For the last 5 years the Hands of Charity Team in the Bungoma County Bukokholo village have held Vacation or Term Break Camps open to any student who shows up at the door. The schools have three breaks a year between the terms .During these breaks, children are idle and can get in trouble. Our Bungoma Hands of Charity team has provided consistently engaging Project Based Learning activities during these time periods. These children continue to learn and apply their learning to real world problems.
The first year they would drop into a village in the area to bring computers at what they called Friendly Corners. In the next years they based their heavily attended programs locally and took students into the community to examine the impact of plastic trash, study the conditions and treatment of jiggers. They learned mathematics, used Scratch programming tools, and most actively studied endangered elephants, rhinos and lions.
For several the Hands of Charity teachers requested funding to take the students and teachers to a Wildlife Park to see the animals they had learned to love and passionately depict in their art. Their village is several hours from places where they can see these species in a park. We are hoping that the funds we receive from the sale of the student art and donations will be sufficient for a trip in the near future.
A message from George Newman of One Planet Education Network who been working with Hands of Charity to connect Bungoma kids to the world with the wildlife programs.
“Bonnie (our leader) and his students have done exceptional work and continually work at learning more from our online education programs and real world based learning games. They are a key part of our international network of students.
…These Bungoma students will be a leading part of this international student effort ahead in winter spring 2017! …It truly is vital, we totally believe at OPEN that nothing can replace seeing live animals in the semi-wild environments. That is so important for students who are now isolated from major wildlife species and habitats due to overdevelopment and poaching (need for game reserves and parks), to see animals up close and personal and NOT in the generally awful confinement of a zoo.
That way these students can actually empathize with the animals, relate their work better on what they will be doing in the semesters ahead. And if these students get to go very soon to this park visit, they will be able to speak from experience, with great authority and enthusiasm when they next Skype with their international peers in DR Congo, Italy, Haiti, Brooklyn and Bronx Schools, North Carolina and, Amman, Jordan to name a few. The impact will be contagious I guarantee, further motivating the others.
Sandra and I are formulating for advancing both our organizations good work. All the Best for the New Year for you All, and thank you for considering my point of view on this opportunity.
Elvis and Friend