After volunteering with EPAfrica as a project worker in 2014 I decided to return to Kenya as a project coordinator this summer. Over the past few weeks I have worked with the summer team setting up Central House and visiting schools in Kakamega. While I have been out here I have been on a mission to capture what it is like to work as a coordinator with the charity and live in Western Kenya. Here are my highlights so far:
On our first night in Kenya our friends at the Laughing Buddha gave us all a warm welcome to Kisumu after an evening of good food and icebreakers.
One of my favourite parts about working in Western Kenya is the beautiful locations of our partner schools such as Marongo PAG in Kisii.
After a week of training we were joined by principals from our past and present partner schools at our annual Head Teacher’s Conference.
The first of many pictures to come from Kenya this summer where I will be working with EPAfrica to develop two rural secondary schools. The conference between principals and project workers is now over and we've split up and headed to our schools to get going. Follow @EP_Africa for more updates #epafrica #epa #summer #Africa #travel
As a project coordinator I regularly visit graduate schools to see how they are progressing. During a courtesy call to Ematsuli Secondary School I saw how they have opened a new classroom and began to construct a physics lab since graduating from our programme.
Spotted this hand drawn map of Ematsuli Secondary in the Principal's office. It's amazing to see the speed of development here. Since Ematsuli graduated from our scheme they have opened a new classroom and began construction of a physics lab. I spoke to Principal Patrick Mwavali on his experience with @ep_africa who said that 'EPAfrica jumpstarts schools and puts them on the track'. Looking forward to seeing more of this summer's projects and undertaking more school visits. #epafrica #teamkakamega
Tom, Kakamega’s project manager, and I visited our friends Musa and Douglas in Emanyinya Secondary School. During our time here we heard about how they have broken the school’s academic records since partnering with EPAfrica.
Yesterday we had a great day at emanyinya secondary with Musa and Douglas, who showed us not only how well they have sustained @ep_africa investments, but also how they have continued to develop the school with ingenuity and enthusiasm @coordinatorchris @anniekate210 @abbievernon_ #epafrica #teamkakamega #partnership
One of the best parts of working with EPAfrica is the people that I have met both within and outside of the charity. On a pastoral visit to Ematiha Secondary School I bumped into a worker from the Mumias Sugar Company who told Rosie and I about the importance of this commodity to the local economy.
Last weekend our day guard Griffin invited us back to his house to meet his family and eat chapatis and lentils. We are always grateful for the hospitality of our Kenyan hosts and the work that they do to support the charity.
After visiting Griffin on Saturday the Summer Team went to Ematiha Secondary School to see Robbie try and catch fish for dinner. How do you think he did?
While my work in Kakamega has been incredibly varied, every time I visit a different partner school each of the head teachers has offered a very similar message: EPAfrica’s holistic programme has truly enhanced both their ability to teach and the quality of the lives of young people in East Africa. As a result I am definitely looking forward to spending the rest of my summer in Kakamega and Kisii, and indulging in more of the local cuisine!