Bow school praised in Kenyan national newspaper

A BOW girls’ school was praised in a Kenyan national newspaper for the work it does to help students in a deprived Nairobi neighbourhood.

Central Foundation Girls School has been holding fundraisers and exchange programmes with pupils and teachers at Muthurwa school since 2006.

Jane Mwaura, Muthurwa head teacher, told the Nairobi-based Standard newspaper that the exchange programmes has “drastically improved” pupils’ attainments in national exams and given them a newfound knowledge of the internet.

In a touching tribute, she said her school has “never been the same” since the partnership began.

Ms Mwaura explained: “The exchange project has not only changed the perceptions of the pupils and their teachers but has sucked them into the global village. They already know how to communicate through e-mails and even read the newspapers through the internet.”

Ten laptops and five desktop computers were donated.

Three East End teachers, led by Central Foundation’s deputy head Janet Chapman, recently visited Murthurwa to teach classes.

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Ms Chapman said: “It was a humbling experience. We learnt many lessons on how the Muthurwa pupils put up brave faces in class despite the fact that they live in deplorable conditions back at home.”

In 2008 a group of Kenyan teachers and pupils came to London and more excahnges are being planned for the future.

A wood stove to cook lunches – often the only meal children at the school get in a day - and guttering to collect rainwater were also built with money from the exchange.

Friendships have been struck up and regular emails between the two schools’ pupils are common.

Ms Mwaura added: “The pupils are from the surrounding slums but they are highly motivated, hopeful and informed because of their interaction with their counterparts from London with whom they share lifetime experiences.”

Ms Chapman set up the partnership after being impressed with the school when she visited during a family holiday.

The project is supported by the Global Schools Partnerships programme, which helps teachers and children across the world forge links.