The goals of Gentiana schools
For the youngest of the Gentiana, kindergarten is a very different world from the gray lines of tin huts Kawangwares, a colorful, caring, safe. They learn through play and discover abilities that can hardly develop in the confines of their tin dwellings.
Gentiana Primary School
Understanding instead of learning by heart, promoting the children's individual competencies, strengthening the knowledge of one's own dignity - these are the key points of teaching at Gentiana. This takes time, patience, and dedicated teachers. It's worth it. Gentiana is among the best elementary school in the district.
Gentiana Junior Secondary School
In the new Kenyan school structure, and thus also for the Gentiana, the three-year secondary school that follows the elementary school plays a central role. Equipped with laboratory, physics room, computer lab and workroom, it is a prerequisite for attending the next higher level, vocational schools, technical colleges and universities.
Gentiana Technical College
The apprenticeship at the electrician school lasts two years and is completed with a state diploma. The training also includes comprehensive computer training and intensive training in bookkeeping and business management.
Many Gentiana children bear heavily the consequences of extreme poverty, their parents' behavior, domestic violence. One kind of first aid is the Gentiana Mentorship Program. Groups of five or six children from the upper classes regularly discuss their everyday problems with a teacher, with astonishing openness, by the way. The children realize that others have to cope with the same difficulties, they exchange tips and advice. And above all, they realize that the school takes these needs of the children seriously and helps, and in the case of traumatized children is ready to involve professionals if the children wish.
Material assistance, a pair of new shoes or clothes, are easier. About four dozen children receive additional food items, especially during vacations when school lunches are cancelled. From this perspective alone, the Gentiana social program, led by a trained social worker, is a most welcome institution. It finances school meals (snack and lunch) and pays for medical expenses when children are sick or have an accident. And in some cases, the program also pays for the rent of the tin shelter - out of the very simple realization that children who go hungry or don't have a roof over their heads can't concentrate on learning.
What to do with financially disadvantaged youth who have graduated from Gentiana Primary School and in the future Gentiana Junior Secondary School? This is where the Gentiana scholarship programs come in. Depending on the degree, they pay the school fees for higher grades, senior secondary school, vocational schools, technical colleges and universities. However, the parents must participate with a modest contribution, they must not simply shift the responsibility for the children to Gentiana. The USAWA girls' development program is particularly important. The experience of recent years shows that young women with a higher education or a completed vocational training are more likely to succeed in building a self-determined existence.
The Gentiana Development Network (GDN) is the supporting association of the school and has been registered as a non-governmental organization under Kenyan law since 2005. Chairman of the supporting association is Peter Baumgartner. The GDN is the direct contact of the Swiss association Gentiana Schools Nairobi and, according to Kenyan law, the owner of the Gentiana Schools.
Swiss Association Gentiana Schools Nairobi
The association acquires donations and guarantees the targeted use of the finances in Nairobi. It is made up of committed individuals who see supporting the schools in Nairobi as a meaningful development project. Donors are automatically members of the association. It is politically and denominationally neutral. The board meets several times a year to discuss strategy and financial needs. Every spring, the Board of Directors organizes a General Assembly at which, in addition to the statutory business, the members decide on the scope and direction of the Nairobi project.
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