A Dollar Academy teacher has just returned from a visit to Malindi in Kenya, where she spent a week at Malindi Primary School, working with local school staff to deliver lessons and observing their teaching. Mrs Virginia Currie, a teacher at Dollar Prep and Junior school, was there as part of the British Council Global School Partnership exchange scheme; Dollar hosted the Head Teacher of Malindi Primary School in October
This exchange is part of a programme put together by the Department for International Development, which supports a shared understanding of global issues between pupils and teachers from UK, together with partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Mrs Currie commented on how valuable the visit had been, noting, in particular, how well such an underfunded school integrates children with disability into their very large classes.
Mrs Currie was accompanied on her travels by Mrs Nancy Briggs, a recently retired teacher at Dollar and a trustee of the charity that runs the St Francis Rehabilitation Project, a home for physically disabled children located next door to the Malindi Primary School. The St Francis project is close to the hearts of Dollar pupils and a cause which has been supported through small change collections, the support of individuals and was one of the benefactors of the sponsored walk money raised by Dollar pupils and parents in September.
Both ladies were able to see at first-hand how effectively Dollar’s support has been used to improve the lives of the disabled children who use the home, which has recently opened its new special education unit. Mrs Currie commented: “These children, from exceedingly poor and deprived backgrounds, are not locked away, they live a good life and are very happy. They know that they will get three square meals a day and be treated as normal. They are such a delight to be with that it was difficult to leave them. You find yourself wanting to be part of their lives, to help and to be there to help.”
In the days to come, the children in Dollar Academy will learn more from Mrs Currie, about her work in school Malindi Primary School as well as the developments at the St Francis Rehabilitation Project, with an update on how the recent funds raised have been spent.