Ducere’s introduction to Nairobi was greatly supported by the Australian High Commissioner at the time, H.E. John Feakes. Staying in the residence was a highlight, and it gave us the opportunity to experience the interaction with the local community while gaining a better understanding of the High Commission’s work.
Ducere worked in partnership with a number of wonderful schools and centres across Kenya, including Tenderfeet Education Centre under the extraordinary leadership of its Founder and Director, Mrs Margaret Nyabuto. A community-based organisation located west of Nairobi, Tenderfeet began with the sole objective of providing education for orphans and vulnerable children from the slums of Nairobi.
We also worked with the Mercy Main Flower Academy, located in Migori County, in the Southern Lake Region of Kenya, which began as an Early Childhood Education Centre to cater for the educational needs of orphans and vulnerable children, and the Dagoretti Muslim Primary School in Kawangware, which is run by the local government authority.
Our success across Kenya was due to our relationship with Manasprings. The co-founders, Carey Westwood and Wanjiru Waithaka, are both born educators and worked closely with the teachers and students at Dagoretti Muslim Primary School to write many stories, a number of which are published in the Thirty-second Collection.
Manasprings introduced us to the Kivuli children; vulnerable or orphaned children in need of a home. Although Kivuli children all come from different backgrounds, they share the need for love and care and many continue their education with the support they receive from the Kivuli Home.
In Ducere’s experience, the aspiration of Kenyan children was summed up by Irene Kimua when she wrote,
‘I know that everything is possible with a willing heart’.