| Jan 30, 2024
Bright Futures Ahead!
Winnie Academy preschoolers
We celebrated many graduations in December, offering a bright future to many, many children - both girls and boys.
Our preschool, named Winnie Academy in honor of Founder Winnie Barron,and located on the campus of Makindu Children's Center, saw children advance to Grade One of Primary School. They have received not only a good solid introduction in basic academics like number identification, simple addition, and how to read and write in both English and Swahili, but also how to do school. This means they now know expected and accepted social behaviors like kindness, politeness, sitting still, standing in line, listening, waiting your turn, sharing, putting things away, etc.
In middle school, we had children successfully navigate Kenya's very first class of Seventh Grade of Middle School. Kenya is moving away from the UK-based education model to the US-based core-competency curriculum. This means that there is no more Class 7 or Class 8 in Primary School. Instead, Kenya now has Junior High, and last year began the transition with just 7th Grade. This year those 7th Graders are in 8th Grade, and a new 7th Grade class come in, bringing Junior High up to two grade levels. The core-competency will offer students exposure to more subjects.
In vocational school, we had 17 girls graduate from Makindu Advanced Training College. MATC offers a tailoring and dressmaking program and a beauty and hairdressing program. All the girls have now secured employment and most have already started their new jobs, embarking on their careers. The joy, hope and excitement for a bright future was overwhelming and felt by all who attended the graduation.
We also had many graduate from Form Four, the equivalent of senior year in high school. Very few are lucky enough to find the funds to go on to college, but they have a well-rounded education and perspective to give them the knowledge, confidence and ability to find a good-paying job. More than half of the graduates have landed jobs already.
Finally, of the 7 college students we had in 2023, we are so proud to have one graduate with top honors and top grades. She continues to look for a long-term job, and we are confident that she will secure one soon.
While we are so very proud of our graduating students, and those who have advanced to the next grade, we must continue to work hard and find the resources to provide the girls and boys still in our program a chance at education, so they can have a bright, successful and rewarding future.