Many books purchased and donated at various events during the course of last year have made their way to two very grateful schools in Kenya.
Hotcourses primary school is based in Nyumbani village (swahili for ‘home’) in the Kitui district of eastern Kenya, (about 3 hours drive from Nairobi). Nyumbani stands on one thousand acres of land donated by the Kitui District County Council and is in one of the poorest divisions of the District with a high incidence of HIV and a high number of HIV orphans.
British charity Hotcourses Foundation has been supporting the village with a number of construction projects in recent years including a primary school and in 2010 – the opening of Lawson High School. Books donated by Pelican Post supporters have been hand delivered to stock classroom libraries in both schools including one trip by a very special Postman: Hotcourses Trustee, MP and Secretary of State for Culture, Media, Olympics and Sport – Jeremy Hunt.
Deliveries included 2o copies of the Garbage King for High School readers and multiple sets of early readers such as Handa’s Surprise and We’re Going On A Lion Hunt for Nyumbani primary school. We hope to bring you further updates on how the schools are getting on with the books in the coming year. For more information about all of the projects that the Hot Courses Foundation are currently involved in Kenya, please visit www.hotcoursesfoundation.org
Nurse Debbie Perkin and fellow Pelican Post supporter recently returned from another trip to Kenya where she has been working with two health clinics operating inthe notorious slums of Nairobi. Debbie, who has made many visits to the city over the last ten years, also delivered Pelican Post books to 3 inspiring primary schools working under the most difficult of circumstances. This is what she had to say in words and pictures…
…”My Kenya trip was incredible as always but also quite challenging after spending 2 weeks solid in Kibera slum! The first school I visited was the Hope Restoration School in Kibera which faces daily challenges due to its situation etc. The head teacher Pastor Laighdon, teachers and children were absolutely thrilled with the books. This is also one of the schools I took out for the day to the animal orphanage and crocodile park. Amazing how children and adults from Africa have never seen a lion before!
Jabes school in the Embakasi/pipeline slum area of Nairobi. Amazingly, that tiny little impoverished school has come 3rd in the whole world in an arts competition and 3 of the children may get chance to come to London. It shows to me that with the right head teacher and motivation, any one can achieve something.
St Thomas school used to be in the Kware slum area but following slum clearance and demolition by the Kenyan government, has relocated and supports some 200 children. It is run by Pastor Brown who rebuilt the school in its new location and is doing a wonderful job.
For more information on Pelican Post, please visit www.pelican-post.org or to make a donation go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/charity/finalCharityHomepage.action?uniqueVmgCharityUrl=pelican-post
Filed under: Books, Children's stories, education, Hot Courses Foundation, Jeremy Hunt MP, Lawson High School, literacy, Literacy in Africa, Nairobi, Nyumbani, Schools in Kenya, The Pelican Post | Leave a Comment
Tags: Books, childrens stories, Hot Courses Foundation, Jeremy Hunt, Kenya, Kitui, Nairobi, Nyumbani, Schools in Kenya, The Pelican Post
“The real gift is out of all proportion to the cost of the books. It is wonderful for these students to know that they are not forgotten and we are all linked.”
As December 2011 came to a close we at Pelican Post Towers were thrilled to receive a flurry of updates from partnering schools including one particular inspiring story from Mvumi School in Tanzania.
School teacher Julia Bengough has just returned from an incredibly successful but intensive 9 week English course she has put together to see if the participating school children can learn enough English to start secondary school with more confidence in January. In Julia’s own indomitable words she picks up the story here…
…this is the classroom we have using for my 81 (yes 81!) students who have arrived from primary school – 25 children are sponsored and from extremely poor homes. They are from subsistence farming families and are often cared for by extended families.
My brief is to teach a new/trial intensive English course to Primary School leavers who start Secondary School in January where all lessons will suddenly be in English. So I have got to be ahead of them in Physics, maths, biology, chemistry etc to go through the vocabulary. Now that is really taxing! Yesterday I was in an argument as to whether a mouse was a reptile. Why is a cow a mammal? What is the difference between a toad and a frog. Dictionaries no good as the Swahili is the same!
I prepared my course knowing that a great many of your books would be waiting safely locked in The Head of Department’s room. However, I was bowled over in the first week of getting here to get another 6 envelopes of lovely shiny, and pristine books (and don’t you relish that lovely “new book” smell?). The books are completely invaluable. Some of the students have had a fairly westernised experience of school before they get here but most have received their primary education by copying from cracked and dusty blackboards.
