The Emunyani Learning Center is now officially open. Our goal in starting the learning center is to develop relationships with the local kids. We are using their desire for a better education to do this. We hope to disciple them in the Lord and in their personal lives.
Before ELC, it was diffucult for a Maasai to get a real quality education in Sekenani. Most parents sent their children to boarding school. Some of the parents started looking at boarding school options from the second grade, and almost all from the forth to sixth grade. This gutted the church of our youth, destroyed the local family unit, and failed to train the children in faith and the character qualities which are needed to succeed in life. They come out with a high school education, but having lost much along the way.
ELC is set up with three sections currently. The first section has a library with books for all ages. It starts with picture books for help in teaching English and for beginning readers, weather young or old. It also has story books and an adult section with Christian or job / skill orientated material. The lower level books are widely used, but the English skill of most kids keep them from using the upper level material. Although the maps and atlas are enjoyed tremendously.
We a currently employing one full time staff member, Lillian and several part time assistants, Katemwea and Elisabeth. As you can image, it is hard for a single person to watch over and teach in several room and with several subjects. The ladies are of course learning as well as we teach them about the different programs on the computer or go over a science experiment. Tari Russell works at the learning center with them almost constently. She helps with the teaching and oversees the schedules and classes. This makes up the second and perhaps the most important part of ELC.
On the technical side we have computer room with six computers and the solar and power requirements to run them. The computers are running Edubutu and the kids love it. This is a free Operating System from Linux that comes with many educational programs and games. The kids use Tux Math to learn their math tables, kgeography to learn the locations of the countries around the world, and play different logic games like mastermind and chess. We also have a windows side with some basic introductory study courses to Microsoft office. I helped out today and worked with two 4th grade boys as they learned their multiplication tables. Lilian helped a young lady learn typing and letter writing.
We are running classes for different age groups with average attendance of 20 to 30 students a day. Wednesday is our learning activity day. This week Tanya is planning on doing one of her biology experiments with the kids. She is going to dissect a frog for high school biology with the kids. I am the resident techi and will be taking photos and trying to get a camera hooked to a computer screen to allow more of the kids to see and to get close ups. Tanya has been helping out at ELC once or twice a week and really loves it. She excels with the kids and it is a good way for her to reach out.
We are also bringing in DVD's from Answer's in Genesis along with more solar panels and some audio players for the G. A. Henty stories, Jonathon Parks series, and Focus on the Family Radio Theater productions stories that we have. I think ELC is going to make a big difference in the lives of the students who come and I have loved previewing the material. The only trouble I have is that I get so excited that I go order more. :)
As I look at the picture above I rejoice in the family God has given me. My precious family, the treasure that God has placed in my hands to guide and disciple. Please keep them in your prayers as they grow. Tanya in now 16 and starting to think about college. She has many choices to make in the next year or two. We are hoping to get her started with classes over the internet and at least let her get some basics finished. Christy is 13 and loves life. She has a servants heart and can be counted on to help whether it is with cookies or cleaning. Josh (9) is starting his personal race. He loves action, mechanics, building, and good stories. Pray that we can guide him into meaningful service for the Lord and that we can help all of them grow in the Lord.
(The new background and Title is courtesy of Tanya and her new computer. :) )