Apply to Join
Nov 22, 2016

The 4th Grade Classroom Dedication Ceremony and Annual Festival

Jubilance
Jubilance

It was a gorgeous, sunny day... The air seemed to be electrified with excitement. Today was the day that everyone has been waiting for for months. Dozens of mothers and nearly all of the Live and Learn in Kenya children and youths had been learning special songs and dances for the annual "Mama Brique" and visitor party - which would also be the opening and dedication party for the new 4th grade classroom. It was the 5th classroom constructed so far, the 5th one being used as an office and mandatory teacher's staff room for the time being. The party preparations began very early in the morning when the Dutch visitors, Tivo, Carla, Ella, Jonneke and Jesper arrived with their costumes and instruments. Tivo, Jesper and the German visitor, Stefan, had been building a school stage with a group of fathers all week long - and it turned out amazing. A huge tent was set up with a couple of hundred chairs for the parents and other visitors. A large group of mamas had already been there cooking a meal for about 1000 people since sunrise. The children were practicing their songs and dances and dressing up in the new dresses that many of the sponsors had paid to have made for them in the LLK tailor workshop where the girls who had learned tailoring in vocational training volunteer their hours and talents. All of the female visitors had dresses made as well. Today was also the day that the 30 preschool children would graduate into 1st grade and the 30 new kindergarten children would be welcomed into the program. Parents, children, staff and the 17 visitors from Germany, Holland and the USA began to greet one another and the other guests who arrived. The local chief paid us the honor of his presence; the architect and the construction firm boss were also present. 

We all formed a sort of parade and walked - danced - to the beat of drums to the new classroom. The porcelain plaque was unveiled with the dedication to Philip Rosenthal Senior and Phillip Rosenthal Jr. - the founders of Rosenthal Porcelain GmbH in Selb -, which is a true supporter of Live and Learn in Kenya. Afterwards the ribbons were cut under cries of happiness from the crowd and the door to the 4th grade classroom was officially opened to the children and to the public. One by one everyone entered the classroom and were amazed by the friendly yellow walls, the furniture, and the bookshelves filled with high quality books brought from Europe. So much happiness in one room!!!

Then we all walked back to the stage area - and the music began with drumming and singing the songs that we had taught the children all during the past week. Tivo and Jonneke, being musicians, led the way on their guitar and accordion, our music teacher, Mwai, played the newly purchased keyboards while a group of boys played percussion and Brique and Stefan sang with the children. It was an awesome feeling for us all to be standing on our own stage for the first time. Until now all of the annual parties more or less went the same way - with the children and the mamas singing and dancing for us - this time was different - we sang and danced for them. When Ella and Carla got on stage with their dance group, dressed in their self-made masks - everyone had a smile on their faces. Then the boy's dance rap group performed a breathtaking dance that could have been on a professional stage. Yes, it was all quite different with a team of singers, dancers, clowns and musicians!

Then it was the mama’s turn as they danced into the stage area in the entire luscious array of Kenyan colors. Singing and dancing they called all of the visitors and staff onto the stage area and presented them all with presents – some self-made and hugs.

Then it was graduation time for the preschool children – who proudly danced onto the stage area with Brique and their teacher leading the way in their caps and gowns. Their very proud parents and grandparents were beyond words. Tears and Smiles! It is seldom possible for children in the slums to graduate from preschool in this matter – this is usually a luxury known only to the well-to-do. After they received their diplomas and presents the 30 new kindergarten children were welcomed into the arms of the Live and Learn in Kenya International program – with a bright future ahead of them they celebrated their special day with gifts of new clothing, sweets and stuffed animals.

Then it was time for the huge meal that the wonderful mamas had been cooking for everybody all day long.

It was a day so packed full of wonderful memories. I’m sure it will be impressed in the minds of the children, parents, staff and guests for many years to come.

Now – off to raise funds for the next classroom. November is less than a year away!

Dedication in Memory of Philp Rosenthal Jr and Sr
Dedication in Memory of Philp Rosenthal Jr and Sr
Dancers in their LLK Traditon Outfits
Dancers in their LLK Traditon Outfits
Graduating to 1st Grade
Graduating to 1st Grade
Self-made Masks for the Children
Self-made Masks for the Children's Dance
VIP Guest
VIP Guest
Stars
Stars

Links:

Sep 19, 2016

FINISHING TOUCHES WITH MANY HANDS TOUCHING!

