilee we helped the teachers prepare food for the students’ lunches. For most of the students, this is their only meal of the day so it will usually consist of oats, rice and beans to ensure they have the energy to continue with the rest of their school day.
Thanks to kind donations from the local community, friends and family we were able to deliver new desks and chairs to replace those that had rotted in the floods.
It was a heart-warming moment when the children screamed with delight and chased the delivery bus when they saw what was inside. Something we take for granted in England was so incredibly important to the students that value their education so highly.
Stuart Cree said: “I was inspired by Joseph, one of the older Jubilee pupils who I commended for his excellent flag-raising ceremony. He asked me to teach him Scouting. “As acting Scout Leader of I felt I had to help and did what is my duty - to do my best. I decided some lesson plans to run the three days and finished off with an English flag ceremony as I carry out each week at Littleport Scouts.
“The scarves were a leaving surprise for Jacob and his Troop. I also felt it was highly appropriate that Jacob should have a Scout Leader shirt and as I can easily buy another, I gave him mine.”
Meanwhile the team of 12, led by teacher Graham Whiteman and parent Caroline Nightingale, worked to cement a new floor in the ‘baby class’ at Ungana Academy, which will be turned into two classrooms.
Students and keen musicians Amber Dorrington, Lucy Stephenson and Oscar Wolfe bought a variety of musical instruments and delivered lessons to classes at the school; this was a new experience to many of the Kenyan students and proved a huge success!
The volunteers also delivered lessons in geography, cardio vascular, puberty and health promotion for girls. When Caroline showed the Kenyan students photos of a recent holiday to Iceland they were in awe having never seen ice before. They were particularly interested in the formation and texture.
Those who gave a helping hand at Ungana Academy were Graham Whiteman, Caroline Nightingale, Daniel Nightingale, Nomalanga Mhlanga, Sam Evans, Lily College, Amber Dorrington, Lucy Stephenson, Oscar Wolfe, Rosie Thornhill, Ellen Cooper and Katie Nelson.
The students also visited the Nakuru dump site, where several families live amongst huge scavenger birds and pigs. They were shocked at the poverty but humbled by the kind welcome given to them by the locals.
The trip was a great success, largely down to the hardworking, selfless attitudes of the Ely College students.
They worked tirelessly to ensure the work completed was of the highest possible standard and they should be proud of the impact they have had on the teachers and students of the schools.
Thank you so much to the students and to their parents for allowing them this incredible opportunity.
A huge thank you also to anyone that kindly donated clothes, stationary, building equipment and money for the classroom furniture. It went to an extremely worthy cause and the Kenyan teachers and students were so thankful.