Bombolulu Adult Community Group
By Laura Dunnill 5 years ago
Celebrating the Fight Against Illiteracy
On Monday, I attended a wonderful celebration held by the Kenyan government, to celebrate adult education. I was invited due to the support GVI give to the local adult community center, founded and run by an amazing lady called Madam Grace. Olives Community Centre was set up to provide adults in the Bombolulu and surrounding areas a chance to progress with their education. Some of these adults never had the opportunity as a child to go to school and therefore struggle to get a job without an education or certificate of primary or secondary education. Grace runs many classes; English, maths, Kiswahili, social studies,, etc. GVI has been supporting the center for some time now, running advanced maths and English lessons, computer classes and recently, we introduced a creative arts class which has been a huge success. I have been coordinating the community volunteers and creating a new Excel course and life skills lessons, building a good relationship with Grace and the students.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with the ceremony, I hoped for some dancing and brightly coloured outfits though. The day didn’t have a great start, when the bus to get us there broke down but, we managed to find another and set off, with, to my surprise, all the ladies singing as we drove.. just like a school outing!
Upon arrival, I quickly realised the ceremony was running on Kenyan time, over two hours late and they were still setting up. But, the delay gave us a chance to wander around the various stalls set up – reading books, free eye tests, jewelry made by the local women. There was even an opportunity for one of my students to show off his new computer skills.
|Joseph from Bombolulu Community Group showing off his computer skills.|
One of my favourite ‘stalls’ however, was the Kenya National Library Service, or a mobile library as its more commonly known. I didn’t realise this type of service even existed here, but was very happy to see it and it has inspired me to try to get more reading books into the community center. I know the adults love to read, they always ask me what I’m reading if I have a book in my bag, so it would be nice to have a selection of books readily available.
When the ceremony started, it was very interesting, each education center had prepared a performance – singing, dancing, poetry – and they were great to see. One in particular, was highly energetic and showcased Kenyan rhythm at its best!
The Olives students and Grace had been practicing all week for their performance and were great.. so much so that the song they made up has been stuck in my head ever since (even though I don’t quite know all the words!)
|Bombolulu group performing at the event.|
Speeches followed, many in Kiswahili, so I wasn’t entyrely sure what was said, but the chief commissioner made a good point in his “there are clear links between poverty and illiteracy, we need to do what we can to reduce this”. I am proud to be a part of a organisation that is playing its part in helping ensure everyone has an opportunity to an education, no matter their age.
|Joesph and Mary received certificates|
The day concluded with exam certificate presentations, and some of the Olives students received certificates and their pride was clear for all to see, as was the support and appreciation of their fellow classmates.. Very heartwarming.
Overall, a great day that I was proud to be a part of and I know that everyone from Olives enjoyed it too, as you can see from their big smiles at the end of the day!
By Laura Dunnill, Community Coordinator
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