ANDY DUKES’ GRAND KENYAN ADVENTURE
ANDY DUKES’ GRAND KENYAN ADVENTURE
I have just taken a big step in my life. After banging on at my students so much about taking on challenges and opportunities in life, it would be remiss if I did not do so myself. Therefore, when my boss David Akers offered me the chance to take a year working with Budmouth’s link schools and projects in Kenya, I felt that ageing and chubby as I am, I should grasp the nettle. Moreover, I feel that God is calling me to this and, after much prayer and thought, I have decided to take the challenge.
In essence, I will spend most of the next academic year (about 10 months) working alone in the Maara District of Kenya.
I am highly motivated by the potential for good that could be realised in Kenyan schools and communities. While in Kenya, I have a number of goals. These include:
- Working with the 20 Kenyan schools in the Maara District linked with Weymouth and Portland schools training Kenyan teachers on more effective styles of teaching and learning and raise academic achievement. Currently Kenyan teachers only use ‘chalk and talk’ methods, and pedagogy is an area I have trained UK teachers and spoken to Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and Local Authority conferences on.
- Working with the above to develop use and skills in ICT, to develop health education, and to help the schools work more cooperatively together and share good practice – to help build their version of the Chesil Education Partnership.
- Developing internet capability for Wiru School to allow enhanced and out of school hours learning opportunities, and exploring higher education potential through distance learning.
- Working with the Donna Kelly Unit for children with severe learning and/or physical difficulties to develop an outreach programme for children unable to get to school, following on from the work of two of my Budmouth Sixth Form students who founded this project in February. Also exploring the initiation of new buildings for this project, making it more accessible to disabled children.
- Exploring setting up small businesses in the Wiru area (working with Wiru Church, Wiru Secondary School and Wiru Primary School) to create employment opportunities for school leavers and avoid them becoming involved in drugs and crime. One possible route is the production of banana paper, as there are so many just lying around, to then be marketed in theUK.
- Working with the Chogoria Anti-Retroviral Therapy HIV Support Group to develop education on sexual delay training, contraception and sexual health.
- Exploring founding an orphanage and outreach programme to support the many children whose parents have died of AIDS. Other people in the community often being too poor to take them in, and there being little or no government support.
- To set up opportunities for other UK citizens to become involved and work in Kenya, whether as individuals, organisations or, in particular, within the framework of supported volunteering for young, or slightly older.
I am ready for something new in my life. Having taught successfully in UK classrooms for 35 years, and
having wide knowledge and experience of more effective teaching and learning, I believe that I would be able to make a significant impact on realising the above goals. The year will be unpaid. I have had to take my pension. Finance is, therefore, a problem for me.
It should also be said that I have been greatly inspired to take this step by my beautiful daughter Diamond who, at the age of 18, spent the best part of 8 weeks working in the same schools and living all alone in the same area of Kenya. She did this as part of a highly successful and productive gap year before starting at Durham University.
I write to you on three levels:
- to inform you and seek your thoughts;
- to try to engage your interest and professional knowledge and skills to boost this idea; and
- to seek your advice and help on where I may be able to access some funding to support me in Kenya
with this work.
I would be extremely grateful if you could advise me on any of this. I can be contacted on
07786542034 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/andydukesinkenya, or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/andydukeskenya if you feel able to respond in any manner.