Nobelity Project

For the first time in history, humankind has the knowledge and ability to overcome challenges related to health, nutrition, water, education and other issues that stand in the way of a more peaceful and sustainable world. We believe that each of us truly can make a difference. We have the will, and we are the way.
May 19, 2014

Preschool Construction And More

Kiguru Preschool - before and the new design
Kiguru Preschool - before and the new design

This year The Nobelity Project is launching a preschool construction initiative based on a new affordable and replicable 2-classroom preschool design from Turk Pipkin and architect Greg Elsner. In addition to our funding from Global Giving donors, we had four preschool sponsors at our annual gala in February, and three of those are already under construction.

Even in the most remote locatons where we work, our Kenyan partnerschools are committed to early eduction. I'm always impressed when I see four- and five-year-old Kenya kids reciting the English alphabet and working on their numbers. With the education system's resources focused on Primary, the ECD classrooms are often in sub-standard condition - mud-floors, dark and cold drafts coming through the slat walls. At Labura Primary in January, I found the pre-school kids in a crumbling classroom that had actually been condemned.

By combining concrete foundations and walls made of both cut-stone and framing with metal siding, we've been able to create modern, long-lasting classroom diseign that's affordable and will give these kids a great start at a real education. They're also colorful designs that look like a fun place to go to school.

Constructon is underway at Kiguru Primary, Bondeni Primary and at Laburra! We're also building a 3-classrom/3-grade preschool at Konyit Primary, and hope to fund construction of many more in the year to come. We'd love to have your support!

* We're also happy to have recently completed construction or have prrimary and secondary school construction underway at Labura Secondary, Kamiruri Primary, Amboni Primary and an important new water project for the girls dorm at Enkongu Narok Primary in Amboselli. Thanks to everyone who's supported this work at Global Giving and elsewherre. We couldn't do this work without you.

Laburra PreSchool Construction Underway
Laburra PreSchool Construction Underway
Kamiruri Primary - new classrooms!
Kamiruri Primary - new classrooms!

Links:

Feb 27, 2014

More schools - More Great Work!

A break from design and planning at Konyit Primary
A break from design and planning at Konyit Primary

Everywhere I traveled in Kenya this December and January, I was asked to send special thanks to our supporters who've made it possible to have so much impact at our partner schools and their communities. Since we're now working in various capacities with 20 partner schools, it's almost impossible to distill all the work in to one report. But here are a few highlights of my recent trip that focus on great work from 2013 and great work to come in 2014.

At Konyit Primary near Elodret, we had our first on-site meetings with staff, parents and the Board of Governors and finalized plans to build essentially and entire new school here. Konyit is a wonderful school with severe facilty challenges. In the next year we will partner with this community to build 8 permanent stone classrooms, a purified water system, toiets, new preschool and renovate existing buildings for a new kitchen, library, dining hall, computer lab and admin facility. Less than two months after that first meeting, we have a new school design from Mahiga architect Greg Elsner, a great local contractor and construction is now underway!

Almost at the opposite end of Kenya, near Amboselli National Park, I was very moved by the kids at Enkongu Narok Primary, an isolated Massai school where only two girls completed the 8th grade last year. A new girls dorm is going to help alleve the problems of girls being chosen for marriage at too young an age, and we are committed to improving conditions at the dorm, just as the girls assured me they are committed to completing their education. The first step was mosquito nets for the dorm - those are now in place. And we are planning - and fundraising - to build a purified rainwater system on the dorm and another on the main school buildings. This is a great project that is worthy of your support.

On the way back north, I stopped to cut the ribbons on two new classrooms at Mutaki Primary, where enrollment has grown from 40 to 200. 

And back in the Aberdares, I toured our partner schools at Mahiga, Kiguru, Amboni and Mugaka, and we are happy to be starting new partnership projects at Laborra Primary and Kamiruri Primary. One of my favorite stops - as always - was at the school on the hill - Mugaka Primary - a long drive up the mountain but worth it to see these beautiful kids thriving in their new school environment. Our architect partner Joseph Kagiri, who is from this community, has done an incredible job in building all the new classrooms at Mugaka.

The 8th graders at Konyit Primary
The 8th graders at Konyit Primary
Gorgeous new classrooms at Mugaka Primary
Gorgeous new classrooms at Mugaka Primary

Links:

Feb 21, 2014

"From Zero to Hero" - Scholars at Mahiga

From zero chance of high school to college dreams
From zero chance of high school to college dreams

When I arrived at Mahiga Hope High School in January, I was blown away by all the amazing changes at the school. The classrooms were filled with hundreds of students, the new greenhouse was filled with 1000s of tomatoes, and staff and students were filled with hope.

We never had a budget for landscaping at the school - sounds like a small issue but during the rainy season that meant lots of mud being tracked into all those beautiful stone classrooms. The students solved that problem by building sidewalks and planting flowers. And there amid the roses, was a hand lettered sign that seemed to sum up their can-do attitude, "From Zero to Hero". I'd have never thought of these kids as zeros, but one of the boys told me he'd always thought he had "zero chance of going to high school." At least until Mahiga Hope.

As all the final touches come together at the high school, we've partnered with the school on an incentive to motivate kids to study harder and aim higher. Our Bicycles for Scholars program rewards the top-scoring girl and boy student in 9th, 10th and 11 grades with a new bicycle. These are great bikes purchased from World Bicycle Relief (who assembles them in Kenya). And yes, after the bike reward competiton was announced, scores went up! Presenting the bikes at a school-wide ceremony was a real delight. And when our graduating seniors final scores are announced soon, the top graduating boy and girl will receive new laptops, just what they need for a future college career.

As Mahiga Hope High School grows, we are planning with the commnity and the Board of Governors on future improvements which we all hope will ultimately include teacher housing and a girls and boys dorm, both essentials for a remote school in a rural area.

Thanks for your support. You've created a lot of hope, and helped bring a lot of kids from zero chance of attending high school to dreams of college and beyond.

Education is the way.

New bikes for top boy and girl scholars
New bikes for top boy and girl scholars

Links:

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