You may have read recent blogposts by Jacque, Robert and Mumbi about their Sundays in Kibera. This Sunday, I joined them to see just what goes on in their creative writing and poetry classes and why their Sundays will never be the same.
The first group to assemble was the older children who sat at the back of the hall at Kibera Mpira Mtaani’s centre listening to Robert and Mumbi’s lesson of the day. They were working on constructing sentences but this was not the typical grammar lesson that you find in classrooms in Kenya. There was a lot of interaction and joking as they started to build sentences, create rhymes and write descriptions of a given item in one, two or three sentences. The final assignment was to write a short description of Kibera. The three writers whose work was judged as the best were given a reward of a piece of chocolate and their work published online. Check out the results below and you will see why their teachers believe there is a lot of talent to be nurtured in their classes over the next few weeks!
Slowly by slowly, a second group started to gather outside the centre and eventually a space was created within the hall and little ones from about three years old gathered round two tables and waited excitedly for their teacher to get to work. They were not disappointed! Another teacher sourced through Twitter, Michael (@woozie_M), looked round for some props and found a teaching chart with pictures of fruit. There were lots of shouts of “Teacher! Teacher!” as they eagerly tried to impress by naming the fruits…although many struggled to know some of the Kiswahili names for the fruits that were labelled in English! Next up was a chart with animals followed by singing and storytelling. Enthusiasm remained high throughout with laughter and learning proving a winning combination.
These teachers…Robert (@Mahebob), Mumbi (@Mumbi_), Jacque (@Jacquendinda), Michael (@Woozie_M), Oliver, Beth, Wanjiku and Anne…are really making learning fun for their students and seem to find it a rewarding experience themselves. Even the new arrival yesterday, Thomas (@_jilani_), got straight down to work and helped with the younger group. There is no doubt that the students, young and old, are enjoying the classes and the older ones tell us they are also improving their skills and the classes are better than school!
And their thoughts on Kibera??
Oh wow. Kibera is a very big shiny state where most people prefer to live.
Kibera is the most beautiful slum in Africa that is found in Kenya and people live there.
Kibera is a very big shiny place and I love living there.
An I can see dreams coming true in Kibera.
Wonderful place to stay and enjoy.
I can see future presidents in Kibera.
I love my hometown and nobody will change my mind.
My ugali, a big lovely and cool place.
Kibera is a rich place someone can stay.
I wonder, visitors coming to my hometown.
I love it how it is.
Passion juice following in Kibera.
Never judge a book by its cover.
Kibera is my homestead.
The perfect place with lovely people which live peacefully.
This beautiful city has no troubles because we do not trouble troubles,
And that is why I will never wish to abandon this place but struggle to overcome troubles.
Click here to see more photos from Sunday’s class.