I am back in my old house and am being reminded of the hide and seek with cockroaches and termites which I had forgotten…and then there’s the weather! The heat has been at its height before the rains arrive in December and my bedroom is regularly above 30 even with curtains drawn all day. I found a baby black mamba in my bedroom the night before last. Where there is one – there is a nest – so I am being quite ginger when picking things up.
The lessons start at 8 am and we get half an hour chai break around 10.40 then solid lessons till 02.30 pm which is lunch. It is pretty gruelling for all of us. Six hours non stop lessons! Am plundering the nursery songs to break it up – usually turning them to chants with finger clicking and clapping … Getting away with it so far.
Two visiting post graduate volunteers from the UK assisted in the classroom and we formed a strong team. I included some cross curricular lessons which were geography, mathematics, biology, social science, and history. The basic vocabulary in these subjects was covered as a priority and the content was also well received. We used the new contexts to consolidate language and structure from grammar lessons.
The classroom was split for remedial classes from time to time but we managed to keep the class together because of the effective teamwork of the class assistants. In the last stage of the course peer teaching was successful.
We regularly incorporated songs, role play, drawing and colouring, reading sessions, outside activities, puzzles and problem solving as well as grammar, exercises, pair and group work , comprehension and other typical language teaching techniques.
Two large classrooms were allocated to the course. The main classroom was lockable which was a huge bonus as we could cover the walls with information, students’ artwork and illustrations and we could leave books and other materials securely at the end of the day.
We have not got text books of course but the classroom fell on the books that I brought with me which were largely donated by Pelican Post. I am working on a way to rotate them as they literally fight for them. And their English is DEFINITELY improving and I am convinced that the knock on effect of having access to reading books and being competitive about what they have read is extremely stimulating.
We have received some very favourable feedback from parents and students. I feel confident that there will be an improvement in how these students begin their studies in Form One because of this Year Zero (or even term Zero) course. They have learnt some study techniques and thinking skills and most have achieved a good basic level of competency in English. They are a lovely group of young Tanzanians.
We also recently received a letter from the Headmaster of DCT Mvumi Secondary School who wanted to send this message to all our readers and supporters…
“This is just a quick note to thank you in advance and the pelican post for the tireless efforts
you take to donate books for our school (D.C.T.Mvumi Secondary school). The titles we receive contribute significantly to the improvement of reading habit and the mastery of English language in particular.
The students are especially excited reading “The interview”, A journey to Jo’burg, “Akimbo and the elephant””Tales from Africa”, “Amina and the shell” and “The Bush” to mention a few.
On behalf of the students and the school in general, I would like to thank you once again for your generous support. May God Bless you abundantly as you continue stretching a helping hand for the need.”
Filed under: access to books, Books, education, literacy, Mvumi Trust, reading initiatives, Schools in Tanzania, teacher training, The Pelican Post | Leave a Comment
Tags: Africa, literacy, Pelican Post, Tanzania, Teaching English, using books in the classroom
Pelican Post has formed a partnership with the Goge Foundation to bring storybooks to schools, and pupils in Lagos, and Nigeria. This is an exciting development for both organisations because Goge Foundation has exclusive access to hundreds of schools within Lagos and its surrounding states.
To mark the occasion, Tunji Akinsehinwa – Director and Trustee of the Pelican Post, delivered 40 books donated through the scheme to Kudub Primary School in Lagos state. There was also an interactive Session, where the children laughed and asked questions as they read their new books out loud with glee.
This event marks the beginning of an initiative between GAF and Pelican Post to develop and encourage a healthy reading habit amongst Nigerian children. Through this partnership with Goge we also aim to generate feedback from Nigerian schools on how their students assimilate books, their literary interest level and novel concerns about reading. There were photo sessions with the brand Ambassadors of Goge Africa – Nneka and Isaac Moses; and copies of these life-long images will be sent to their children for their own Journals.
Goge’s work culminates in an annual career, guidance and counselling seminar with over 5000 school children in attendance. Pelican Post has been invited to attend and participate next year in June 2012. In addition, Goge Foundation has excellent links throughout the African continent and this will allow Pelican Post to have greater contact and ease of access to schools across the entire continent.
Filed under: access to books, Books, Children's stories, education, Goge Africa Foundation, literacy, Literacy in Africa, Nigeria, Schools in Nigeria, The Pelican Post, Tunji Akinsehinwa | Leave a Comment
Tags: Africa, childrens stories, education, Goge Africa Foundation, Nigeria, schools in Nigeria, The Pelican Post, Tunji Akinsehinwa
This summer, the Pelican Post team were invited to feature at one of the UK’s leading music festivals – Camp Bestival – famous for its focus on family fun and laid back atmosphere. This year’s festival was no exception with music from the likes of Blondie, Groove Armada, The Wonderstuff, Mark Ronson and Primal Scream (personal favourite) as well as a mind-boggling smorgasbord of other family fun packed events and activities including jousting, Shrek the Musical, insect circus, arts and crafts, English National Ballet, freestyle BMX and skateboarding …and well the list just went on and on.
