Music for Life director Alex Palmer and I took the same flight from Uganda to Kenya. I was pleased to see the base/office. It is quite able to host a visiting team or a group of children! There are four bedrooms and three bathrooms in a nice area.
Green Gardens Primary School
Mwai, David, Jerusha, and I paid a visit to Green Gardens Primary School, home to 22 former Choir members. In lieu of having our own African Children’s Choir Primary School in Kenya, our relationship with this excellent school is the next best thing.
The campus is beautiful; well named as the gardens around the school are lovely. The school is owned by Dr. and Mrs. Keiyoro and they love having ACC alumni at their school.
We were provided with a very nice conference room, complete with large conference table and chairs. It was a perfect place to have special Choir family time. The children were excited to see us and to tell us about their school activities and achievements. They all appear happy and healthy and there were many hugs all around. We had an excellent visit together! The children were very pleased to show us around the campus, particularly the swimming pool.
Music for Life Centers
Mwai and I joined Jerusha, Mary Mwikali and Stephen Kiringo (ACC15) at the Music for Life Center session at Grace Care Children’s Home. There were approximately 50 children present, with a number of children looking in the window from the outside.
There is a second Music for Life Center on Mondays at Kicoshep School in the heart of the Kibera slum. Approximately 50 children attend that session as well.
The schools really appreciate the Music for Life Center after-school program. They have continuously said how valuable the program is. Teachers comment that most of the students who attend the Music for Life Center activities are more outgoing and answer questions in class. Their self-esteem has been raised since joining the program.
What a true highlight it was to visit four of our Alumni in their places of employment! Mwai and I first drove to the more upper-class section of Nairobi to a beautiful shopping mall. There we met up with Pamela Aketch (ACC8). Pamela is a sales representative at Palacina Interiors, an absolutely stunning interior design store. It was impressive to see Pamela; what a capable, sharp young woman. I couldn’t have been more proud!
Ben Waweru (ACC8) also works in the mall. Ben formerly worked at the famous Carnivore but has been transferred to this very classy restaurant, Tamambos where he is the main chef. This job gives Ben much more room for creativity in preparing menus, etc, and he really loves it!
After visiting Pamela and Ben we met with Beth Atieno, a former Choir member who also toured as a chaperone. Beth is now teaching at a private school in Kenya. I was so impressed with her classroom, it was evident that she takes her teaching seriously and really connects with her students.
Last but not least, we drove to a very new and modern office building in the heart of Nairobi where Mark Masaai (ACC10) now works. Mark is on staff at CCTV Main China Corporation TV Channel.
Mark introduced us to every member of staff, close to 50 people, proudly telling them that Mwai and I were the people who raised him from the time he was seven years old (as representatives of his ACC family. I was really touched by that, knowing that some of our young people have been embarrassed for folks to know they are orphans. This job is a huge step up in prestige for Mark; he loves his job and really appreciates the tools he has been given to enable him to have such an opportunity.