First Week ESD - Kenya

We travelled to Israel from the tropical region of Africa with the intention of becoming part of the transformation in Africa through training in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). We knew the “what”: our focus is the child. The “how”, on the other hand, was still cloudy. We each arrived with different “suitcases” full of expectations and received a warm welcome by Yudith, The Director of the Ofri Center, who brought the curtain down from all the participants of ESD May 2015 through her knowledge of the African “hut of wisdom”. 

Our journey of ESD commenced with mapping ourselves out, to appreciate the little things in the learning environment.  In addition, through building the dictionary of ESD, we were able to learn how to use waste to mirror our society, schools and our values. It was therefore fascinating to observe how the participants viewed and presented their understanding of physical, emotional and intellectual waste through pictorial expressions. In the same wavelength, we learnt that to transform our lives we need education that is connected to our hearts and not focused solely on evaluation and exams.

We learnt that curriculum is the building block and the teacher is a facilitator who uses the space within the walls to ignite the light in the learners. This gives learners a chance to bring out the light in them by connecting to nature. It also became obvious that caring is the hallmark of environmental change and learners should be supported to lead change in the environment by believing in what they see in the habitat and not what they hear from others.

We learnt that in preparing learners, teachers can use activities to bring out the best of the learners in an environment that embraces “collapetition”.  In this scenario, the teacher and the child are both learners and followers. Although the teacher has more world knowledge he has less knowledge of what the young child is trying to do during a part play episode.

The first week ended with an exciting excursion to the fascinating holy sites of the city of Jerusalem which is dear to the Christians hearts and gave them a twinkle in the eyes towards the second week’s activities.

Maurice Otieno Odondo - KEMI Management Trainer 

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