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October 2011

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In This Issue
Nourishing Bodies and Minds
Pre-schoolers Sing to the World
ABC Basics
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Sister with young student in Malava
Nourishing Bodies and Minds 
The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur have been working in Kenya since 1965. In recent years, after assessing the needs of communities in the northern area of the country, the Congregation established an Early Childhood Development Center in Malava. The goal of the Center is to prepare students for entry into free government-sponsored public schools. The Sisters' program emphasizes the basic building blocks for more advanced learning and includes socialization as well as a spiritual component. In addition, the Sisters provide one solid meal a day to their students. 
The Sisters are hoping to expand the current nursery school into a primary school. First, many of the Kenyan Sisters will need to complete their teacher training and practicum classroom experience at universities and public elementary schools in order to be properly credentialed.  
To ease the shortage of teachers for the current nursery school, parents of the students are eager to help. 
One T-Shirt is Not Enough         

Students Share the Shirts off their Backs    

Pocahontas T-shirt
A Pocahontas shirt makes the rounds several days a week at a school in Kenya.
At one of the Sisters' schools in Kenya, the same Pocahontas T-shirt appears several days a week -- but not always on the same student. One child arrives at school dressed in what an absent student wore the day before. When there aren't enough clothes for every child in a family to wear to school, the children take turns attending. It's a phenomenon the Sisters have noticed at several of their African schools. They take steps to rectify the situation as quickly as possible. Regular school attendance is essential for children who depend on the Sisters for a daily meal as well as an education.
A 'Shout Out' from 15 Pre-schoolers in Malava, Kenya
Malava Students Say Hello.wmv
Malava Students Say Hello.wmv
In March 2010, Sister Lorraine Connell traveled from the Congregational Mission Office in Ipswich, Mass., USA, to the Sisters' newly established Notre Dame Early Childhood Development Center in Malava, Kenya
. While on location, Sister Lorraine filmed the school's 15 students -- 11 boys and four girls -- performing a song of greeting and thanks in Swahili. The children, who speak a variety of tribal dialects at home, learn English as well as Swahili in school.   

Getting Down to ABC Basics 

ABC on cardboard

The Sisters in Kenya use every available resource in order to teach their students. When an original ABC poster ripped and frayed from repeated handling, and could not be readily replaced, the Sisters used a side of a cardboard box to recreate the alphabet chart. 



What better way to reinforce lessons and preserve teaching tools for future classes than by painting information on the sides of school buildings?

Lessons on side of school building.The Sisters' example of ingenuity and resourcefulness is an important part of the children's education. A former colony of Great Britain, Kenya uses British spellings of English words like "colour."