School Library

Construction of the school library.

The children are very happy for the construction a new school library. They are very grateful for a special room for them where they can do their personal and research studies without interference. The library will enable the children to work on their assignments well, as there will be variety of books for research. It will also enable the children to develop research skills, which are important in their higher learning level. The school fraternity is very grateful to Robert from Liberia who saw the need of a school library and is now behind its construction. God bless Robert.

World Conference on Transformative Education.

The students from St Charles Lwanga were happy and privileged to attend The World Conference on Transformative Education held at Masinde Muliro University in Kakamega, Kenya. They had a chance to visit the university and interact with lecturers and students from all over the world, where they learnt of different career courses and opportunities to equip them for life. They also gathered for motivational, inspiring and interactive talks with the keynote speakers at the conference, where they were encouraged to work harder at school to achieve their dreams. The students were inspired and most of them promised to work extra hard and join the university. Example of keynote speaker was Justo Mendez from Puerto Rico who shared about Neustra Escuela and the different educational models used in his country.

The children interacting with Justo the founder of Neustra Escuela school in Puerto Rico.

Health and sanitation

Wednesday was a very bright day for the girls at the school as they received sanitary towels. The girls could not hide their joy, as this was great opportunity for them as most of them hardly get the sanitary towels back at home. This was a wonderful action, which helped in raising the girl’s self-esteem and confidence as they sit in class.

To sum it all, we are very grateful to all our benefactors, friends and people of good will for their support all the school programs.

God bless you.

Activities Report May 2018

Girls’ work shop

The St Charles Lwanga family are very happy with the madam teachers in the school for organizing a very inspiring workshop for the girls. The teachers worked in partnership with some local organization to make the work a success. Each girl was to make her vision board which comprised of those people/items that speaks to them, items/persons that inspires them,items/persons that motivates them, their career choices and also their role models in the society. The process was very interesting, engaging and fun for the girls as they were given some magazines to cut out the above information. Each girl was given the chance to share the information in her vision board. The teachers were surprised on how rich the boards were filled with amazing information from the hearts of the children. This was a very touching and inspiring moment for the teachers as they listened to how the girls were focused on changing their world today and how passionate they were in sharing their visions. They later gave each girl some sanitary towels to motivate them to work hard in achieving their very able visions and dreams for a better society.

The girl from the right side is called Emma Wambui and in her vision board, she had the title Africa with different pictures of young women and quotes about Africa girl children. What speaks to her is the position of the girl child in the African communities, she feel the African girl is left out in decision making, has no voice in what happens in her life. Emma would like to be a designer and work with the young girls and communities in promoting gender equality, to have the girls’ voices heard in the society in terms of education, job opportunities, political positions, marriage life and other aspects of life.

Teachers workshop facilitated by Puerto Rico friends .

This term, the school was privileged to host Puerto Rico friends ie: Ana Yris, Siri Rolon and Jorge Luis who came to offer some workshop to the teachers on how to make learning much easier and interesting to the learners. They addressed five key elements

1.personal exploration

2.rights and responsibilities

3.saving and spending

4.planning and budgeting

5.social financial expertise

The workshop was very instrumental to the teachers and here a few points that teachers learned from the workshop.

Class management – the teachers were educated on how to manage their classes especially when the children have a discussion, they were encouraged to give each child a chance to speak by use of a doll where the child holding the doll should speak first and pass it over to the next person and in so doing there will be less noise in the classes.

80/20 model – in this the teachers were encouraged to make learning process more participatory, interesting and engaging to the learners where the learner contributes 80% of the learning process and the teacher facilitates only 20%. This helps the learners to own the learning process and the children get encouraged to participate and do research.

Funthe teacher were encouraged to make the learning process more fun and the same time give knowledge –deep knowledge depending on the topic. This will encourage creative thinking among the children and will also encourage the learners to find the root cause and solution to their immediate challenges they are addressing.

The teachers working together as a team –in this model the teachers were encouraged to work with the learners in activities that bring them together to solve a problem.

Group discussion addressing the social challenges that are affecting the schools today and how the teachers play a vital role in helping the children overcome or fight the social challenges eg: by educating the children on their right and responsibilities.

