Eunice Akoth, a 12-year-old student from The Kibera School for Girls (KSG), recently made the journey from Nairobi, Kenya, to New York City to read her original poem “Eunice’s Dream” at the Women in the World Summit at Lincoln Center. World leaders, CEOs, activists and artists convened during the annual, three-day gathering to share stories of the struggles and triumphs of women and girls around the globe. Chapin was also fortunate to welcome Eunice for a visit with students in Class 3 and Class 6.
Chapin has enjoyed a partnership with The Kibera School For Girls since 2011. In that time, several teachers and an alumna have visited KSG for the KSG institute, which takes place in July during America’s summer and Kenya’s winter seasons. Chapin teachers have worked with KSG teachers to develop curriculum and programming, and students from both schools have taken part in video-conference sessions. Members of the Chapin community have also come together for several Family Community Services days that have further strengthened the schools’ relationship. Student participants, for example, have decorated bookmarks and crafted letters to the KSG students. Chapin families have donated uniforms, backpacks and classroom materials, and also raised funds.
The Class 3 girls were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet with Eunice to exchange questions. They spend a great deal of time studying Kenya as part of their Country Study in the Social Studies curriculum and have enjoyed connecting with students their own age in Kenya. With Eunice now in their classroom, they had many questions, including “What do you do for fun?” “Do you take field trips?” and “How do you get water?” Eunice had questions for them, as well. “How does it feel to be in Chapin?” “What extracurricular programs do they offer?” she asked. The girls shared their perspectives, before Eunice gave a short lesson on phrases and words in the Swahili language.
Class 6 students were also delighted to spend time with Eunice, who is the same age as many of them. They were eager to learn more about her trip visiting schools in Boston, Washington, D.C., New York and Connecticut. The girls learned that Eunice spent time interviewing The New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof, a person who has provided much inspiration in her journey toward becoming a journalist one day. She also shared the ways she has been inspired by Kenyan Journalist Jeff Koinange, who recently visited her school. Eunice will graduate from KSG at the end of Grade 8 and will apply to schools in Kenya and in the United States for her high school education. After that, she has plans to attend a college or University.
Inspired and happy to have made a new friend, the Middle School students whisked Eunice off to the Gordon Room to enjoy some of Chef Leo’s famous fare.
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