Being a teacher is hard work in all corners of the world. Our teachers care for and uplift the future generations, and without them, our daily lives would look completely different. We are honored to get to work with schools in the U.S. increasing awareness of the water crisis and assisting in developing our next generation of leaders. But today we’re featuring a teacher in one of our partner communities in rural East Africa.
Meet Christine, a first grade teacher from Oloile, Kenya.
Christine, having taught in many communities around Kenya, has been an educator for 32 years and currently resides in a remote community in southern Kenya. Some of her previous classes have had clean water and some have not, so she has seen both sides of what clean water, or the lack thereof, can do to a student’s success.
She is currently the only first grade teacher at Oloile Primary School, and her class consists of 63 enrolled students. While her class seems extremely full, she normally had only around 15 students in attendance each day. The concerningly low participation was due to students having to skip school to go in search of water, as well as a large number of pupils experiencing waterborne illnesses from contaminated water sources – the only sources available to them. That was before their new water system was implemented.
At past schools, Christine explained that she had taught a full classroom of kids under a tree because there was no school building. Her class of more than 50 students had one book for each subject to share. Christine is so thankful that at Oloile she has a brick and mortar classroom, a small library, and the school is surrounded by a fence to keep wildlife away and the children safe. Now, she knows that clean water will change everything for the future of her students.
Oloile is about a four hour drive from Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city, where Christine travels before the school year begins to buy her students classroom supplies from her own income, since most of the children don’t have access to basic supplies like pencils and paper. And when asked what she was doing for water before the system, she replied that she had been taking three jerry cans every morning, before school started, to the river nearby and filling them up for her students because for some, that was the only water they would be getting at all.
“I take on my students as my own.”
Getting to know Christine was such a joy. Her heart for students and her willingness to share her life was something so special to experience. She pours her entire life into ensuring her students are healthy, learning, and are prepared for the opportunities that will come their way.
“We know the need for water is great at so many schools in Kenya so we are blessed that you are here.”
And now Oloile Primary has clean water!
Thank you to teachers around the globe for being a guiding light for budding minds. The work you do is seen, appreciated, and makes our world a better place. Happy World Teachers’ Day!
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