Education in Kenya: A Child's Happiness
Claudia Giesen in Kenya: "I knew immediately that I wanted to help."
For many children in Kenya, East Africa, access to education is a luxury their parents cannot afford. Average earnings amount to less than US$2 a day. This same amount equates to what it costs to cover a day's education for a high school student, including, room and boarding. This begs the question for many if not most families in the country: To feed one's family or spend on schooling? There is little room to choose. Present needs take priority over even the most important plans for the future. This is where "The Child's Happiness Organization" (CHAPP) comes in. The program remains constant in its efforts to improve the situation of Kenya's disadvantaged children by enriching their lives with education and opportunities for a brighter tomorrow.
"It's a community-based non-profit organization headquartered in Naivasha, northwest of Nairobi, Kenya," says Claudia Giesen, from Corporate Communications at Deutsche Post DHL in Bonn, Germany, and who also set up the Kenyan project. "I visited there for the first time four years ago, and it opened my eyes to the very privileged life I lead. I knew immediately that I wanted to help."
Corporate Responsibility Award
The eligibility requirements were that the project should be conducted with a partner organization and should address challenges associated with education, environmental protection or disaster management. And they needed to be sustainable, have a link to the company and involve as many employees as possible.
The project was one of the winners of Deutsche Post DHL’s 2009 internal “Corporate Responsibility Award,” receiving co-funding from the Group for the project. To get the project started, some 75 employees from across the Group collected money and material donations for CHAPP. Many also personally decided to sponsor a child.
"I've seen many magical moments," says Claudia. "Seeing how happy the children are despite their poverty, and how proud they are to be able to go to school. They find joy in just about everything and really come into their own. Their parents value the commitment shown and are so very grateful for the support. But I have also seen the other side of the coin. Visits to family homes, seeing the conditions they live in. And knowing there are children who, despite everyone's efforts, don't return to school because their parents send them off to work. It's heart wrenching."
Preschools and parents
Overall, the project has brought huge improvements to the children, like new classroom furniture and teaching supplies. Right now 40 children attend CHAPP preschools. Locally-hired teachers and a social worker support both the children and their families. Once parents understand the importance of education they agree to send their kids to school. With education seen as a prerequisite for development, the project is set to run for many years to come. Kenyan children who would otherwise have little access to education are now learning to overcome poverty and make a better life for themselves.
- Beim Ausflug klären speziell ausgebildete Fachkräfte die Kinder über das Thema des sexuellen Missbrauchs auf.
- Bei einem Ausflug mit den Lehrerinnen am Lake Naivasha.
- In den Pausen und am Nachmittag wird im Hof zusammen gespielt.
- Hier bin ich mit den beiden Lehrerinnen und einem Teil der Kinder im Hof, der neben den Unterrichtsräumen liegt.
- Mittags gibt es jeden Tag eine warme Mahlzeit für alle Kinder, die von der Einrichtung betreut werden.
- Eine warme Mahlzeit am Tag ist für die Kinder, die nicht vom Projekt betreut werden, leider keine Selbstverständlichkeit.
- In den Pausen und am Nachmittag spielen alle zusammen im Hof.
- Die Kinder sind stolz darauf, zur Schule gehen zu können, und lernen fleißig.
- Die Kleinsten sind in einer eigenen Gruppe und lernen das Alphabet.
- Die Kinder sind froh, in einem geschützten Raum unbesorgt spielen zu können.
- Die Lehrerin korrigiert die Hefte und verteilt Hausaufgaben.
- Der Unterricht findet in getrennten Gruppen in zwei Unterrichtsräumen statt.
- Vor dem Unterricht verteilt die Lehrerin zum Zähneputzen Zahnbürsten und -pasta an die Kinder.
- Nach dem Mittagessen spülen die Kinder ihr Essgeschirr.