SHASH KENYA SERVICE AND SITE VISIT

The second leg of the four country tour saw the Shash Travel Group arriving in Nairobi Kenya (NBO) around Midday on Ethiopia Arlines. The Party was led by CEO of Quality Tours and Travel, Mr. Anthony Otieno. Quality Tours is a long time supporter of Shashamane Sunrise. In fact, they have been with us since we started working in Kenya in 2008. The Service and Professionalism has always been of the highest standard. We give them full endorsement!

During the day spent in Nairobi, we met with our venue partner, the Nyaya National Stadium as well as Shash KENYA volunteer and candidate for the Shash Kenya Presidency, James Mbugua. The Nyaya Stadium, a 40,000 capacity venue, is our preferred venue for the Global Concert Series.

Early the next morning, we departed NBO via KSM (Kisumu International Airport), where we met Sash Kenya Station Chief, Western Region, Mr. Benson Ndukwe.

After a lengthy stop to change our transportation to a sturdy Land Cruiser, the Shash Travel Group departed for Kogelo and the Senator Obama Secondary School. Unfortunately, time did not permit us to stop at the Primary School, but the team got a chance to meet with the School’s administrators, including the deputy principal. We had met the principals of both the Senator Obama Secondary School and the Mutumbu Girls School in Kisumu while we waited for our new transportation. They were in town to select new students for Form I (the grade students go to after Primary School). Both principals thanked us for our continued support to their schools and informed the team that our service and commitment to help their school achieve “Model School Status” is greatly appreciated.

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Our first stop was at the home of Nana Sara Obama, Grandmother of US President, Barack Obama (Nana Obama is the matriarch of the school and community). We were accompanied by the Obama Secondary School Deputy Principal and one of the senior teachers.Nana Obama was introduced to each member of the Shash Travel Group. Simba Amani and Blessed Luv performed acapella songs for their host. Nana Obama commented that Blessed Luv had a beautiful voice during his rendition of his Reggae hit “Mama Africa.”

Nana Obama thanked Shashamane Sunrise and its guests from “America” for their continued support of the school since 2008, on the eve of then Senator Obama’s election as the 44th President of the United States.

She asked for the team to support her grandson during his re-election campaign in 2012.

The Deputy Principal of the School to the Shash Team on a brief tour of the school grounds, including the canteen, where the ‘Energy Saving Wood Stove’ that Shashamane Sunrise installed was still being used. The stove is an integral part of the school’s lunch program, which gives many of the students at the Senator Obama Secondary school their only meal on any given day. Shashamane support of lunch and Nutrition Programs meets with our mission to provide to provide healthy learning environments, where students can achieve their academic potential. This year Shashamane is working with Ms. Kerry Lee Darbeau, Board Member of Shash T&T and Nutrition Advisor, to develop Nutrition Workshops for Student Education and Nutrition Programs for the Schools. Naturally, students are better equipped to learn when they have a healthy meal to start their day and during the day.

 

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After the tour of the school grounds, the assembled students were treated to inspirational words from the Shash Ambassadors, Miss Barbados 2009, Leah Marville and Trinidad and Tobago musician, Simba Amani and Miami based Reggae Performer, Andru “Blessed Luv” Curtis. The students also sang songs for their guests and were treated to musical performances by Simba and Blessed Luv. In the Question and Answer Session that followed, the students sought a greater understanding of their visitors from far away cultures. One student made the association between Reggae Music, Jamaica and Bob Marley, and another made the link between Barbados and International Pop Icon, Rihanna.The team left the school after donating some small tokens and conducting an assessment of the current needs of the schools. Shashamane Sunrise committed to helping to meet some of those needs in the coming year.

During our next stop at the Mutumba Girls’ Secondary School, the team met with the Deputy Principal and was greeted by a warm reception that included performances of local music and a specially prepared meal.

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Again, the time was short. After another tour of the school’s grounds, including the Shash funded energy efficient wood stove and conducting a needs assessment; the team boarded our transportation and readied itself for the four hour drive to Mbale, Uganda, where they spent the night.One key development for the school was the availability of grid electricity towards the end of 2011. This will help with the provision of ICT facilities for the school and students. In fact the Senator Obama Secondary School, which the team had visited earlier, remained without grid electricity, though they received a recent donation of a solar energy system and desktop computers. One of their key needs is the provision of wireless broadband internet in order that the computers could be networked and the students could receive appropriate content via the World Wide Web.

Additional Notes

Shash UK and Shash Caribbean Directors, Phillip Blechinger and Duane Rowe are leading Shashamane’s efforts to effect Rural Electrification and energy education projects at Shashamane Sunrise’s sponsored schools. Solar and other renewable energy formats are an integral to their proposals.

In terms of providing content, Shash is working with renowned educational media consultant Makeda Mays Green.  Green has built her career developing content for some of the biggest names in children’s media, including Sesame Street and Nick Jr.  She is the author of the highly inspirational e-book, Makeda: Moving Up in Media.  Green is consulting with the Shash Executive Body to develop a Shash Application to deliver digital content to Shash sponsored schools using tablet PCs or smartphones.

Dr Rene Zazou

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