Tag Archives: Teacher

Sponsor a Child at Shikamana School

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Hi,

For those of you who have been reading my blog for 2 years + (wow) you will know all about the amazing school I was lucky enough to spend 2 weeks working at in February 2012.  For those of you who are new to this blog, please take a read through all the posts in the “Kenya Adventure” section of this blog.

When my mum (Jan Prince for those of you who don’t know the connection) called me asking for advice on her trip to Kenya, my 1st thought was “you HAVE to visit Shikamana School”, it was mainly so she could see for herself what an amazing place it is but I also wanted her to bring me back an update on what was happening there and how the lovely children were doing.  So in November, her and her wonderful partner Heinz made the trip and out of it came more than I could ever have dreamed.

She managed to have a catch up with Jackson (the schools director) and take some more pictures:

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She also arranged the most AMAZING surprise for me for Christmas.  I opened the most beautiful envelope to reveal the statement “For a special gift  Sponsorship of a child from Shikamana School” naturally I became a blubbering mess for about 30 minutes when I eventually managed to mutter “thank you”!

Now, the main reason for this post is that not only has mum arranged sponsorship for Ruwa (yep, this little angel is now sponsored by me)

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and the sponsorship of another little boy for my sister, she has been sent a further 10 profiles in the hope that we can find sponsors for them.

This is where you lovely lot come in.  If you are interested in helping one of these amazing kids though school for a year (or more) then please get in touch.  The child you sponsor will write and send pictures and if you are lucky things they have done at school.  You can write, and send pictures yourself too!

The 10 children who have had their profiles sent to us are:

Name Age Class Interests Issues Ambition
Macdonald (m) 4 KG1 Number work, creative, football Lacks basic needs pilot
Twaa (F) 9 3 Maths, English, skipping Poverty pilot
Said (M) 4 KG1 Maths, english and football Lacks basics at home pilot
Melickzedeck 8 Std 1 Maths, English, Science Dental issues and poverty pilot
Joseph 5 KG1 Creative, maths and football Poverty teacher
Mazoea 6 KG1 English, Kiswahili and football Parents cannot provide basic needs doctor
Vincent 4 KG1 Number work and art Lack of basic needs doctor
Juma 7 KG2 Number work and creative Poverty teacher
Mwanarusi (F) 7 Std1 Maths, Engosh, Science and skipping Hardship at home nurse
Zulfa (f) 6 KG2 Maths, science, English and playing hide and seek Parents cannot provide basic needs doctor

Out of these, I worked with 4 of them directly (Macdonald, Said, Zulfa, Juma,0 and they are all AMAZING kids who want to be in school because they somehow know that it will make their lives better.

For more info please comment and either Jan or myself will send you as much info as we can.

We are also trying to collect books, old computers, basic school items etc so if you can help in any way at all please pop me a comment below and we can have a chat.

Thanks for reading.

Much love

Gemma (and Janet) xxxx

This is Not the End Only the Beginning!

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Day 14

So it is my last day at school and I can’t even begin to explain how sad I am to leave.  writing this (both at the time and now I am typing it) is bringing a tear to my eye.

I arrived at the school a little later than planned.  Having being woken at 4am by Anna who forgot the key and was then her usual inconsiderate self with her loud voice waking us all up.  (There is no baby by the way, false labour.  Contractions have stopped!)  I was then late getting up, and somehow managed to forget my water so needed to go back!!

When I finally did arrive I got the best welcome I could have ever imagined.  You know those films you see on Comic relief…kids running up to the celebrity visitor…THAT!!! about 6 of my kids ran up to me and just threw themselves at me.  I was right outside the directors office as well but didn’t think he saw.  He did, and mentioned it when I was leaving stating you can see the positive impact I have had here at Shikamana just by the greeting I received that morning.

Today I think a few of the kids realised something was up.  Teacher Gemma was sad, but I don’t think they all knew why.  Little Ruwa was definitely sensing the sadness in the air.

I spent most of the day with the kids climbing all over me, giving me cuddles and asking to have their picture taken.  I also added a final poster to my collection.  I really don’t think I will ever make it as an artist!

 

Madam Mariam did explain to the children that I would not be coming back on Monday and some of them were saying (in Swahili so I am going from Mariam’s translation)that they did not want me to leave.  Little did they know that I didn’t want to go!  I was also told that when asked who their teacher was they said Teacher Gemma which is really, really cute.

A few rounds of Wheels on the Bus, Heads Shoulders Knees & Toes and Paka Paka Paka (which means cat cat cat) later and it was nap time. I used this time wisely – finishing off my picture above with Siti, spend a bit of time with the staff and other classes before my last day drew to a close.  I have to be honest I was holding back the tears.

Lunch time was on major delay today,  I really hope it was not my attempt to help:

Ugali is NOT easy to mix!

I spent the afternoon and most of lunch time with my little soldier attached to my hip and just hanging out with the kids, taking pictures, doing some last minute bonding.  I really didn’t want to say goodbye so I took every chance to hang out with my little angels! This is why I love them all:

 

Despite their earlier nap some of the children still managed to fall asleep after lunch.  So off I went to a CRE lesson where the teacher didn’t seem to accept I was a practising Christian.  Slightly strange but interesting all the same.

Actually, I have totally missed a section of the day! Whilst we were waiting for lunch to be ready the kids had a mass colouring session. Big Saidi was super cute with this…every picture he coloured he would come and show me, looking for approval.  They also had a little bit of a mad hour which was kind of funny.

