VIDEO – Lizzie Olmsted and Colleen Bouquot, both teaching interns from the University of Rhode Island recently spent two weeks at the Nambale Magnet School in Western Kenya and would love to share their experience.
From May 8th, 2018 to May 24th, 2018, we spent time at The Nambale Magnet School in the Busia district of Western Kenya. The second we stepped foot on the grounds of The Nambale Magnet School we were overwhelmed with emotions. We were immediately welcomed with open arms by the learners, teachers, workers, and the full Nambale community. The positive and optimistic attitudes of all the members of NMS were definitely contagious.
While at NMS, we spent time incorporating crafts into the classrooms, teaching lessons, running in-service teacher training, and inducting all the teachers into Kappa Delta Pi : International Honor Society in Education. Inducting the teachers into Kappa Delta Pi was very exciting because NMS is now the first school to be members of Kappa Delta Pi in all of Kenya!
We became truly inspired by the work that Evalyn has done to make NMS such a positive place for not only those who attend, but for the whole community of Nambale.
A powerful part of our experience was being able to work closely with the school social worker, Caroline, and visit public schools in the Nambale area. From outside visits, we learned that the beautiful NMS campus is truly a gift to the whole community. This experience with Caroline helped us put into perspective exactly what the difference was between a public school in Nambale, and Magnet. We concluded that NMS provides a safe, positive, encouraging, and helpful environment for its learners.
This environment is created by all the employees at NMS. We were immensely impressed with the work that the teachers put in everyday to make the experience for their learners a positive one. The teachers spend countless hours to learn about their backgrounds in order to make a conscious work atmosphere available for them. The teachers care so much about the success of their students, and it truly shows, each and every day at NMS. During our time, we formed relationships with the teachers that were powerful for not only them, but for us as well. This experience was so important for us because we were able to leave with new knowledge learned from the teachers at NMS, that will help us in our future careers as aspiring teachers.
Our time at The Nambale Magnet School is one we will remember for a lifetime. We are already hopeful for a return trip within the next few years. We hope that with our dedication to help, along with others, that we can help NMS become fully sustainable on their own.
We are forever grateful to have made the connection with the wonderful Martine Nolletti and the Cornerstone Project to help make our visit to The Nambale Magnet School possible.
Colleen and Lizzie