17 Oct Nipe Tumaini: For The Love Of Learning
The Media Team got to spend four days with the Nipe Tumaini family, and we’re excited to share about it with all of you! This is the third in a short series of four blog posts we created so you can experience a bit of the contagious joy we found deep in the rural Rift Valley.
When the children first arrived at Nipe Tumaini in November of 2015, the most important goal for Benson and Eunice was to make sure the kids knew they were safe, secure, and loved. Not far behind was the goal of beginning their education. Eunice is a trained teacher with a big heart, and she knew exactly what to do.
Many of the kids were preschool age, ready for their first school experiences. But a few of them were a bit older and had never had any opportunity to go to school at all. Eunice did some assessments to figure out what they already knew, and for Jane, the oldest child, that meant starting from scratch. Eunice remembers Jane in tears many times, because she felt so far behind where she should be for her age. “Don’t worry,” Eunice encouraged her. “Even for me, I learned little by little, slowly slowly, and you will do the same. Before you know it, you’ll be reading well.”
As Jane continued growing as a student, the education program grew as well. The students at Nipe Tumaini Academy now have a beautiful school building on their compound, with Eunice and another teacher, Mary, on staff. In addition to the Nipe Tumaini children, there are children from the surrounding area who attend along with them. Their families are so thankful to have a school nearby, especially one with such caring and attentive teachers. The Nipe Tumaini staff also provides a hearty and nutritious lunch for all the students, consisting mostly of food grown right there on their farm.
Teacher Eunice and Teacher Mary have tailored the curriculum to include a lot of music and recitation, and a lot of time for socialization and play. Eunice’s greatest priority is for the kids to fall in love with learning and being at school, so that they continue to progress well through every class.
Eunice’s teaching philosophy has certainly made an impact for Jane. Today Jane is a confident reader and the first to raise her hand when questions are asked in class. (The image at the very top of this post? That’s Jane with her hand up!) She has progressed very quickly, making up for lost time. The teachers know their students well, and are sensitive to the importance of making sure each and every student is tracking with their instruction and grasping these foundational concepts.
Our team had the pleasure of overhearing the children’s happy chatter as they walked to school each morning, and they were kind enough to let us pop in while school was in session and see how well they are doing! It was truly a pleasure to visit Nipe Tumaini Academy and find it full of joyful students who are eager to learn.