Launching a fledgling primary school from scratch on the edge of Kibera is no mean feat. From tiny beginnings residing in the corner of ICA’s community centre with volunteer staff and virtually no equipment; Demand for places at Hope School has rapidly outpaced physical capacity.
Entirely unconnected, Emirates Airlines had sponsored the construction of a rudimentary building for school use only 100 metres away. Rejected by the recipient NGO as ‘unsuitably located’ Emirates took to the web and contacted Hope School offering the building on a ‘peppercorn’ rent and a five year lease. The ten or so useable classrooms and some rudimentary latrines connected to a real water supply easily out-class the unusually austere, near windowless exterior, and the open air inward facing courtyard.
Questioning this bizarre design reveals the builders’ anticipation of the possible failure of the school or NGO abandonment. Each classroom is coincidently the dimensions of a standard Kibera dwelling.
These writings are penned whilst in the field working with our friends who live and work in Kibera and it is hoped that they bring insight, understanding and a provocation that the status-quo is unacceptable. Please feel free to unsubscribe or share as appropriate. Any opinions implied or expressed are my own and names may have been changed for the sake of privacy.