 

As the day drew to a close, I made my way to my class, tears in my eyes camera in hand ready to snap away.  The pics below show how sad I was to leave.  This SUCKED!!

The plan was for a group shot…but the children didn’t realise exactly how this should work and all wanted to be next to the camera as usual!  eventually we got it right and although they are all looking in different directions and at different things…here is (most) of my class in 3 photos I will treasure forever!

I said my teary goodbyes to them all as they left for the day and walked to Jackson’s office unable to really see where I was going!  I wasn’t the only one who was emotional, Jackson & Mariam were too.

As a thank you for the work I had done (which felt like nothing to be honest) they gave me a stunning ostrich egg decorated with Maasai beads.  It apparently brings good luck so will be hanging in my room if it clears customs. (It did, and I look at it every day)

And that was it.  A quick exchange of contact info, a promise to stay in touch, some pictures and I was gone.  Not even sun glasses could hide the tears!

Madame Mariam

Pst Jackson & Madame Eunice

There is no way I can leave this place and not come back.  It has been one of, if not the best experience of my life!

The children, despite their poverty are so happy (well, except when they fall over, stub their toe, etc)  They are full of love, no matter of race or religion.  They want to learn despite the lack of resources, I have seen 6 pupils share 1 book.  And the teachers continue to give the best education they can to these children in order to better equip them for their future.

I have sworn to do all I can to help Shikamana.  As soon as I get home I will be looking into setting up a fund for the school.  Now that seems insane right now but I can not sit back in England and go ah yea, Kenya was cool, nice place, would go back there! It will take a lot of work, and require a lot of support from friends and family.

if from reading these posts you feel moved at all, please check out the other areas of my blog (how you can help…) drop me a message, tweet me, or just comment below and I will happily give you more info.

So, bye for now… Next post my last night/day in Kenya 😦

Gem

 

“Imagination rules the world.”

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In order to keep you all up to date as quickly as I can I have written up 2 days worth of excitement!! I hope you enjoy.  Please do let me know what you think as it makes me smile knowing people are reading and enjoying!

Day 5

So day 2 in school and I am yet again blown away by the children.  They are warming to me more and more and today have spent the day sitting with me (or ON me) whilst I made posters for the classroom.  They also get very excited at any chance for a photo to be takne.  They haven’t quite worked out yet that being REALLY close to the camera will not make for a good picture.

 

I spent my lunch time outside with standard 1 & 2 who were trying to teach me some Kenyan songs.  But, being a terrible pupil I failed miserably in my learning!  There is a  video which shows a snippet of the song that they were trying to teach me but I am inept at uploading videos!  Everyone in Kenya knows this song, everyone who has spent time in Kenya is taught this song (or at least there is an attempt to teach them)

After a race to the undercover play area I grabbed some chalk and made an attempt to introduce an English playground game to the playground of a small Kenyan school…Hopscotch which went down a treat!

In return they attempted to teach me one of their games, and again, being a bad pupil I couldn’t grasp it!  It was such a simple concept, a jumping game using the squares on the floor.  I can’t even explain what you are meant to do as I simply couldn’t follow!!  But it truly highlighted to me the imagination of the children.  They use the materials they have, to have what appears to be, a lot of fun!  I don’t know if I have been in ‘adult world’ for too long and lost all my imagination but I don’t really remember doing that as a kid.  Do any of you?

I actually stayed with KG1 all afternoon today which was great.  I spent my time when the children were sleeping

(possibly the cutest thing ever) with Madame Mariam, drawing in their homework books and looking into ways to decorate the classroom.

The teachers are so stretched here, at every spare second they are marking books or writing up homework.  In KG1 she has around 35 kids who a lot of the time, have to entertain themselves somehow whilst Mariam prepares homework or even classwork for them.  What they need is dedicated homework/classwork books so their work can be prepared in advance and not take up valuable class time hand drawing colouring pages.  With a lack of photocopiers or printers to allow the children to take home printed pages, the school rely on the artistic talents of the teachers (or currently, me)

Once my day ends, I usually walk back to the house through the village with Kazungu.  Today however I fancied a change, I also needed to grab some stuff from Nakumat (like cereal; bread and butter does not a breakfast make)  So Kazungu took me along the beach today.  And boy is it beautiful, and SO much cooler than the village route!

Anyway, another early start at school tomorrow so bed time for me!

 

Day 6

I can’t believe it is Thursday already!

Last night was quite eventful.  Edith, Daniels sister-in-law was admitted to hospital with malaria.  She is fine, they caught it early and they have given her drugs but it was pretty scary.

Today I did my first real bit of teaching.  The kids sing songs all the time and most of them are in English.  Shakey Shakey the Mango Tree for example (which is just brilliant, especially in a Kenyan accent.)  So, I decided that along with the 2nd verse to “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” (which went fantastically with my body parts poster I made yesterday) I would attempt to teach my class “Wheels on the Bus”.  Verse one for now but hopefully by the end of my trip I will know Jambo Bwana and they will know at least part of “Wheels on the Bus”

I don’t think there is anything more exciting to tell you all from today…

No…wait…2 of the children have bonded with me enough to come to me when upset.  Macdonald (yes, that is his name, I am assuming he is named after an influential on his parent’s lives) and Saidi both came straight to me and not their regular teacher (or in Saidi’s case, his mum) and both fell asleep on my knee which was super cute but super-hot at the same time!  Think about it…its 35°, 80% humidity, with a small child sat on your lap…sweaty!!

And also, and this is kind of just for my Wirral friends…Look what I came across in Kenya…

Right enough now…BED TIME!!

Gems