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|Akili Prep school pupils|
|Akili prep pupils in class|
|Collins, Lawi, Molly, Mya, Hamisa & Yasmin|
|Akili prep pupils with teacher Jacinta|
|Akili prep pupils from left to right; Hamisa, Lovi, Lawi, Mya, Yasmin & Collins|
|Kids during a break|
|Molly & Lawi, Ndoto pupils|
|Akili Prep school kids, cute in their uniform|
|akili prep sch kids posing for a group photo|
|left, Ndoto student & form four leaver Irine Awuor tutoring Kids at Akili Library during December 2011 school break. Some of these kids joined Akili prep.|
Right, the Reed family who provided the funds to start Akili prep School
January 3rd , 2012 will forever remain a special day for me and the entire Akili fraternity. On this day, THE AKILI PREPARATORY SCHOOL opened its doors to its first group of pupils. For many years, we have been dreaming of starting a primary school in Obunga. We give glory to God, for with the start of Akili prep school, our dream is now coming true. In 2008 during an interview with Allison Schlack, Erick (Mwalimu) said that he wanted to be a primary school teacher, and that his dream was to startup his own school in Obunga. Back then, he was just a water vendor, selling water at the prince of peace church water kiosk. He had lost all hope of ever going to college. His parents’ meager income could not suffice. They could only take him through high school. Ndoto sponsored him to college and three years down the line, Mwalimu is now realizing his dream of running his own school that Ndoto has helped him start. So many things are happening in our lives today that are unfathomable.
Despite being only the second week since the school started, so many kids have registered at Akili Prep school. Baby class originally planned for 15 pupils now has 21!!! We couldn’t stop the kids from joining though we wanted to. More kids are still joining and we hope to stop admitting any more students once we get have 60 in total.
When I graduated in the fall of 2011 and went back to start up the Akili library, I had no idea that we would have a school after only a year of great personal sacrifice. Allison has always reminded us that it has taken her a whopping 8 years of sacrifice and hard work to bring Ndoto where it is today. I expected that it would take us at least 2 years to progress from a library to a school. When we both graduated and came back to Obunga, people thought that we were crazy to make such a move at the expense of looking for a decent job. They wondered why graduates would come back to a place like Obunga, and work in a library.
We experienced so many challenges, like walking to the library every day and making no money at the end of the day. We soldiered on despite all these trusting God to fulfill His purpose for our lives. We have always known that God has called us to serve Him in Obunga and there was no turning back. We believed that God works in our lives even in difficult situations. And we trusted Him to use us for His Glory. At times, we got discouraged, and wanted to quit. I have always known that to succeed, you must be willing to be different and sometimes be called names. You must be willing to sacrifice your time, money and other resources while your colleagues are indulging in theirs. You must move out of your comfort zone and venture out there with no surety of success. So we just ignored what people said or thought about us and focused on following God’s plan for our lives.
Today, I am grateful we are finally where God intended us to be. With the successful start of Akili prep School, I have learnt that God’s ways are higher than our ways. At one point, we thought that we could not start the school because we did not have the funds to pay teachers and put up classrooms. Like most people, we limited God’s working in our lives because of our mind-set. We got discouraged when things were tuff because we had a mind-set that wanted God to work only in ways that are easy, simple, pleasing, and comfortable. The more we struggled, the more God taught us and changed us to be even better stewards of what He had in store for us.
Looking back, I have come to realize that God does not always use our mind-set to accomplish His purpose in our lives. Each one of us has a role in making the world a better place. We are grateful that God has chosen us to make our community, Obunga better for His glory. Akili Preparatory school will go a long way in preparing the kids in Obunga for a better future than the life of perennial suffering that their parents and guardians currently lead. At Akili Prep School we believe that EDUCATION has the power to change the lives and future of many of the children in Obunga slum living in poverty. We know that books change lives and we are dedicated to increased access to books and other reading materials to support literacy, education and development in Obunga and its environs. At the moment many children finish primary school with only very limited reading skills and only a quarter of schools have a library. Besides, most schools put a lot of emphasis teaching for the purposes of passing exams only. The result is that most pupils graduate from these schools with very limited critical thinking skills that affect them adversely for the rest of their lives. The Akili Prep School aims to empower children in Obunga to learn. In so doing, we deliver an essential, sustainable development solution that endures. It is therefore the main objective of the Akili Prep School to empower the children of Obunga with education, support and opportunities so they can work together to improve the future of their community and Kenya in general. To this end Akili Prep School offers convenient, affordable Early Childhood Educational (ECD) opportunities for the children in Obunga thereby developing our community through learning. Akili does this by operating a nursery school (Baby, middle and final classes) and by securing educational materials/books and making them available to the students at Akili Resource Centre. We also operate a feeding program for the pupils where they have their lunch in school at a fee. In the foreseeable future, we intend to introduce lower classes i.e. 1st to 3rd grade and consequently 4th to 8th grade until we become a full-fledged primary school. We also intend to introduce computer studies in the school. With the world rapidly becoming a global village, there is need to equip the pupils with basic computer skills. Unfortunately computer studies are not given priority in the local primary schools making most pupils to graduate devoid of these essential skills. With acquisition of adequate computers, Akili Prep School will play a pivotal role in making our community a better place by providing pupils with knowledge and information which is critical in their endeavor to organize and break the circle of illiteracy.
We love what we do where we are, and we have come to realize that there is no greater or lesser profession, what matters is whether the person is where they are supposed to be and fulfilling their purpose. In the Obunga slums, where the unemployment rate is almost 90%, Akili Prep School has created jobs by employing two teachers. High school leavers also volunteer at the Akili prep school thus helping them to stay away from rueful behavior. With the start of a feeding program for the pupils, we plan to employ a cook cum caretaker to prepare and serve meals for the pupils. We also plan to have volunteer teachers from the USA come and train our teachers as well us teach the pupils at the school and help develop our curriculum.
We want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all those who have helped make our dream a reality either through prayers or through financial support. Specifically, we want to thank Allison Schlack, the Reed family and Richard and Catherine Ray for their generous financial support. We couldn’t have done it without you. Your prayers and support HAVE MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE. May God bless you richly.
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