Kenya - Overseas Link
Over the past years our educational partnership with the Dioceses of Embu, Kirinyaga and Mbeere in Kenya has gone from strength to strength.
Over the years of this successful project hundreds of members of staff and thousands of children have experienced and enjoyed cultural diversity and have discovered for themselves what it means to be a global citizen. The project includes schools from three of our link dioceses in Kenya – Embu, Kirinyaga and Mbeere.
The Connecting Classrooms https://schoolsonline.britishcouncil.org/programmes-and-funding/linking-programmes-worldwide/connecting-classrooms partnership, funded by the British Council, is a key part of our Kenyan overseas link. The visits are mainly funded by the British Council but many of the schools have also funded their own teacher visits by fundraising activities (as part of the project).
The British Council is currently in discussion with the Department for Oversees Development to make decisions about the next tranche of support offered via Connecting Classrooms. If you are interested in your school possibly starting a link please feel free to contact Pamela for a chat.
The schools in both countries have benefited in rich and varied ways as the emphasis is on learning and cultural exchange. An underlying principle of the partnership is mutual learning for both staff and children. Many of the schools in the Chelmsford Diocese are small and rural and it can be a struggle at times to convey to their pupils an understanding of cultural diversity. Similarly, in the rural schools of Kenya, pupils and students often have a limited view of the world outside their village and the opportunity to meet and talk with people from a different culture prompts huge excitement and curiosity. Members of staff are able to return to their schools having had first-hand experience of another culture. As with anything, if one is hearing someone’s own story it is so much more powerful and inspiring than reading about it in a book or searching for information on the Internet.
In February 2018 Pamela and 16 delegates from schools situated in the Chelmsford Diocese visited link schools in one of the three Dioceses of either Embu, Kirinyaga and Mbeere.
The schools involved in this visit were: Heathland’s Primary (Kathari), St Edward’s Primary (Kanyuambora), Lawford Primary (Kiburu), The Cathedral School (St Peter’s Gatituri), All Saints, Fordham (Njega), Ardleigh St Mary’s (St Paul’s Kutu), White Notley (Kagio) and All Saints Great Oakley (Kathajuri)
Here is a broad outline of the visit
Friday 9th February
Travel from UK – overnight stay at the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) guesthouse in Nairobi.
Saturday 10th February
Travel to Embu to stay at the Izaak Walton Inn. Late afternoon meeting with the education secretaries from Embu, Kirinyaga and Mbeere along with headteacher and teacher colleagues from the link schools.
Sunday 11th February
Delegates either went to church with their link school colleagues or visited Embu cathedral. Following on various trips out sightseeing. Late afternoon and evening – preparing for the school visits.
Monday 12th February - Wednesday 14th February
Visits by UK teachers to their link school. A variety of activities including teaching, planning joint projects, tree planting and much photo-taking!
Thursday 15th February
Travel back to Nairobi to stay at the ACK guesthouse in preparation for a British Council meeting the following day. Afternoon visit to the giraffe centre in Nairobi which is funded by the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife.
Friday 16th February
Meet up with other teachers from around the UK and Kenya involved in Connecting Classrooms at the Kenya Institute for Curriculum Development.
Saturday 17th February
Early morning safari at the Nairobi National Park followed by a visit to the elephant orphanage, a shopping mall and a bead factory. Final dinner in Kenya and overnight flight back to the UK.