1/5 Explaining Kibera and the School of Global One
First things first, I didn't ever realize that where we are teaching in Kibera, it is one of the biggest and worst slums in the WORLD. I was in shock and still am when we walk to and from the school. The ground is all mud (dirt & sewage) and trampled down trash. I can't even describe the smell. They don't have toilets so they pee and poop in buckets and dump it in the street. This is call "flyingpoo". All of the houses are made from scrap metal and tarps.
Also, which I definitely don't see at home, is wild dogs and chickens. Yes there are feral cats but we have those in little ole PA. However, we always have chickens on farms and dogs at home are domesticated in houses (or rescues). Kibera is the saddest place I have ever been, seen and lived through. But everyone is so welcoming when we walk the streets. The adults and kids are always saying "hi" or "How you" or wanting to shake our hands and strike up conversations about who we are and where we come from.
The kids of Kibera both break and warm my heart. They are all so happy which, I guess is what matters. But considering their living conditions, I just don't understand their mindsets. But I was raised with a middle class family, with education, shelter and never ever worrying about how or when I will get my next meal. These kids have nothing; no education, no health care and barely any shelter. But it is all they have ever known. This experience makes me realize how much I have but it also makes me feel so helpless and guilty. I feel like I have too much, that I have more to give and have more ways to help. But I am here teaching and I will come back.
However, it is hard to feel like I am even making a dent in the educational problems. But as the program managers' said, we are picking up where the last volunteers left off. It is evident that the schools highly rely on volunteers. Global One is kind of like our middle schools (grades 5-8), so four grades. However, there are only ever 2-3 teachers there, so not every class gets taught and students don't get every subject. This is because teachers get paid whether they are there or not, so no one is really there. I can't imagine how the kids feel since they choose to go to school! There are four classes and five volunteers, so we are basically running the school, making schedules and lesson plans. This whole week there has only been 1 or 2 teachers there. I don't understand. These teachers have a job to do and the students are relying on them! And these are good kids, they are all so respectful and eager to learn. They truly want to be at school. But luckily new volunteers come every 15 days, so at most there are no volunteers helping for a couple of days.
Honestly, Kenya needs some education reform and regulations. It is not right to rely on others for help. The kids need education and teachers that teach. However, I am just here to help but when I come again in May I will voice my opinion and start by trying to help and reason with the "head of school". Then another time I can help others and maybe go higher up into their government. That is just a dream,
until then I m just helping out, picking up where the last volunteer left off. That is why we need volunteers to keep coming so there is progress! And that is what I hope to accomplish now, in May and in the future.
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Volunteers and the schools officials