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.
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:

May 18, 2012

Full Speed Ahead!

New classroom nearing completion at Mutaki Primary
New classroom nearing completion at Mutaki Primary

As we prepare for a big June donors trip to Kenya, we'd like to update those who can't join us this time on all the progress at our Kenyan partner schools. There's a lot going on so it's hard to even know where to start.

- At Mahiga Hope High, the first Grade 12/Senior Class students are making great progress towards their graduation exams in November. Thanks to AMD, Lenovo and Nairobi-based Freight Logic, we have a number of new computers arriving next week. Additional computers are going to the new Joe Gracey Library at Amboni/Simbara Schools, to Kabiruini Girls Secondary School and others.

- At Amboni Primary School, the students have moved into a new stone and cement classroom and booshelves and hundreds of books have been ordered for the new Joe Gracey Library and Music Lab. Computers arrive next week.The new water system is providing purified water for both schools.

- Next door at Simbara Secondary, construction on the new Science Lab building is moving fast and we expect the Senior class do be doing chemistry practicals in the lab in a little more than a month.

- At Mutaki Primary, construction on yet another new classroom is nearing completion. We've also finished a 15,000 liter ferro-cement water storage tank and new gutters, and are making progress on the solar-powered UV purification system.

- At Irbaan Library - steel library shelves are now ready for delivery and hudreds of books are waiting to be shelved and read.

Thanks to all for your support. We're now working in 15 schools across rural Kenya. Your generosity and love are making a huge difference for these kids lives!

Turk Pipkin, The Nobelity Project

New Ferro-cement water tank at Mutaki
New Ferro-cement water tank at Mutaki
Second grader at Mutaki Primary
Second grader at Mutaki Primary
Apr 23, 2012

Thanks to Everyone Who's Made This Possible

Christy Pipkin with some of the Senior Class Girls
Christy Pipkin with some of the Senior Class Girls

Sometimes you just have to say "Thanks". Especially when so many great things have happened because of the love and support of so many wonderful people.

April is a break month from the trimester system in Kenya, and a good time to reflect on the changes in Mahiga in the seven years since Wangari Mathai invited me to plant trees in Kenya, and those first 200 seedlings I helped plant at Mahiga Primary. The very first tree I planted has grown from a sprig to a mature tree towering high over my head, one of 7,000 trees the kids of Mahiga have planted on the school site.

The 1st graders that I did dumb magic tricks for are now making good grades in 8th grade and will soon take the KCPE to qualify for High School. Seven years ago, there was no high school - now these kids are excited at the prospects of moving up to the two-story classroom building and getting a proper 4-year high school education.

At Mahiga Hope High, the first senior class is working hard on academics to pass the tough graduation tests, and are continuing to excel in athletics and other activities.

The school can still use your support through The 1000 Voice for Hope Campaign. The big vegetable gardens are complete but the school needs an orchard. The library is a beauty, but more books in Kiswahili would help with studies. Textbooks are always needed, and as the high school grows past 200 students (plus 400 in primary), we need many more desks and chairs.

In the meantime, thanks to Willie Nelson, Lyly Lovett, The Dixie Chicks and every other donor to this campaign. And thanks to GlobalGiving as well. What a great endeavor in support of our brothers and sisters all over the world.

Turk and Christy Pipkin

The Nobelity Project

www.nobelity.org

- And a very special thanks to our dear friend Wangari Mathai who passed away a few months ago. We are now the sponsors of the Kieni Youth Million Tree Program, well on track to planting a million trees in Wangari's honor in the Aberdare Mountains, with all the trees planted by students from our partner Kenya Schools. Much love.

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