The workshop was crowned by each teacher receiving a rose flower and also a certificate of participation. The teachers were very happy and well equipped with knowledge on how they going to understand their learners and communicate the language of love to the students to making more interesting and easy to understand.

Visitors from Chalice foundation Canada.

The week was very busy though we were privileged to have visitors from Chalice foundation Canada who visited our school, did an audit and assessment of the activities and program offered at the school. This was a very informative process to the SCL staff as every staff member was able to learn something new in their line of duty. The SCl family are very happy and appreciative to Chalice foundation for conducting the exercise as it helped the staff members to broadened their ideas in record keeping and also got motivated in handling and providing the services to the children.

Brother Kennedy with the Chalice staff assessing the newly built latrine for the boys.

Co-curriculum activates –sports

Last weekend was very busy as most of the students and staff members were out for their sports activities. The students were able to participate in an inter-school football competition for all the schools located within Njiru ward in Nairobi County. We are very happy for the school teams, they made the school proud and carried the school name high by being the best teams in both girls and boys competition. The school is very happy with the teachers who worked tirelessly in training the children, brother Kennedy, Chalice foundation, Inverness County Cares and Puerto Rico friends for offering either their material, moral and financial support towards the school in promoting talents development program.

Thank you.

May 2018 Report

Happiness is all over the children faces as they resume their classes for the new term and also for the construction of the new latrines. The boys especially are very happy for additional latrines, they are strong, well ventilated and do not stand a chance of sinking. The St. Charles Lwanga School community is very grateful to Chalice Foundation and Inverness County Cares for their support in constructing the new latrines.

Attached are various pictorials of activities involved in the construction, assembling the materials, excavating the land, construction of the latrine and finally painting.

Feeding program

The students are filled with much joy in their hearts, as they off load a pickup that had brought foodstuffs in the school. They express their gratitude and some of the students say that it is a gift to be in school and have access food on a daily basis. Our stores are stocked with food stuffs such as maize, beans, rice, sugar, cooking fat and salt in readiness for the coming term.

Mini cultural day

The students happily organized for a mini-cultural day in preparation for the mega-cultural day in June. Their excitement toward the function was greatly shown by the energy they demonstrated as they practiced for the day, some students practiced traditional songs and dances, drama, music, modeling and creative art which were well guided by the teachers. The winning classes were motivated with a gift to help them do more for the next cultural day. This was a great day in the school, each students had to do something different to bring out that which they are best in (talent development).

Alice’s Story.

My name is Alice Kwamboka a seventeen year old studying at St. Charles Lwanga Children’s Centre and Secondary School in form three. I am the second born in a family of four. The eldest sibling is 19 years old, the third born are twins aged 14 years both in class 8. I am from a single mother who a problem with her spinal cord which makes it hard for her to work. I live with my elderly grandmother who is taking care of my mother and I. She can hardly work and therefore getting food to put on the table, catering for the medication is a big challenge for her.

I am working very hard at school though I have rheumatic heart disease which affects my studies as sometimes am on and off class to attend my clinics. The heart condition started in 2013 when I was still in primary school and this forced me to stay at home instead of being in school. When the condition is at the extreme, my body swells making me unable to move, I experience back pains and severe chest pains, which are unbearable.

I am grateful for those who provide me with shelter, 3 meals in day and a chance to study. I am also happy, for the support I have been given, and the help in facilitating my clinic charges and also my education where I receive books and other articles. I need to undergo an operation to clear the problem and I hope I can proceed with my studies and help my family in future. I am working hard to achieve my dreams of being a surgeon to help treat people with similar conditions as mine.

To sum it all, we want to appreciate all our benefactors, Chalice Foundation, Inverness County Cares, friends and people of good will for their continued support toward our school. God bless you.

Latrine Situation Corrected

Our post on March 16th (below) described the critical situation created when a latrine foundation was collapsing and creating a very dangerous situation. This situation was looked after by Chalice’s critical needs fund and generous donations from individuals.

 

THE FWSU STORY: Fairfax Farm to School Program Cultivates Sustainable Partnership with School in Kenya

Posted on April 18, 2018 on the FWSU Blog

Last week, students at BFA Fairfax welcomed visiting school leaders from Kenya into their gardens and classrooms. It was an incredible opportunity for the visiting team to learn how to start a farm to school who want to start a farm to school program in their own community. The 10-day trip to Vermont was made possible through the generous support of VT Center for International Learning Partnerships (VCILP) and the Bay and Paul Foundation.

