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.
Oct 25, 2012

1000 Books for Hope

Mahiga Hope Library
Mahiga Hope Library

When we were building Mahiga Hope Library, our 1,000 Voices for Hope campaign expanded to include a book drive called 1000 Books for Hope with a goal of adding 1,000 quality donated books to the English and Kiswahili language books we were buying in Kenya. We asked people in the States to select one or more favorite books, add a personal note and their name inside the cover and send to The Nobelity Project for transfer to Kenya.

The program was a great success and I noticed that the students at Mahiga were soon choosing books to read in the new library by reading the personal notes, which became a direct connection between the American donor and the students in Kenya.

To mark the graduation of Mahiga Hope High's first graduating class, we have now launched a second round of 1000 Books for Hope. This time we're collecting 1,000 books for each of our five Kenyan school libraries, including Mahiga Hope High School.

The address for sending donated books is on our site at www.nobelity.org - as are a large number of drop-off sites if you have to live in Austin.

We have shipping partners in the U.S. and in Kenya, but the ocean-freight for 5 pallets of books is till costly. A donation through Global Giving in any amount will help pay those shipping costs. And a $250 donation will fund an entire shelf of library books.

Check out all the details and the wonderful footage of Mahiga 3rd graders reading "Where The Wild Things Are" in our great 1000 Books for Hope video.

And thanks for all your great support, and for making this wonderful journey of education possible for the students of Mahiga, Kenya.

The Joe Gracey Library at Simbara Secondary
The Joe Gracey Library at Simbara Secondary

Links:

Aug 21, 2012

Peace, Love and Education

Girls in their new classrom, Daaba Primary School
Girls in their new classrom, Daaba Primary School

I've just returned from a 7,000 kilometer working tour of East Africa and was inspired by the progress at all 15 of our Kenya School Fund projects. Here are a few highlights.

In the arid lands of Samburu, Daaba Primary is a dream come true. A year ago, 50 students at Daaba were attending outdoor classes in the dust and sun, and climbing 40-feet into a dark and dangerous open well to fill their water jugs with unclean water. The school now has eight permanent classrooms and -- thanks to a new solar-powered well built with our water partners Well Aware -- a safe supply of water for the school and community.

The courage of the community and our contractor in the face of a terrible drought and local conflict stemming from the war in Somalia has resulted in over two hundred kids enrolled in the school, half of them girls in a Turkana tribal area where girls have rarely received an education. Daaba is as close to a miracle as I can possibly imagine and I will never forget the amazing welcome and thank you’s from this great community.

A 10-hour drive to the South, the enrollment at Mutaki Primary has more than doubled to 200 students from pre-school through grade 4. The new classrooms are a thing of beauty, as is the new solar-powered, UV-purified rainwater water system.

Accompanied by Nobelity Project Executive Director Christy Pipkin and a group of supporters, we also saw the first permanent classroom at Mogawka Primary; new water systems at numerous schools and site surveys for more to come, and the grand opening of the Joe Gracey Library, Computer and Music lab at Amboni Primary/Simbara Secondary. 

Also at Simbara Secondary School, we cut the ribbon and I filmed the first high school chemistry class at the new Ronald F. and William A. Inglehart Science Lab.

I was also delighted to accompany National Public Radio reporter John Burnett as he visited three of our school projects. John Burnett's NPR/All Things Considered story on Kenyan Education challenges and triumphs at three of our key high school projects.

With great community partners and a 100 percent focus on long-term good for the kids and local communities, it's possible to make a significant and lasting difference in the lives of kids all over the world. Thanks to all our Global Giving donors for helping make a difference in the lives of thousands of kids in Kenya, while showing that the the time for Universal Secondary Education has arrived.

Turk Pipkin

The Nobelity Project

Joe Gracey Library, Computer and Music Lab
Joe Gracey Library, Computer and Music Lab
The New Mogaka School Classroom
The New Mogaka School Classroom

Links:

Jul 24, 2012

600 Students and Growing! And a Great NPR Report on All Things Considered!

Mahiga Girls in Class at the Chemistry Lab
Mahiga Girls in Class at the Chemistry Lab

I've just returned from a month in Kenya and site visits to all 17 of our partner projects and there is a lot of great news and progress, with Mahiga Hope High School leading the way. Christy and I had a group of dedicated Mahiga supporters traveling with us and we were all inspired by the incredible changes that have taken place in this remote community where a once-teetering primary school is now part of a community hub that's driving great change for all.

Enrollment in Mahiga Hope High School and Mahiga Primary continue to grow with over 600 students in 14 grades from pre-school to Grade 12 (Kenyan Form Four). Our group was welcomed with dance and music performances that have already earned the high schoolers special honors in national competitions. As it was designed to do, the RainWater Court provided a great performance venue (as it does for basketball practice and competitions), and is continuing to provide 30,000 liters of purified rainwater with every 2" rain. (And yes, it rained again while I was there - another notch in my Kikuyu "Rainmaker" name, Keamu).

The school vegetable gardens are a miracle of their own, and are producing 45 pounds of greens per day, fresh Kale and other veggies that go directly into the giant school lunch pots! If you garden at home, you know what an accomplishment that is. The high schoolers also have large competition plots of amazing, huge carrots which will soon be harvested, and plans are underway to double the size of the garden by expanding to more area on the primary school side.

We were happy to unpack several new AMD/Lenovo computers for the computer lab, and I loved sitting with the high schoolers and watching the short films they've been shooting on Flip cameras and editing in Adobe Premiere.

A couple of weeks later, I was back at the school with National Public Radio's great reporter John Burnett. John toured our work at Kabiruini Girls Secondary and Simbara Secondary, and had a fantastic reaction to all the great progress and students at Mahiga. You can listen to his All Things Considered report on Kenyan Education at:

http://www.npr.org/2012/07/16/156840541/kenyas-free-schools-bring-a-torrent-of-students

The kids and staff at Mahiga send their love and thanks to everyone who's been a part of this ongoing work. With the school growing rapidly, we still need to buy desks, chairs, textbooks and other critical supplies so please help us spread the word.  It's all good news from Mahiga, and that's also good news for our campaign for Universal Secondary Education.

And if you haven't seen the trailer for our award-winning feature doc on Mahiga, check out Building Hope at:

http://nobelity.org/films/

Hearts and minds,

Turk Pipkin, The Nobelity Project

NPR
NPR's John Burnet recording at Mahiga Preschool

Links:

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