Principal Robert speaking to the parents
Principal Robert speaking to the parents

It's finished!  "Sisi ni kumshukuru Mungu kwa LLK na wote wa wadhamini. We are thanking God for LLK and all of the sponsors." That was the program's parents' reaction during the parent/teacher meeting last week. The fifth classroom is completed with all chairs and desks, blackboard, cabinets and bookshelves. All possible hands helped to make it happen - and many kind donations made it possible! The happy faces of the 4th graders who will be sitting at their desks as of January 6, 2017 when the new school year begins in Kenya makes all of that hard work and fundraising worthwhile. The new teacher and principal, Robert, held the parents meeting to inform them of what will be expected of both his pupils and from their parents as part of the Live and Learn in Kenya Int'l community. He also answered the many questions that the parents had. Kenneth Branda, the project manager, assisted him in answering questions. They were very interested in the annual visit from the German delegation in October. The visitors will be officially opening the classroom with a huge festival of singing, dancing and a lot of smiling - and the parents want to take part in the preparations and the entertainment for and with the vistors! And of course everyone wants to know when the construction of the next classroom will begin. The only answer to that question is "when we have the funds".  But for now everyone is very happy with the results of this beautiful new classroom for the children. The fact that these children are now enjoying their school days in fresh air with green trees around them and not in the drab, gloomy and smoggy slums is already a blessing for everyone involved - and then to top it off with the harmonious atmosphere of a clean and happy environment with smiling teachers, more and more books for the bookshelves, warm lunches and a staff who cares about them is practically heaven on earth for so many! We can only hope that funds will begin to flow for the next classroom construction very soon.

In the meantime we are counting the days until our 10-day visit in October/November when we will once again have a treasure of information and photos to post.

We are still in need of books for the classroom libraries. So, please dust off those books of yours and send them over to Kenya - or make a kind bookfund donation! 

Asante sana! Thank you so much!

Project Manager - Kenneth Branda and parents
Project Manager - Kenneth Branda and parents
Finishing touches on the cabinets and bookshelves
Finishing touches on the cabinets and bookshelves
The new blackboard in the lovely new classroom
The new blackboard in the lovely new classroom
Book Challenge
Book Challenge
Lunchtime at the LLK Education Center
Lunchtime at the LLK Education Center

Links:

Jun 30, 2016

Another Year - Another Classroom

The 5th classroom at the LLK Primary School
The 5th classroom at the LLK Primary School

HARAMBEE - is a Suahili word meaning "Joining hands for a common cause".  So, we all joined hands and the 5th classroom at the Live and Learn in Kenya Education Center in Nakuru, Kenya was built in record time. When the first 4 classrooms were built, we weren't able to open the doors to the children and teachers until the following November or January - this year - on July 2, 2016 - they will be festively opened to the children who are now in preschool, but will be graduating into first grade in January 2017. They will already have access to their new classroom. How amazing is that? We can only shout out a huge ASANTE SANA - Thank you very much - to all of our kind donors who made this classroom possible.

We have desks and chairs and a chalkboard, but we are still lacking the funds for cupboards and bookshelves - and books along with other teaching / learning materials! The children appreciate every book that they can clamp thier eyes to. You can send (used and new) books to:

Live and Learn in Kenya Int'l
P.O. Box 17208
20100 Nakuru - Kenya
Every book makes a difference!

And the story goes on.... Now that 5 classrooms have been built, the 6th one is being planned! One classroom is still being used as the LLK office and teacher's office. It would be more than fantastic if we were able to start building the next classroom as soon as possible. The 2 remaining provisional rooms that are being used for the nursery school and kindergarten are not up to par. The metal roofs of of these simple constructions make learning very difficult - especially  when it rains with deafening loudness. So our next step is to once again join hands for a common cause and get the next two classrooms built as soon as possible. And we need all of the hands available!

The Live and Learn in Kenya Primary School children have recorded a song written and composed by their music teache,r about how happy and appreciative they are for their daily meals, which are donated through sponsors and the Feed a Smile project. It is nice hearing them singing out their appreciation.

The US artist, Suzen, has created a design for the T-shirts that the LLK children will be receiving for Christmas this year. They will also be sold internationally to raise funds for the school construction as of November 2016.

The Live and Learn in Kenya Primary School is already bearing fruits of our labors. Benta is one of the school's best pupils with a grade average of 499 from a possible 500 points. This 1st grade pupil would most likely never have had the possibility to go to school at all if her sister - with whom she lives with in a 1-room shack - hadn't registered her at the Live and Learn in Kenya Education Center. The children's grades are getting better and better through the clean, professional and relaxed learning atmosphere, good food, medical / dental care and sports activities. Now we just have to make sure that the next classrooms get funded and built! HARAMBEE!

Preschool pupils and their teacher
Preschool pupils and their teacher
Happy Mealtime at the LLK Primary School
Happy Mealtime at the LLK Primary School
Feeding Smiles!
Feeding Smiles!
Books & Stationary Donation for the  LLK School
Books & Stationary Donation for the LLK School
Benta-One of the LLK Primary School
Benta-One of the LLK Primary School's Best Pupils

Links:

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.