Today, we continued our venture by heading out of the city into the country where the Furaha high school is located. Traveling through the busy city streets and on through the bumpy and adventuresome roads, we stopped on the way to pick up fresh fruit for the students at the school, and were part of the bargaining process for 10 watermelons and 10 pineapples at the Ruai fruit market.
The school’s location is remote, which provides a great opportunity for students to focus on their studies – free from the stresses and distractions that living in the Huruma slums can have. This distance is hard for students but really does provide the best opportunity for focused study for all of the 127 students. The school has developed a lot in the past several years with a full school building equipped with a science labs, a boys and girls dormitory, a water well, and much land for agriculture projects.
In talking with the school’s Principal, Moses, we hear his heart for the school – to become a place of academic excellence where students believe they can succeed. Moses shared the hardest part about leading the school is trying to convince kids of their value and potential. He shared that so many of the kids come from home lives that have left them emotionally scarred – these scars echo lies like, “You aren’t good enough, you can’t make it, you will never succeed, you can’t pass, go ahead and quit while you’re ahead...” Through the love, dedication and continued personalized education, the leaders and teachers at the high school are able to remind each student that they are more than conquerors! They remind them over and over of the hope and belief they have in them as teachers. This continued positive influence is making a difference - the school continues to have high passing rates and the commitment to excellence continues to rise.
During our visit, we stopped in each class to meet the students. One student, who wants to be an engineer, showed off a science experiment with much enthusiasm. Another student focusing on agriculture showed us the progress of his corn-growing project. The school also recently started raising chickens as a way to teach business and agriculture together. The chickens are fed left overs from the kids meals (so there is no waste). The hope is that this will some day become a sustainable business model that the students at the school can operate as they learn real life skills about things like supply and demand.
As visitors to the school, we once again were able to participate in a celebration assembly. This year WIGU is celebrating 10 years. Together with the students we cheered and danced to celebrate! Our whole team had a blast – not only watching the kids perform but hearing the laughter, and seeing the huge smiles and the joy that reflected out from the students performing poems, dances, and songs and from the fellow students listening and watching with us. The energy from the students filled us with the same feeling of joy.
Over and over again – Furaha meaning of joy rings true. In a middle of a rigorous academic setting, where students begin studying at 4:30 a.m. and continue until 9:30 p.m. (with a few breaks for food and activities but mostly studying) we continue to discover something special. When you look into these student’s eyes, we can see the joy in their hearts because they have found hope. As Principal Moses said today, “It is not about where we come from but where we are going.”
Today we ask for you to pray for these high school students. They are currently preparing for the exams, which is an important time for the school and the students. Pray for these teachers who are committed to making a difference.
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Traveling a Browns
This page highlights many of our adventures of traveling our nation and world.