Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Friday, March 30, 2012

Creating a positive learning environment at Mkwiro Primary School

My final week with GVI has been everything it should be! I have enjoyed the beautiful view from base, had daily “community swim time”, taught some great classes and had a few nice things made by Mr Kpunda, the local tailor. But the best part of my week has definitely been the painting project I’ve worked on at the school.

Painting the alphabet at Mkwiro Primary School
Mr Ali, a local teacher, asked me to work on a new alphabet outside the Standard 1 and 2 classrooms. I decided to do an animal alphabet, and did sketches for each letter. Painting at the school has been challenging but very fun! Everytime the other volunteers and I painted, students and techers would come by to watch, comment and give suggestions for which animal should come next , I loved having the input of the community on something that will remain on the school wall for (hopefully) a long time.

This week volunteers Jo, Sofia and I made  a great painting team passed the time by siniging - something  that I think entertained Mr Ali even more than us. Students come by between classes to quietly watch our progress and help my pencil. After a few more hours of painting we finally completed the whole alphabet!

One of the biggest challenges of painting here , besides finding time to paint when it isn’t extremely hot, is a lack of paintbrushes . The teachers at the school showed me how to remedy this, however, by making a suitable brush from a stick. They select a good twig and loosen the fibers on the end by hitting against a rock.

Another painting project I have helped with is the school sign. Mr Ali hand designed the school logo which fetures amd open book in fornt of a calm seaa under the sun – a fitting image since the school is located right next to the ocean. He asked me to improve it , so I made a few changes to the look of the sun nd water, and I sketched it out on the sign by the beach yesterday. Although I may not have time to complete the painting, I am happy knowing I have left at least a small mark on the walls of Mkwiro Primary School.  

Dana Bustamante - Community Volunteer