On 8 December 2020, we inaugurated the Still I Rise International School in Nairobi, thanks to the support of many friends and donors.
Our school is located Mathare, Nairobi, a strategic area to welcome the city’s forgotten children. Mathare is one of the most disadvantaged slums in the world and it stands in between the districts of Pangani, Eastleigh and Huruma, some of the areas with the highest refugee density.
We offer our 150 students a high-quality international curriculum. We create opportunities and promote development not only for our students but for the entire community. Through cultural events, exposure for the students and work opportunities for the parents will be our primary focus.
The main focus of the project is the involvement of the local community. The staff will be made up of the best local professionals and teachers with the support of a selection of international teachers.
In June 2021, the school joined the prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) circuit, a high standard reserved for some of the best schools on the planet!
Kenya is a safe haven for hundreds of thousands of refugees. Somalis, Sudanese, Congolese flock to the borders, where they survive trapped in some of the largest refugee camps in the world.
Tens of thousands move to Nairobi in search of work and favorable conditions. But in a metropolis where 60% of the population lives in slums, dreams of a better tomorrow are shattered. In Nairobi over 500,000 children, refugees and Kenyans alike, live in poverty, with no chance of a better future.
We are here to create opportunities and rewrite the future.
495k displaced people
+80k refugees in Nairobi
600,000 people live in the 5km² of Mathare slum
* source UNHCR, July 2020
Giovanni Volpe, Program Manager in Nairobi, tells us about the routine of the days: "The appointment for everyone is in the morning at 8.00 am for breakfast, in small groups, according to the local COVID-19 rules. At 9 a.m. the first bell rings and classes begin.
Our curriculum is diversified: students take intensive English and Math classes, as well as courses in reading, creative writing, art, theater, sports, and films. Activities are broken up by 20-minute breaks, and there is a long break for lunch. We offer a warm meal and fruit, and we try to vary the menu every day.
These are full, busy days, but students don't lack for free time: during the day, we invite them to discover and learn without teacher supervision.
At 5 p.m., students help cleaning the classrooms and common areas before saying goodbye. Thanks to the bus service, even those who live further away have the possibility to reach the school and return home safely".
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The International Baccalaureate is a not-for-profit organisation that works with schools, governments and international organisations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. IB pathways are among the most renowned and expensive in the world, offered by schools whose students include the children of those who have chosen high-level diplomatic, political and business careers.
The Still I Rise International School in Kenya, however, is about to be the first in the world to offer a high-level diploma to refugee and vulnerable students completely free of charge.
Beginning next school year, students enrolled in our international school will follow the prestigious IB curriculum and, upon completion of their studies, will be able to earn their international academic diploma in order to qualify for the world's top universities.
“This is an achievement that we’ve been anticipating for months," commented Michele Senici, Director of Education at Still I Rise. "We offer the best education and today, by becoming part of the IB system, we can say that we certainly are on the right track."