Mombassa Here We Come

22 11 2010

A message from Moses, our director:

Hi everyone, Good News to Inspiration Centre kids: First of all, I just came back from a trip to Mombasa and I can now confidently confirm that our kids will be having art camp at Rise and Shine school in Mombasa and they will be going to the beach Everyday…….Thank you God for making this happen to the least of them all!

This is really great news. As I said in the last post, most of these kids hardly leave Mathare, let alone have the opportunity to travel all the way to the coast. And for those of us who have spent any time playing in the ocean with sand between our toes, we know this is truly a blessing. Thank you so much to everyone that has helped make it happen! In just a few short days, 60 kids and 26 volunteers will board a bus headed to Mombassa for the Diaspora of Art Camp. Please continue to pray for the logistics as we prepare, safe travels, and a wonderful week of art and fun for the kids.

Here are some photos that Kaylie Sauter, the BuildaBridge “Artist on Call,” took on the scouting trip:

The courtyard of Rise and Shine Academy

The kitchen

The dining area

To read more visit Kaylie’s blog: http://kbritten.wordpress.com/

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An Educated Mathare

7 05 2010

Cutting off all of your beautiful hair is the ultimate sacrifice for education. That’s what our high school aged StarGirls had to do. (And no, you don’t have to feel bad because we StarGirls, hairless or hairful, will always look good!) And of course, I am proud to say… every StarGirl is now in school. It was a fight, yes, a hard one, to get the books, the uniforms, the bus fare, the pocket money, the tuition, the parent’s consent, and get these girls off to where they needed to be most… school. Truly, I am relieved to see them out of the slum and boarding at great schools that will challenge them. So… Can we now take a breather you ask… NO! The boys need their dose of education too!  Unlike the girls, most of our boys at Inspiration Center don’t board. They live at home and commute daily as day scholars.

Last Sunday, we all sat together to discuss some of the challenges of high school life. Here’s what some of them had to say:

Wambo- The exams are very challenging. I’m praying next term will be easier.

Lawrence- Being a day scholar is difficult. I find myself lacking time to study. Your peers influence you, there’s quarreling with parents, TV… so many distractions.

Sarah- Boarding life is hard. You have to learn to live with so many different characters. Some students aren’t serious… they’re playing around, making fun of you, even stealing toothbrushes! You have to learn how to manage your time and choose good friends.

Valentine- Last semester was rough. I was sent home because I was lacking school fees, and found out my mom had died. But pray that I won’t give up. I just found out that I did really well on one of my exams.

Boyee- Gossip. It’s tough being in a mixed gender boarding school. You can’t even greet a girl and the rumors start. And drugs are a huge issue. Some of the boys are using. Boarding school is more stressful than a day school.

MaryBeth- You sleep late, and then you have to wake up early… As early as 3 am!. The schedule is demanding.

Edwin- To be honest, when it comes to school, I haven’t been the greatest. Carelessness, rudeness, skipping school… I’ve been having these issues, and to add to the problem, sometimes I can’t pay school fees.

Fridah- Some students are selfish, and there is a lot of bullying. Sometimes you end up picking up bad habits. I need prayer for a better attitude. I need strength to do the right thing, even if it means losing friends.

Brighton- It’s about having a positive attitude. We need to not be lazy and not have negative attitudes towards school, and even towards the difficult subjects.

Sam- I got caught up in selling and using drugs. The work is so difficult. I don’t understand any of the material or all of these formulas. I thought that the relationship between Pi and radius was that they were brothers…

So which is more of a challenge…boarding, or day school? I say, both are tough enough. Please keep our youth in your prayers as they journey through the trials of teenage years and press to finish their secondary education. Thanks!





Wanna be a STAR?

27 02 2010

Strong. Trustworthy. Able to do Anything. Respectful and Respected. That’s who we are… the STARgirls of Inspiration Centre, living up to the true meaning of our name! We meet on Saturday afternoons to talk. Yes, girl talk. Sometimes, if we must, we allow the other gender to join… but usually it’s just us, in the glory of our femininity, discussing beauty, relationships, self-esteem, education, goals, our struggles, our community, our bodies, our hair, and yes, of course… boys. It’s a positive place for preteen and teenage girls, and a safe environment for us to live out our God given identities as females. The journey from girlhood to womanhood is rough, so why not make it fun? Why not celebrate who we are? Why not make the journey beautiful? And so, we strive to educate ourselves, influence our neighborhood, change our world… and of course… look good while we do it too. STARgirls… that’s who we are!

Some of the STARS: Jaime, Valentine, and Jemima





Young Talent

22 02 2010

Inspiration Center hosted a week-long camp in November put on by Build-A-Bridge (an American non-profit that seeks to teach peace through art). Among the activities was a photography class. Here are some of the stunning photos of Mathare taken by our kids:








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