The school in New Canaan started the new term with 128 children. Parents and teachers got together to dye the cloth for uniforms during the holidays and new uniforms, sweaters and shoes were distributed in the first week. 

Using the remaining funds from the Austin Montessori School’s generous donation, three foldable picnic tables with umbrella stands were purchased for the children to use as outdoor snack tables. This will help to free up the current indoor snack area that will soon become the new elementary classroom. Community carpenter Peter Chebe has made new shelves, a table and chairs for the material workshop. Wooden troughs were also made for planting in the front of the school. Construction of the perimeter wall started in May 2017 along with work to repair the roofs and painting of the classrooms. Refurbishment of the latrine block to add adult toilets for the teachers will be done after the wall is built. All works should be completed by the end of June 2017.

Land Registration

A letter from AMI will be sent to the Bishop’s office requesting that the school to be named Ad Pacem (Towards Peace) Corner of Hope School or Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth) Corner of Hope School. Considering that the Pipeline IDP camp was an outcome of violence and the school was started to bring hope and peace to the most vulnerable in the community - the children, it would be appropriate to have ‘peace’ in the name. Registration will be complete soon after the Bishop confirms the name to the Land Registrar. 

School at Kisima

The school in Kisima opened with 75 children and new uniforms, shoes and sweaters were handed out in the first week. The children have a mid-morning snack and lunch at school and the parents continue to contribute vegetables when possible. The tap on the school water tank has been repeatedly vandalised by the community and per the teachers’ suggestion, it will be repaired and the tank moved closer to the teachers housing where they are able to watch over it.

The teachers are finding the houses very cold since they were built with corrugated metal sheets in keeping with the community’s requirement that they remain ‘temporary’. It was decided that a plywood lining would be installed for better insulation and work has just begun for it with the aim to have it completed by end June 2017.

Members of the community are voluntarily tidying up the school compound and it is noticeably cleaner than a few months ago. The children are able to work outside and enjoy playtime in a clean and safe space.

Elementary Course (6-12)

The Elementary training course concluded in April 2017 with Module 8 focusing on reviews, written and oral exams, and assessment of albums and handmade materials. The full team that worked on the course, Jean Miller - Director of Training, Eileen Spalla - Trainer, Poinsy Pino - Lecturer, Eric Gumah – Lecturer, were present and joined by Laura Roark as External Examiner. 

The course had very good completion numbers with only 3 dropouts out of the 30 students that started and the remaining 27, who sat for the exams, achieved a 100% pass result. The graduation ceremony was a mix of excitement, colour and fun. More than 250 guests attended and it was a moment of pride for everyone to see the graduates receive their Diplomas.

There are still 2-4 weeks of lectures and presentations to be given to the students due to the shortening of the modules in the last year to accommodate revised government mandated term dates. This pending work will be structured as a follow-up module delivered in August 2017 in Tanzania and November 2017 in Kenya. The Arthur Waser Foundation in Switzerland has offered to financially support this additional module for the Tanzanian students.

Professional Development 

Corner of Hope teachers Milcah Jerotich, Lilian Mwaura and Judy Mugabi, St Ann’s college tutor Hellen Ng’ang’a, and CDP Nairobi college tutor Jael Origi will be studying on the AMI 3-6 Diploma Course starting in June 2017 at the Montessori Training Centre, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The Arthur Waser Foundation has offered tuition scholarships and independent donor funds will be used for additional costs. 

Ann Mweu, another tutor from St Ann’s, is in the process of applying for a place on the AMI 0-3 Diploma Course starting in August 2017 at the Indaba Montessori Institute, Stellenbosch, South Africa. The Institute is offering a 50% tuition scholarship and additional costs will be covered by independent donations.