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Education for all

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A week’s reflections

Many Kenyans depend on light from a fire to study in the evening

Last weekend and the beginning of this week have been fascinating. If you had asked me a few weeks ago, before I started to write these blogs if the work I do had anything to do with education, I would have answered with a strong no. I would have mentioned that I train youth in media skills and that I also work with an educational foundation that helps develop solar light capacity in schools. Of course, these activities have everything to do with education. Writing for this blog has highlighted this rather obvious fact to me.

Date

June 23, 2012 | 8:00 am

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“Education here kills creativity”

Participants in Filamujuani

I had a busy weekend recently. The organization that I coordinate – Filamujuani – was shooting the second episode of a TV show called Zuki. It was amazing, though, to see the students of Filamjuani finally coming of age, taking the reins and running the show completely.

The TV series is about a schoolgirl born in Kibera whose passion is music, but unfortunately, she has no avenues to learn it.  She has a talent that even she doesn’t understand.

Date

June 20, 2012 | 8:00 am

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Education for all requires heroes and heroines

Picture: Emmy Chirchir

Learning to stand above difficult circumstances

Imagine: you have just managed to get to your fifth birthday. It is time to start school! You have watched the neighbours’ children gleefully skip off to school in the morning – heavy backpacks dangling from their tiny backs, shoes shiny, clothes stiff from ironing and faces gleaming with excitement. And now it is your turn. Time to finally learn the alphabet, enjoy curving out letters and numbers as you learn how to write your name. But sadly, all this remains just that – a figment of the imagination.

Date

June 12, 2012 | 12:41 pm

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Building a learning community amid harsh conditions

Picture: Maria Cruz

Valeria at the integration center with a group of kids

After Barrio Mosconi, the circus workshop moved to El Dique, another slum in the district of Ensenada. Having set foot in both, I could tell the difference between them was that the latter has worse living conditions: informal housing and dirt roads instead of paved streets. Also, as Liliana put it very well during the meeting we had: El Dique has a bigger population, so it is able to have a Centro de Integración Comunitario. The proper translation would be “Community Integration Center,” and it is a special building provided by the government, where there is space for health initiatives as well as social development, arts, education and sports programs. This is where the circus classes took place.

Date

June 2, 2012 | 6:00 pm

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