Encouraging Growth: Why Education?

» Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in encouraging growth | 0 comments

Encouraging Growth: Why Education?

Why is education so vital to the Maasai of the Kimana Rift Valley or to the children of Ingrid Education Centre?

Although this may seem like a rhetorical question, encouraging growth through clarifying the issues being addressed as well as the value of energy and money bestowed on a remote part of the world is key to understanding why Dr. Warren Bruhl and Dr. Jeff Kahrswhy Mr. Ken and Sandy Taylor, and why Douglas Monene and Ingrid Education Centre are integral players in contributing to the well-being and social integration of Kenya’s greatest under served and under resourced population.

One of my students from Everest College, Niiaja Richie, who continues to be my friend, August 2013.

One of my students who graduated from Everest College in 2012, Niiaja Richie, on the Waterfront in Tacoma, Washington, August 2013.

In my own experience, I have found education to be valuable for the following reasons:

  • increased confidence and self-esteem
  • provided opportunity for achievement
  • broadened understanding
  • increased opportunities for higher wage employment
  • increased literacy skills, e.g., writing and reading/understanding

Imagine how this would impact children like those at Ingrid Education Centre or the children of the Maasai in the Kimana Rift Valley?

Proper education and understanding of the broader world helps provide perspective. Learning skills that increase the ability of students to integrate in mainstream society significantly alters the future of those who are under resourced and under served. As the old and oft repeated expression states,

“Give a child a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a child to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”  –Chinese Proverb

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 at Ingrid Education Centre 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.

Creating self-sufficiency in individuals who typically look for support from outside themselves, shifting the focus internally to increase the strength and ability on the inside, and encouraging them to find solutions to the issues they face from the vantage point of the experience they have with their particular environment, provides opportunity for them to solve problems while being supported. This is true education, and the model that will have the greatest impact by addressing needs at inception; meaning, when a child is small.

As Proverbs says,

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. –Proverbs 22:6

Three generations: My son, Isaac Van Mechelen, Ty, and me.

Three generations: My son, Isaac Van Mechelen, Ty, and me.

What is the way we are wanting them to go?

  • be a lifelong learner
  • have the tools to investigate and understand
  • be able to interpret and apply learning
  • impact their social and economic situation

Education was a tool I used in my life to improve my social and economic situation, which then improved my children’s lives, and will impact my grandson, Tiberius Van Mechelen (Ty) because of the lifestyle he is able to live due to the education of his father, Isaac Van Mechelen.

The serendipity of acquiring education was the increase in my skills; namely, I became a writer! Writing was a tool I used repeatedly to assist my family in a variety of ways, such as:

  • a letter to an insurance company that absolved us of a $600 debt
  • a letter to the court to diminish the hardship of a traffic ticket
  • a letter to the school administration resulting in 1/2 credit for hockey, which he needed to graduate from high school
  • a letter to the military that saved an individual from losing rank
One of the many faces of Ingrid Education Centre eager to learn, January 2013. Photo by Isaac V. Photography.

One of the many faces of Ingrid Education Centre eager to learn, January 2013. Photo by Isaac V. Photography.

Imagine how the skills increased in a child impacts them socially and economically over time? The dollar value awarded to a child at an early age creates a significant impact over the course of their lifetime, increasing as the child grows and learns.

For example, the cost of educating a child at Ingrid Education Centre in the slums of Matopeni is $15.00 per month, and in the Kimana Rift Valley where Dreamweaver International is working with the Maasai, a computer tablet costs about $150.00. In both cases, this small investment provides opportunity for encouraging growth that increases the impact of that small exposure over time; meaning, working with the most vulnerable has the largest impact as it creates the biggest change, and affects all others in its progressive nature. As James said,

Dr. Jeff Kahrs and Dr. Warren Bruhl took chiropractic care to the Maasai, educating them in their health in the process, December 2013.

Dr. Jeff Kahrs and Dr. Warren Bruhl took chiropractic care to the Maasai, educating them in their health in the process, December 2013.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. –James 1:27

You can join Dr. Jeff Kahrs in sponsoring one of the children of Ingrid Education Centre and encouraging growth by contacting Douglas Monene via email:

Education has the greatest impact on girls, who are the most underserved and under resourced of the world's population. Photo by Isaac V. Photography at Ingrid Education Centre, January 2013.

Education has the greatest impact on girls, who are the most underserved and under resourced of the world’s population. Photo by Isaac V. Photography at Ingrid Education Centre, January 2013.

douglasmonene@gmail.com. You can make an incredible impact on the Maasai children in the Kimana Rift Valley of Kenya by contributing to the purchase of computer tablets through contacting Dr. Warren Bruhl via email: dr.bruhl@dreamweaver911.org or other members of  the Board of Dreamweaver International.

As the scripture says,

Today is the day of salvation. –II Corinthians 6:2

Today is the day to begin encouraging growth by planting the seed of education in a child, which can grow over time into a strong oak that will provide nourishment and strength to those in his or her personal environment, executing pure and undefiled religion through taking care of the “widow and the orphan;” that is, the most under resourced and underserved population of Kenya.

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