• BuildWoW visits Mwangaza

    Posted on December 21, 2011 by admin in Project Update.

    Building Walls of Wisdom’s Executive Director, Russ Morgan, had an opportunity to visit Kenya last month and spend some time with the community of Mwangaza. Below is brief reflection of his experience.

    Upon exiting the truck within the grounds of Mwaangaza primary school, I immediately took notice to the over 200 students that came running towards us. Shouting and cheering, these students were excited for visitors, especially ones that looked so very different from the people they see every day. (They apparently don’t come across many 6”2, 200+ pound, caucasian Torontonians over there.)

    Prior to my arrival, I learned that our visit happened to coincide with the completion of the fall study period. Because of this, the entire community had gathered and was singing to greet us.

    As I approached the school, I was immediately taken aside by the head teacher, Joseph Koskei. He offered me a private tour of the school grounds and with every word he spoke; I could clearly distinguish the immense sense of pride he felt. During our conversation, he shared some of the following facts about his school:

    • Mwaangaza means “light” and everyday Joseph challenges his students to “rise and shine”.
    • All of the land that the school sits on was donated by the community as they recognized how important education is for their children. Note – you may notice some pictures below of huts that that are falling apart. These are simply old houses that people left after they relocated
    • This school currently has 252 students attending classes between the pre-school level and grade four.
    • The school would be adding even more students in 2012 with the addition of a new grade five class. The goal is ultimately to provide classes up to grade eight, but the school is limited by the amount of classroom space.

    As I looked around the massive plot of land, surrounding by spectacular scenery, I could see Joseph’s dream of growth.

    Following the tour, we then joined the rest of the community to begin the school-period completion ceremony. We listened and watched while each class performed for their parents and friends. Following the performances some of the teachers and parents greeted us and shared why education was so important to them. They also passed on their thanks to all of those that have been working so hard to bring them a new school house.

    When asked to speak, I shared that there was a diverse group of people from around the World that had heard about their community and had been working hard to get them a new building. I then shared the importance of students, teachers, and parents working together to create a conducive environment for learning and that the new building would only be one part of the equation.

    The meeting then concluded and the community erupted in song. Following this, I then spent some time playing with the kids. The only thing this taught me is that kids are the same around the World. They like to run around, be chased, and laugh.

    In summary, Mwangaza couldn’t be a more deserving community. The passion held by the teaching staff, students, and community will only continue to grow. Students in grade five and above currently offers have to walk kilometers to the nearest school. While the distance isn’t insurmountable, the walk often takes place in extreme heat with the very real threat of local wildlife.

    Please help The Murphy Project bring change to this small community and be instrumental in helping educate generations to come.

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