We are pleased to report back on a fantastic start to the KEP Summer 2012 Project in Kisii! The Pre Summer Team of Molly, Chain and Bobby worked extremely hard to get prepared for the 21 project workers to arrive in the first week – they were given a lot of help by our great KEP friends in the town – Eliud, Saif, Geoff, Dan, and of course Castan. They had secured and tidied a lovely house near the Kisii General Level Five Hospital, and after buying a few things, and altering others, the house was ready! They visited all the schools that we are working with this year, and ensured that the accommodation was ready for the Project Workers to stay in, and the headteachers were suitably excited and briefed. With two new schools, and one post programme school rejoining the project, there were some new faces, and the team did a brilliant job of preparing them, because by the time of the Headteachers Conference on July 6th, they were all ready to receive their project workers.Travelling with the Project Workers from the UK were Jenny, Jan, Emma Beswick and Emma Brown, and after a big group meeting of all 45 of us at the airport, we were ready to depart! A long night flight later (though with some great films on offer…) we arrived at Jomo Kenyatta Nairobi, so excited to be in Kenya and see the pre-summer team eagerly waiting for us at the airport!Training in Kisumu with the Kisii and the Kakamega Project Workers was a fantastic time for the PWs to bond, for them to get to know each other and to get to know us, and for us all to get prepared for a busy summer ahead. Introductions, acclimatisation and familiarity with Kenya, the language, the education system, and the local politics and history was on the agenda for Kisumu, as well as some lovely meals out in the warm Lake Victoria setting, to really “feel at home” in Kenya. When we departed for our separate sites on Wednesday, certainly the PWs felt like one big family, and we were sad to be dividing!
Once in Kisii, the training became much more specific – settling the PWs into their new central house, orienting them around the town, and then really thinking through what they would be doing in their specific schools – regarding PODs, the expenditure of the Central Pot Money to be used for electricity and water tanks (thanks to the LTP24 Team), the work of the Focus PWs, and the work of our Project Researcher, Emma Beswick.
We, of course, played a good few games of Mafia, went out for an evening at Dallas, and even managed cooking for all 27 of us in the Kisii house, and all in all had a lovely week! We especially felt like one big family, as the PWs very kindly bought us a gift of chocolates and a thank you card to show their appreciation for making them feel part of the KEP family! For the Summer Team, it made the very hectic first two weeks entirely worth it! Possibly the best moment of the project so far!
The HTC was a great event on the Friday – held at the Kisii Hotel, the network of the current and the past schools had such a nice feel to it, as they were all very much looking forward to working with KEP again this summer, and there was much sharing of ideas about how best for us to work in really close partnership with the schools. Some great speeches from post programme school Kiogo, and present school Eronge, Headteachers really made the conference special, as they both told of great improvements in their school results since being in the KEP programme, and told of great collaborative experience with their PWs! Sending the PWs with their headteachers to their schools (miraculously, ahead of schedule, possibly a first for an HTC!) was so lovely as they were all very excited to have met with their Headteachers, and to finally be off to the village! Thus the end of a long two weeks for the Summer Team heralded a really successful launch to the project – 21 happy PWs texted on Friday evening to say they were so pleased to be in their beautiful villages, many of them had already been to see their schools, and most of all, they were looking forward to getting stuck in on Monday! Kisii 2012 has begun!