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Kenya: A new beginning for the Humane School

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In the Kenyan village of Sirende, the Humane School has been going through ups and downs for 15 years. After the loss of its last location, the school is starting anew with a few small kindergarten groups on a plot of land purchased especially for it.

Humane School is a very special school. It was founded in 2008 by Juliet Mia. It is very important to her that children in the more rural areas of Kenya also have access to a good education. Juliet Mia is one of the mothers who had to leave their children behind in the countryside to earn money to support their families in Nairobi. As a co-worker with Nani Croze, the initiator of the Rudolf Steiner school in Mbagathi, Juliet got to know Waldorf education, became enthusiastic and managed to send her daughter to this school. Nani Croze encouraged her to start a centre for Waldorf herself and to set up an initiative in her home county. She took part in the training courses and returned.

Here, in the northwest of Kenya, outside the district capital Kitale, and only 25 kilometres from the border with Uganda, she founded the Humane School. The parents of the students are mainly agricultural workers - for example, on the tea plantations in the area. They live in mud houses that are not connected to the electricity grid. They cook on wood fires and fetch water daily from the village well. Practising the Waldorf approach to education, the teachers succeeded in awakening a keen environmental awareness in the more than 100 pupils. In doing so, they laid the foundation for constructive strategies to fight poverty, violence and corruption. Intensive further training at the East African Teacher Training in Nairobi supports the teaching staff.

In 2018, it became apparent that the property previously used would no longer be available from the original owner's community of heirs. Having had to move several times, it was now time for the school to find a safe plot of land. With the help of donations, including from our 2018 "Schools in Rural Africa" fundraising appeal, a plot of land was found and financed: a former coffee plantation, not far from the old site. The owner is the Steiner School Trust (responsible body for the Waldorf School in Nairobi-Mbagathi), which has given the land to the Humane School for its use. Thus the land is in safe hands and the established and reliably working school in Mbagathi holds its protective hand over the developing seed that is the Humane School.

Unfortunately, the project was blocked for a very long time by a local land registry official, who did not register it with various excuses. The land could be used but not built on. The old property had to be abandoned long ago and the children had to transfer to other schools.

Nevertheless, the school made the best of the situation. Although no permanent houses were allowed to be built on the property, the staff unceremoniously erected a corrugated iron hut on the site. Since 2022, over 50 children have been reliably cared for here in several kindergarten groups. And with the land being finally registered in September 2022, the school can now continue to grow. But support is still needed for this: „The economic situation of the last two years has presented the school with some challenges," Juliet Mia wrote in a report in autumn 2022: „Parents struggle to raise the small school fees, and since we do not want to leave the children to be left at home, we manage on a very tight budget. The economic situation has also driven up the prices of basic foodstuffs, so that the kindergarten staff can only earn enough to cover the family's meals, leaving little or nothing for emergencies". We therefore appreciate any donation to the Humane School.

Empower & donate now
Empower & donate now