Developing Character: Why Ingrid Education Centre?

» Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 in developing character | 0 comments

Developing Character: Why Ingrid Education Centre?

Why is Ingrid Education Centre worthy of financial support? What makes it so specifically unique in the world that it would be the organization developing character in the children of the Matopeni slums of Nairobi?

 

The Monene family: Douglas, Grace, Ian, me, and Jeremy in Nairobi, Kenya, October 2012.

The Monene family: Douglas, Grace, Ian, me, and Jeremy in Nairobi, Kenya, October 2012.

Arriving in Kenya for the first time in October 2012 felt like coming home. I knew this was where I belonged, where God had called me to share my experiences, and create a work He wanted me to do. Finally, at long last, I felt inspired, motivated, alive, and eager to begin doing what God wanted me to do. Additionally, I no longer felt alone in the world.

My son, Isaac, taking pictures of the children at Ingrid Education Centre, January 2013.

My son, Isaac, taking pictures of the children at Ingrid Education Centre, January 2013.

Returning in January of 2013 with my son, Isaac Van Mechelen, we had the opportunity to teach classes at Ingrid. My son resisted the idea, but was finally convinced to share the topic of social studies. I peaked in, but he felt hindered by my presence, so I wandered off.

Stumbling on a class without an instructor, the students explained that the teacher was ill that day. To my amazement, there was no:

  • rowdiness or rudeness
  • spit wad throwing
  • conversation with other students
  • loud talking, cursing, or swearing

Instead, I found the students quietly attempting to work out of their books.

“What would you like to study?” I asked.

“Bible stories!” They replied, very emphatically.

Studying math with other students at Ingrid Education Center, January 2013. Photo by Isaac V. Photography.

Studying math with other students at Ingrid Education Center, January 2013. Photo by Isaac V. Photography.

Proceeding to read to them from their book and work through the material, I helped them with memorizing a verse from scripture. Later, my son and I worked together in the same classroom with the next subject they chose: Math. In my visit in October, class after class had chosen math as their favorite subject.

Typically, teachers at Ingrid Education Centre had the following materials to work with:

  • an old fashioned chalkboard
  • white chalk
  • a sponge like affair that served as an eraser
  • a single textbook for the class subject
Teachers need a great deal of patience in helping students learn, especially in the slums of Nairobi where resources are limited to chalk, chalkboard, and a single textbook per classroom, January 2013.

Teachers need a great deal of patience in helping students learn, especially in the slums of Nairobi where resources are limited to chalk, chalkboard, and a single textbook per classroom, January 2013.

All materials had to be copied on the board, which the students painstakingly entered into their journals.

That was all. Dirt floors, rough wooden benches and tables, concrete walls, and ceramic toilets in the ground made up the balance of their environment.

 

What did I find in the students?

  • an eagerness to learn
  • gratitude for the opportunity
  • commitment to the learning process
  • warmth and friendliness

Yeshua (Jesus) talked about the parable of the sower, and the four kinds of soil:

The hearts of the children of Ingrid Education Centre is rich soil in which the seeds of knowledge can flourish and grow, January 2013.

The hearts of the children of Ingrid Education Centre are rich soil in which the seeds of knowledge can flourish and grow, January 2013.

And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”

–Matthew 13:3-9

No matter how fantastic the seed may be, if the soil is not prepared to receive it, there will be no growth. How is soil prepared? By breaking it up and getting rid of the hardness; this is the case with these children who have experienced hardship and loss of dignity. Their hearts are ready for the seed of education.

 

One of the many faces of Ingrid Education Centre captured by my son, Isaac V. Photography, in January 2013.

One of the many faces of Ingrid Education Centre captured by my son, Isaac V. Photography, in January 2013.

Today is the day to begin developing character in a child, planting the seed of education, which can grow over time into a strong oak that will provide nourishment and strength to those in his or her personal environment. Ingrid Education Centre stands as an oasis of strength in a sea of poverty and degradation, exhibiting the characteristics in its four walls that attract to it those who see it worthy of financial support, developing character in the most under resourced and underserved population of Kenya.

You can join Dr. Jeff Kahrs in sponsoring one of the children of Ingrid Education Centre and developing character by contacting Douglas Monene via email: douglasmonene@gmail.com.

Clip to Evernote


Not currently getting Jean’s newsletter, full of spiritual and inspirational insight, tools and modern day translations?  Get it now!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Google+