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.
Feb 25, 2013

1,000 Books for Hope - x 14

Nobelity Project volunteer team sorting books
Nobelity Project volunteer team sorting books

The success of our original 1000 Books for Hope campaign at Mahiga Hope High School inspired us this past year to expand the program to a dozen more of our partner schools in Kenya. As with the first book drive, we invited our supporters to do something special. Instead of donating old books they didn't want or like, we asked for their favorite books, in new or gently used condition, and whenever possible, with a personal note inside about the book and the donor.

By the the fall of 2012 we'd collected 14,000 great books from individuals, families, partner schools (let's hear it for the third grade class at the Trinity School in Austin!) and from libraries as well. A giant volunteer day at the warehouse of Word of Mouth catering in Austin sorted the books according to ages and subjects for 12 partner libraries in Kenya. It was a lot of work and a ton of fun, but by the end of the day, we had the books packed, labelled and loaded onto ten shipping pallets, enough to fill a shipping container.

The following day, our U.S. shipping parnter Ceva logistics had the books ready for a U.S. customs pre-shipping inspection, and within weeks the container of books was on a ship headed through the Gulf of Mexico, across the Atlantic, through the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal, and past all those Somali pirates who apparently don't know what makes for a truly precious cargo. 

Last week, our great Kenyan shipping partner Freight Logix cleared the entire load through Kenyan customs without delay and brought them to Nairobi where the pallets were separated for delivery to the indiidual schools. We'll have photos of these libraries after our June working trip to Kenya, but in the meantime, the books (and some first class metal library shelves) will find great use by students of all ages at Irbaan Primary, Arambe Secondary and Jobe Polytechnic College, Kabiruini Girls Secondary, Daaba Primary, Mahiga Primary and Mahiga Hope High School, Mogaka Primary, Mutaki Primary, Kiguru Primary, Amboni Primary and Simbara Secondary (the Joe Gracey Library), Bondeni Primary and Muthuini Primary. 

The largest single group - 2 full pallets of 50 boxes of books weighing 2,500 pounds - are now in storage in Maai Mahiu with our friends CTC/Comfort the Children, and will be the first books at the new CTC Knowledge and Resource Center, a very large library and computer center that will be the first library serving the community and many schools.

Thanks to everyone who donated books (including Half Price Books who donated and boxed a 1,000 great kids books for us), to everyone who contributed funds for shipping and shelving, and to all our partners along the way. We have more schools and more kids clamoring for good books, and especially for quality Kenya-certified textbooks at every grade level from 1 to 12. Your support makes all the difference.

Where there are books, there is hope.

The Joe Gracey Library and Music Lab
The Joe Gracey Library and Music Lab
Jan 31, 2013

First Graduating Class at Mahiga Hope HIgh!

Christy Pipkin and Margaret!
Christy Pipkin and Margaret!

It's been a little over four years since I celebrated a new water system with the students and families of Mahiga Primary School. Four years since learning that the graduating 8th grade students at Mahiga Primary had no high school to attend. Four years since the community asked me and The Nobelity Project to help them realize a very big dream.

Four years later, the students of the first Senior class at Mahiga Hope High School have just completed their high school educations. I think that's worth celebrating; worth extending our thanks to everyone who's supported the effort, and worth congratulating all the students who have worked so hard.

And still the school moves forward. Already classes for the new year are beginning. As usual, enrollment has grown. The Kenyan Education District has provided two more teachers which is a big step. But there is much left to be done. A growing school has a growing need for textbooks, and the school could use a little help in purchasing those. 

Also, our 1000 Books for Hope campaign - round II - was a great success. We now have 13,000 books - fiction and nonfiction for all ages - headed on an ocean container to Kenya for a dozen school libraries. Many of these books are going to Mahiga, which means we also need bookshelves to hold them.

This is a big year for Global education intiatives. The growing movement for universal primary education is making progress around the world, and the story of Mahiga Hope High School is adding to the momentum for Universal Secondary Education. We hope you can support our work at Mahiga, and elsewhere, through continuing donations, and by purchasing the dvd and the book that tells the story. Building Hope - the story of Mahiga Hope High School is now available. You can learn more at www.nobelity.org.

And thanks again for your support through Global Giving!

Mahiga girls with our friend Mary
Mahiga girls with our friend Mary
Nov 21, 2012

17 Schools and Counting!

Purified Water System at Mutaki Primary
Purified Water System at Mutaki Primary

The success of our feature film Building Hope - the Story of Mahiga Hope High School - has helped us amplify our work with rural Kenyan schools. The purified water systems at Mutaki Primary, Kiguru Primary and Muthuini Primary are all complete (adding those schools to many other completed water and classroom projects). Likewise for our second new stone classroom at the mountain-top Mugaka Primary (a challenging place to build but one where the local community contributes greatly to the work), and we have just completed a rebuild of the original mud brick classrooms at Mutaki which has now grown from a parent-built one-room preschool to a very busy Primary School where we've been building a new classroom each year as the students move up a grade.

One of our most exciting new completed projects is the new Ronald F. and William A. Inglehart Science Lab at Simbara High School. This Nobelity Project/Kenya Schools Fund project owes a special thanks to our Global Giving donors, to The John and Tamra Gorman Family, the Kieni West Community Development Fund,  the staff and students of Simbara High and our building contractor, Shancar Industries. The first 12th grade class at Simbara is now able to complete the Physics and Chemistry courses and take the Lab tests that are required for graduation from high school.

Check out our short Simbara Science Lab video at the link below.

If you'd like to be a part of this work, we are currently fundraising for a number of Kenya Schools Fund projects, including for a new purified rainwater system for the girls dormitory at Irbaan Primary School. These girls need clean drinking and sanitation water, and are only waiting for the funding to start the water flowing.

We also now have 7 school library projects in Kenya, most of them in need of durable library shelving to hold the thousands of books that will be arriving soon. As it turns out, our 1000 Books for Hope campaign ended up being 10,000 Books for Hope, or as I think of it, 10,000 reasons for Hope. With your support we can make that Ten thousand and one!

If you want to read a full length account of our work in Kenya, check out Building Hope - the Story of Mahiga Hope High School. The coffee table, full color print version is at barnesandnoble.com and the full color iPad version of Building Hope is at the iBookstore.

Thanks to everyone who's playing a continuing part in our work in Kenya and the U.S.!

Christy Pipkin with Senior Class Girls at Simbara
Christy Pipkin with Senior Class Girls at Simbara
The new Inglehart Simbara Science Lab
The new Inglehart Simbara Science Lab

Links:

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