In 2009, The Kibera School for Girls had two wonderful volunteers: Kate O’Reilly-Jones and Matt Podolin. Both have stayed involved since then, and a few weeks ago they used their tax returns to sponsor a field trip for The Kibera School for Girls! The trip had an amazing itinerary: a visit to Kenya’s National Museum, followed by lunch out. After lunch, the girls went to the snake park, and then had a thrilling experience on paddle boat rides in Nairobi’s main park. They capped off the day with an ice cream treat. We can’t thank Matt and Kate enough for giving the girls this incredibly fun and educational experience!
When Matt and I started volunteering at the Kibera School for Girls in the fall of 2009, I was struck by how many kids in Kibera never leave the slum, despite living minutes away from a bustling city center. Their parents certainly can’t afford bus fare to take them into town, so most kids in Kibera spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week surrounded by metal shacks and dirt roads slippery with sewage.
The Kibera School staff works tirelessly to prepare their students to excel, both within Kibera and wherever the girls choose to go in life. Still, I realized that it might be tough for a six-year old to imagine succeeding at life outside Kibera (college? medical school?) if she has never really seen life outside Kibera.
With this in mind, we took the girls on a zoo fieldtrip that winter, hoping to give them a unique experience and show them a glimpse of the world outside their own. Since they enjoyed it (and other school trips that followed) so much, Matt and I thought it would be fun to sponsor another fieldtrip this past Friday – this time to the Nairobi National Museum and the park. The hope was that by giving them a day free from the stresses of Kibera, they would have a chance to relax, learn something new, and think about all the possibilities the world has to offer. And of course, eat massive amounts of ice cream.