4 years ago, we took a trip to Kenya to document the amazing work being done by our friends at eduKenya. In the interest of not repeating ourselves, we won’t go into too much detail about that trip. When we finally got the pieces together for a return, we were a bit unsure of what to expect. I think it’s natural for anyone seeing extreme poverty to be shocked. Even though we saw amazing stories and courage and hope last time, we were still pretty culture shocked. This time around there was less of that. Unfortunately, it gets easier to deal with the second time around.
As shocked as we were to see the poverty 4 years ago, we were equally as amazed at the transformation this time around. 4 years ago, we visited a very small school in the middle of the slum. Students worked in small, poorly lit rooms. In just a short time the school has grown so much. Now there are students up through 9th grade, including 3 Kindergarten and Pre-K classes. Over the course of the week, we got to meet every single one of them. It was special.
The biggest difference, though, is the structure. In the middle of the Nairobi slum, there is a new, brightly-painted building that represents the hope that eduKenya has brought to these kids and their families. On Monday I was standing on the balcony looking out over the slum. In front of me I saw gray structures made out of tin and concrete. There was dirt, trash and all the trappings of life in the slum. Then I looked around the school that I was standing in. I heard teaching and laughter in a solid building of brightly colored walls… an oasis.
Towards the end of the week, one of the students told Adam (the founder of eduKenya) that since he had joined the school he had never wanted for anything. It was an amazing statement for a child from an African slum. If our last trip to Kenya was a story of desperation and hope, than this one was a story of transformation and change. The obstacles still exist. The problems still exist. The poverty still exists. However, these kids are being given hope and a chance at life. It’s so amazing to see.
Here is the story of eduKenya. We spent three days in the Pre-Primary and Primary schools within the Mathare slum. Then we spent a day at the temporary boarding school for high schoolers and another day at the land where eduKenya hopes to build a boarding school someday soon. We’d love for you to see our story and we’d love for you to consider supporting eduKenya. It’s an organization we’ve supported for years and we are constantly in awe of the work they do. We know tons of organizations and there are very few that take transformation and self-sustainability as seriously as eduKenya does. Please check them out! Enjoy our story…
Thanks to my friend Justin McRoberts for the music that fits the slideshow!