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 in Mathare, Nairobi, an area strategically chosen 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 a very high density of refugees.
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. We hold cultural events which expose student efforts as well as supporting parents to find work.
The main focus of the project is the involvement of the local community. The staff is 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, as an IB Candidate School: 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 school's daily routine: "The appointment for everyone is in the morning at 8am for breakfast, in small groups, according to the local COVID-19 rules. At 9am 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 5pm, students help to clean 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, usually offered by schools whose students include the children of those who have chosen high-level diplomatic, political and business careers.
As a Candidate School, we teach IB to refugee and vulnerable children free of charge: beginning 2022, students enrolled in our international school will follow the prestigious International Baccalaureate curriculum.
“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 as a Candidate School, we can say that we certainly are on the right track."
(Still I Rise International School of Nairobi is a Candidate School for the Middle Years Programme. This school is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. These are schools that share a common philosophy - a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that Still I Rise International School of Nairobi believes is important for our students. Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme, or the Career-related Programme (CP). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted. For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit www.ibo.org)