As if that wasnt enough, Sunday saw a spectacle of lights, cartoons and fireworks all in time to music projected on to the front of Lulworth Castle and bringing the end to an incredible festival (and not much sleep! ) A huge thank you to the organisers for allowing us to be part of a quite magical four days.
And what a great four days for Pelican Post too! We had no idea what to expect but were really gob-smacked with the the huge amount of public interest and support that we received…and most signficantly we sold alot of books and all for direct donation to partnering schools.
Indeed this one event enabled us to deliver several thousands pounds worth of brand new children’s books and ALL were successfully delivered direct to partnering schools within a matter of weeks.
Many of the books delivered arrived in September / October so that Teachers could start using them straight away in classrooms when schools reopened in September. Supporters from Camp Bestival should be hearing in the next couple of weeks about where their individually donated book has arrived but we are thrilled to report that Pelicans took flight to all corners of Africa and successfully delivered books to schools in Uganda, Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria.
Many of the schools received mutiple copies of a particular children’s title and some schools even received full sets (20 copies). We plan to post more pictures on the web soon, but here is just a small selection of some of the pupils enjoying their bright, glossy new books in schools in Nigeria and Ghana.
As the pictures show, the books are a big hit with all and very gratefuly received. They will undoubtedly have an immediate impact on reading classes, and we look forward to reporting on their progress.
If you have been inspired and would like to regularly donate to the scheme, you can now donate directly to the charity at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/giving/. Just type in The Pelican Post in the box under ‘Find a Charity’ which should take you to our donate page. We plan to integrate this further with the Pelican Post website very soon…
Filed under: access to books, Book Festival, Books, Camp Bestival, charity, Children's stories, Events, literacy, Literacy in Africa, Rob Da Bank, Schools in Ghana, Schools in Kenya, Schools in Nigeria, Schools in Uganda, The Pelican Post | Leave a Comment
Tags: Africa, Books, Camp Bestival, childrens stories, Events, literacy, music festival, Rob Da Bank, The Pelican Post
Photo courtesy of the Farnham Herald (www.farnhamherald.com)
Despite some clouds, rainstorms and the optimistic BBC forecast of strong hurricane tail winds(?!), the first ever kids festival – Kidsfest organised by kids for kids was a resounding success , with several thousand visitors turning out to partake in the mayhem!
The festival which was officially opened by child actor, Daniel Roche from the hit comedy tv series, “Outnumbered”, offered visitors to the festival a myriad of totally mind bending wacky activities to try out which could only have been conjured by some very creative imaginations.
Activities ranged from learning to play the Digerreedo (so sure Ive spelt that wrong) to the Scout tent where kids could eat roasted rat on a stick (I kid you not!) and nitrogen ice cream, to games such as ‘chuck a frog in the bog’, jelly welly racing around an assault course, and hurling baked bean catapaults at targets not to mention the now infamous, longest official custard slide!!!! Adults if your considering taking your kids next year – you have been officially warned!
Photo courtesy of the Farnham Herald (www.farnhamherald.com)
Other activites, children could try their hand at included weaving rugs, making bandana’s, acting classes, a massive dressing up tent, farm yard petting zoo, a big sand castle play area and building a big lego boat. There were also two stage areas – a music stage and a dance stage with lots of local bands including the brilliant Carolina Blue to get the festival into a fine swing, not to mention the kids got talent contest.
The Pelican Post were also there as one of only a handful of charities invited to feature at the event and was proud to be associated with such a refreshing new festival. A big thank you to the organisers for allowing us to get involved and to all those revellers who visited our stall and posted books via our Pelican Post Box to supporting schools in Africa, most of which were delivered direct to a school in Kampala, Uganda and were officially presented to the school by Ka Tutandike Trust last week.
We understand that all the fun had a serious cause to raise funds for the Bishops Meadow Trust which is campaigning to purchase a section of floodplains along the River Wey and hence protect this area of natural beauty from further development. For more information about the festival or to get involved next year please visit www.kidsfestuk.org.uk .
We can’t wait to be invited back next year! :)
Filed under: Book Festival, Books, charity, Children's stories, Events, Ka Tutandike, Literacy in Africa | Leave a Comment
Tags: Farnham, KidsFest, The Pelican Post