This is the story of a small but a great school leaded by our alumna Joan Owaka of the training course on ESD 2014. She promised herself that when she will go back to Kenya, she will start SMALL AND GROW and she will do something that will sustain the pupils and the school community at large.


A few weeks after getting back from her Israel training, she started a Botanical Garden in mid-June 2014; the garden was named after George Mwangi a standard eight student. When Mwangi left at the end of the year to join vocational training, the school’s girls club- “Farastemars” took over the botanical garden. They took care for it and used its products to help ease menstrual crump’s, headaches and simply taking them for mental enhancement and perfuming their products.


Since then, their story as a school is continually being re-written. In 2015 to present, the school continue to soar higher and higher both in academics and in other areas.


Their focus in this past year has mainly been that of creating equal opportunities for the girl child. The Farastemas have been at the forefront in spearheading this using the knowledge that they have gained through ESD learning. The work at the Botanical Garden have come out strong, socially, spiritually and physically, articulating their issues and finding solutions. They are using herbs from the botanical garden to produce products like liquid multipurpose soap, hand wash, fabric softener, kero (toilet disinfectants) and bleach using mainly lavender perfume.


The members of the group are responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the botanical garden. They also make soap using ingredients that they buy from the shops combined with fresh ingredients that they get from the botanical garden such as mint and rosemary for scenting of the soaps they make.  

Last June, Farasi Lane primary school was honoured for its hard work by being named the first centre of excellence for ESD learning in Nairobi. They have since been collaborating with CEMASTEA, KEMI and NEEMA to help them grow and maintain their projects.

The ESD program has proved to be very beneficial and has inspired great confidence in the students at Farasi Lane School. This was evident when one of their students, Tabitha Dorcas Chelang’at (Chela) was chosen from among ten students from all over Nairobi to be the face of ‘Start a Library’  national campaign that builds libraries in schools and the school was the first to get their library revamped and equipped with new story books.

The school has also been very fortunate this year to get a partner, who has offered to train interested students in music. A music club has been formed and sooner than later, the school will have its first orchestra band.

The “Farastemas “botanical girls group have been at the forefront using the knowledge that they have gained through ESD learning. These creative girls had always wanted to learn how to bake. Late last year the Cookswell Jikos Company donated a charcoal oven to enable them to fulfil this dream. The young girls have incorporated ingredients from the botanical garden into their cake and bread recipes. 

Joan managed to get from the same company a charcoal kiln. This kiln is used for making charcoal from available materials such as maize cobs, tree stumps, roots and branches. In this way, the club save money and does not have to buy fuel for the Charcoal oven.

The “Farastemars” have put Farasi Lane on the international and national map showing how by improving the education paths can transform a community and a nation.  The head teacher, teachers and mainly the girl student’s activities at the botanical garden has attracted high profile guests from different parts of the world.

President Clinton and his daughter Chelsea and the head teacher visited the botanical garden on the 1st of May 2015

Joan shared with us her dream, a dream that became a success story as on her words: “Introducing the principles of ESD has truly been a blessing to us as a school and as a community in general. It is helping us bringing out well rounded students who will not only depend on academic qualifications to survive when they complete their education but will have gained other valuable skills and a deep appreciation for the arts, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). This is to say you are Ebenezer, and that is the far that you have taken us. Shalom”


Joan Owaka
Alumnus of the ESD course in our center in 2014

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