BFA Fairfax students Shannon and Caitlin present the School Farm to Brother Kennedy and Florence Maina from Kenya.

” It is incredible all they are doing from saving orphans to building economic communities to building equality between genders.” – Grace Zelazny, BFA Fairfax student

Students leading BFA Fairfax’s farm to school club gave a tour of their grounds, orchards, and facilities, shared about their projects in their farm to school class, and told the story of how their program grew into the multifaceted collaborative project it is today.

Partners from Kenya, with Dr. Mary Lynn Riggs of VCILP, tour the Fairfax School Farm

“The work Brother Kennedy and Florence Maina are doing in Kenya is wonderful. They seek economic sustainability and gender equity through education. Creating a food system where people learn to garden in sustainable ways is at the heart of their work”  – Fred Griffin, BFA Fairfax High School Language Arts Teacher

As part of the effort to build capacity and strengthen rural community development efforts in Kenya, Dr. Mary Lynn Riggs, VCILP’s Program Coordinator, arranged for Brother Kennedy Oronjo and Florence Maina to visit the Farm to School program at BFA Fairfax.

Brother Kennedy of St. Charles Lawanga in Kenya, interacts with students involved with sustainability and the BFA Fairfax School Farm.

“We know something about how hard things are in parts of the world. It was eye-opening to hear specifically what was going on in Kenya and Brother Kennedy’s school.” – Hannah Rainville

Farm to school programs increase students’ access to local, healthy foods, helping to address hunger and connecting students to where their food comes from to promote local agriculture and healthy eating habits. Brother Kennedy Oronjo and Florence Maina run two schools in Kenya for economically disadvantaged children, most of whom are orphans, one in Nairobi and one in rural Rodi-Homa Bay. The communities they serve struggle with food insecurity, economic challenges, and gender inequality, and they are building a farm to school program to address these issues and provide opportunities to young people. Their goal is to address hunger and food insecurity within the community through education and applied learning while at the same time boosting their rural economies. In the end, they envision a system similar to the one BFA Fairfax and other Vermont schools have developed.

BFA Fairfax High School Language Arts Teacher Fred Griffin is a student advisor for the Farm to School Club.

“We want to find ways to link not just our Farm to School program, but our school with the project in Kenya. Heifer International was adopted by BFA Fairfax four years as a care-giving mission. Last year our student body purchased a water buffalo, two flocks of chickens and a sheep for Heifer to distribute. Livestock are a vital part of a sustainable food system. We are going to explore linking Heifer, Brother Kennedy, and our school by targeting his project as the beneficiary of our animal gifts.” – Fred Griffin, BFA Fairfax High School Language Arts Teacher

Students in Fairfax started their farm to school program only two years ago, and the program has since expanded rapidly. The students, both in farm to school classes and in the farm to school club, manage an apple orchard, a greenhouse, vegetable and herb gardens, and plan to add a chicken coop, a hoop house, and a pollinator garden this spring.

Signs of Spring in the greenhouse at the BFA Fairfax Farm!

“It’s great that they are trying to improve their lives.” – Anna Spiller, BFA Fairfax student

The project has been funded by two Vermont Farm to School grants, in 2016 and 2017, but the true success in their program comes from the creative integration of agriculture into the school curriculum and the deep community connections students and teachers have fostered with neighbors, student families, and the local agricultural community.

Brother Kennedy and Florence review the plans for the BFA Fairfax School Farm to gain inspiration for a project in Kenya.

“I think it is pretty cool that they are looking at Farm to School here in Fairfax as a way to build a sustainable program of their own.” – Quentin Stoneburner, BFA Fairfax student

BFA Fairfax was chosen this year as one of Vermont’s exemplary Farm to School grantees and is featured in the 2018 Farm to School & Childcare Program Report. After seeing a successful farm to school program in Vermont, Brother Kennedy and Florence hope to bring tools and lessons learned back to Kenya to inspire the development of their own farm to school programs.

Parsnips from the School Farm were served during a meeting with partners from Kenya.

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