After I received the letter of employment, I was so elated and could not wait to join the MPESA Foundation Academy. My brother Peter and I visited the academy in December, 2015. When I walked into the school, I mean there was no school, all I saw was a construction site. Having resigned from teaching a small school in Dadaab, a refugee camp in the Northern part of Kenya due to frequent attacks by the suspected Alshabaab, I had prayed to get a stable Institution.
At that particular moment as I walked around the site, it was not a campus yet, I got very scared and wondered if I had actually made the right decision. Then I remembered the bigger picture; The Vision to nurture and develop the next generation of transformational leaders from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. I wanted to be part of the big dream that Mpesa Foundation had started, to give back to the society. I had seen how children at the refugee camp yearned to learn but the environment could not allow.
Being a very renowned company in Kenya, I was hopeful. Since the beginning of the Academy on the 22nd February 2016, just over four years ago, I had the opportunity together with my colleagues to receive the first cohort of 92 students from all the 47 counties who looked unto us to guide, and nurture them with high quality education and tap into the diverse range of talents. I have been privileged to witness immense growth in our amazing students. They have become confident and great speakers through the various programmes, clubs and am blessed to have trained and worked with them in the Debate club. As a teacher, I am so humbled and blessed when I look at the milestone. Our first cohort did their Kenyan National Examinations, KCSE and out of the 92 students, 69 received direct entry to the university and the 23 enrolled to various collages. Mpesa Foundation Academy is a place where the true face of our nation; race and continent at large is clearly witnessed. In addition to that, it is place where fairness and integrity can be tested, where the 47 counties of our great country can dine together as brothers and sisters despite their background, religion, ethnicity and share their thoughts guided by CLAIRE values. The Academy is where bridges are broken and every child is given the opportunity to go for their dreams. The Academy admits 4 students per county, refugees and learners with disability from any part.
This is not just a school but a family. We are the CLAIRE family, CURIOSITY, LEADERSHIP, ACCOUNTABILITY, INNOVATION, RESPONSIBLE CITIZENSHIP and EXCELLENCE. I have had the opportunity to participate in the students recruitment process which requires one to go to the counties and homes. It is fun because I get to transverse across the country and learn a lot. From what I learnt in the recruitment process,I do not generalise or see them as students, but as family because I have walked with them from their home to the Academy. I have seen them at their lowest moments, hence I understand and know how they feel during their high and low moments. This is a journey and a dream that we are walking together. That is what makes us the Claire Family.
I must not forget to mention that I have grown as a teacher, mentor and as person. To actually prove that, I weighed about 56kg when I joined the academy, if you were to see me now, blessings all round. I am embarrassed to disclose my weight. Most importantly, I am a better teacher who understands my learner’s needs individually. The management of the institution is dedicated in ensuring we go through continuous training such us experiential learning, developing a teachers’ critical reflection on the new pedagogy, use of technology and differentiation learning. All these is aimed at making us the best hence able to create an impact in the lives of our students by presenting holistic leaders to the society to make the world a better place.
To actualize the Mission of the school:To be a leadership development institution for high school students providing high quality education to nurture the next generation of transformational leaders, the Academy is transitioning to IB so as to provide our learners with the opportunity to not only make an impact in the country but also globally. This is aimed at exposing the learners to the various cultures by them being curious enough to understand the globe and hence make it a better place. Just like students, we dare to explore and experiment. I am looking forward to becoming an IB facilitator.The IB training that I am currently undergoing has definitely changed my perspective.
We need our learners to be inquirers, and critical thinkers who come up with solutions to the many global issues and make the world a better place for all of us. Here I am today four years later, a proud teacher in one of the prestigious schools in the country meant for learners from needy backgrounds. I started as a teacher then came an added responsibility of being a Residential parent for 2 years. Today I am better teacher and Head of Form 3 class with total of 160 students. My colleagues call me Madam Principal because a times the Year 10 feels like a school on its own. I am still in a journey to even become better.
I recently celebrated my birthday on the 24th of April, allow me share one of the messages sent to me by one of my former students.
“ Happy birthday to the coolest teacher on the block. A lady build in faith and gives her job the best. I will not stop to thank you for your constant believe in me. Your patience and encouragement meant a lot to me. I love you Ms. Bev and continue blessings many more souls. I am always proud to say my teacher is cool (emoji). I really admire your energy and I want to tap into it. I am seriously summoning it up. Wishing you all the best and I pray that your goals and dreams come to a reality. Continue ageing like fine wine. Thanks for being a role model.(love emoji)
What more can I say, I am a blessed teacher I want to continue touching lives.