Emanuel students see Kenyan life from another angle

September 13, 2018 by Michelle Favero
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Ten Emanuel High School students recently returned from a three-week, eye-opening trip to Kenya where they experienced Kenyan life first-hand.

Year 9 students, Michael Heymann, Idan Aruch, Aiden Poswell and Zac Gothelf with the students from Marungu Primary School, Tsavo Kenya

Travelling with Emanuel HSIE teacher and Outreach Co-ordinator, David Whitcombe, and Genna Radnan, Emanuel Alumnus, school nurse and founder of Kenyan-focussed charity, Gennarosity Abroad,

The Emanuel students first visit was to a local women’s collective where they heard about the issues and challenges facing women in Kenya. The students participated in two of the women’s income generating projects, making elephant dung paper and bead bracelets.

Tougher project work then started in earnest, with Emanuel students walking from homestead to homestead administering life-saving deworming medicine to the village’s goats. They chased and held the goats, prising open their jaws as another student injected the medicine, while yet another student painted a number on the goat!

The Emanuel students spent four days mixing cement and rendering a classroom block at a local Primary school. The students worked tirelessly each day, but also had the opportunity to play with and befriend the local school children. On the last day at the School they taught English classes and were treated to a special farewell. The Emanuel students moved on to work on a conservation project in a wildlife reserve, helping build an elephant deterrent fence.

Emanuel’s David Whitcombe said: “The Emanuel students jumped into every experience with their eyes and hearts wide open. They met Kenyans and saw first-hand the daily struggles faced by so many in the developing world. I was impressed with and proud of the students’ commitment and enthusiasm.”

Although this is the first time that Emanuel School students have visited Kenya, the School has a long-standing relationship with Kenya through Genna Radnan and her charity Gennarosity Abroad.  Genna’s first project in 2010 was to raise funds to build and fit out the Karunga Emanuel Kindergarten. The Emanuel School community rallied, raising thousands of dollars for the facility – a project that now cares for and educates 50 students daily.

“I believe students are agents of change and working in a school gives me an opportunity to plant seeds amongst the students so that they can grow to become ethical and global leaders with a voice and call for action,” said Radnan.

Simone Rappoport, Year 10 Emanuel School student, summed up her life-changing experience:“Learning in a classroom about poverty and different ways of living and culture in other places in the world is so different to being there and actually living it. I learnt so much every day about the country, its culture and ways of living, and the privilege we had of being involved was so special. I gained a true understanding of appreciation and gratitude for my life and how others live, and this trip has inspired me to take on my dreams and make a difference.”

Andrew Watt, Emanuel School’s Principal, was delighted with the outcomes of the trip. “I can’t think of a better way for students to learn about life in another country than to have a first-hand experience. Being part of people’s everyday struggle to survive has had a profound impact on the students. We encourage and support our students to become effective and empathic Global Citizens. I know that the students were impacted by their experiences, will continue to advocate for change and support Gennarosity Abroad’s growing grassroots projects.”


One Response to “Emanuel students see Kenyan life from another angle”
  1. Philip Feinstein says:

    What a wonderful experience for the Emanuel students! And what great goals they achieved. I am going to Kenya (and Rwanda and Uganda) in November to do work with the over 400,000 refugees there. I am currently looking for laptop computers to take with me for a new school and medical centre in Uganda being built alongside the huge refugee camp. I will also be taking some musical instruments.
    Well done again to the Emanuel students!
    Philip Feinstein

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