Saturday, September 4, 2010

Back to School at the Nest

Just as it's time to go back to school here in the U.S., it's also time for the children in Kenya to go back to school. For Kenyans, their school year starts in January, and is composed of three terms and three term breaks. September marks the beginning of their third and final term of the school year.

The Nest is devoted to providing education for the children committed into their care, which involves some unique challenges. When a child comes to the Nest following the incarceration of its mother, it is often mid-term, and sometimes the child is very behind in its schooling. The local primary schools are not able to handle these special needs, so the Nest built a school, and creatively tackles the challenge of bringing its children to age-appropriate learning levels.

The school has a classroom for its "kindergarten" children, ages 2-6 years old. A full-time teacher and an assistant work with a group of about 20 children. Their classroom has a play area with a kitchen, laundry, playhouse, and toys. They also have a small library.

Eager to show off what they are learning!

Another classroom is for the youngest primary-aged children (6-10 years old), and for primary children who will be at the Nest for a very short time. A full-time teacher and an assistant teach about 15 students. On Saturdays there are computer lessons available for these children, which are taught in the school's computer lab.

Once a child is about eleven, or in class 5, they begin attending the local primary school in Limuru. They walk to and from the school each day. All of the secondary students attend boarding school, and only live at the Nest during term breaks.

Gideon proudly displays his math figures!

The school day at the Nest begins at about 9 a.m. At 11 the children break for "uji", which is a drinkable porridge that is really sweet! They learn until their 1 p.m. lunch, and then return to learning until about 5 p.m.

The Nest's commitment to educating its children comes with a variety of costs.

Primary students in the local schools must pay for their required uniforms. Secondary school and boarding are not government sponsored, so the Nest must pay the fees for these students.

The Nest must also pay two full-time teaching staff. Their necessary supplies include paper, crayons, pencils and erasers, scissors, books, toys, puzzles, and teaching aids. Desks and chairs need repair.

Saba, International stands with the Nest in their educational efforts. If you would like to partner with us in giving a financial gift toward the Nest's educational expenses, please make your check payable to : Saba, International, and in the memo line write "Nest education".

mail it to:

Saba, International
c/o Helen Kahl, treasurer
10560 Blue Rock Road
Mt. Horeb, WI 53572

Saba, International commends the Nest for their emphasis on education and their determination to deliver it, whatever the cost. Please pray with us for this effort, that God will bear fruit in the lives of these children and their imprisoned mothers, and that they may stand firm in their determination to learn!

posted by Cathy Woller

photos compliments of Cathy Organ