This term, I had the great pleasure of being able to visit our baby brother School, Lwanda Primary in Kenya. I was greeted with one of the warmest welcomes I have ever had and was informed that this was the first visit to Lwanda Primary School from the UK since 1972.
Students and staff received gifts of pens, pencils, footballs, rugby balls, face paints and library books with great enthusiasm. When presented with the Welsh flag, students erected a new flag pole, which enabled them to raise both the Kenyan and the Welsh Flags every morning in assembly, as a sign of the link between our two schools. Teachers at Lwanda Primary also told me that because of our gifts, they would be the first primary school in Kenya to play rugby and on my return, I was told that absenteeism and truancy had been reduced.
Letters from pen pals were handed out on my first day to the school, where pupils eagerly awaited their mail. Many students (and staff) informed me that they are yet to have pen pals but hope to get on the pen pal scheme as soon as possible.
Classes took part in a range of Drama games and were introduced to William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which they performed later on in the week to the rest of the school in the open amongst the trees.
Whilst on my visit I was invited to events such as the areas music festival where around 30 schools travelled for miles to take part in the weekend long festival of singing and dramatic dance and an African Child Day festival held by Lwanda Primary School. We were entertained by student’s dances, dramatic poetry readings and performances by a local theatre company, ‘Kobala Youth Group’ about the importance of sending children to school.
Next year, we hope to get even more students to join our pen pal scheme and hope to expand our curriculum links even further to other departments within the school.