Kodera, Kenya: Pine Lake Academy

Pine Lake Academy, with motto of “Empowered to Serve”, was begun in May 2006 to enable the children of Kodera to get enough education to be able to go on to higher education. These 220 children need a permanent campus as they continue to add kids.

In his mid-year 2008 report, Christopher Sure reports: “If anything has made a dreamer perfect the art of dreaming, it’s Pine Lake Academy (PLA). The school has tremendously transformed the lives of the kids, their parents, and the teachers in an amazing way. To begin with, the school has kids drawn from three different tribes meaning that the kids grow up and learn to speak different languages even as they learn to speak. These languages are; Luo, Luyia, and Kisii. In the Kenya curriculum for education, rural schools begin teaching in the dominant mother tongue as a medium for instructions to all kids in Pre-school to the 3rd grade. Then in 4th grade, the instructions are given in English.

At Pine Lake Academy, we have cared for others who do not speak Luo language by giving instructions in English from the very start. The kids at Pine Lake Academy find their learning enjoyable because they learn to effectively communicate in the very language they will do all their tests in, English. Parents who have more than one kid at PLA are always impressed that when their kids get home, they only speak to each other in the official languages: English and Swahili.

Learning has been made more enjoyable and easy by the school supplies that came from America. That quantity and quality of learning and teaching materials had never been seen before. The teachers have found they work very rewarding in the sense of joy of satisfaction brought about by the learning aids that excites the kids and makes them learn faster.

The children who once eat at home every meal without even thanking God who provides now would never allow even their parents to just attack food without giving thanks to God for the provision. So the kids have taken back to their houses the good news. The breakfast (porridge) and the lunch provided at school have transformed the lives of the once frail and gloomy kids to robust, sparkling, very active (some hyper), and bouncing kids. The nutritious supplement of Amaranth flour in their porridge and ugali plus the moringa supplement in their everyday lunch just worked the miracle. At the academy they do not just get the teaching, they also get the right diet that their body needs and shapes their looks to just what they were meant to be. Even their parents have said that in the first month of attending Pine Lake academy, the health of their children improves greatly that even they begin to admire their own children and wonder where they go wrong.

Last year, grade three kids at Pine Lake Academy did a joint test with grade three kids of the government Mititi School. Pine Lake Academy students took the top 9 places and 18 of the top 20. Parents who in the past never used to bother about what goes on with their kids at school now must always know what is going on with their kids at Pine Lake Academy. We ask the kids to report their daily work to their parents and this they do faithfully. Occasionally, we invite parents and discuss the progress of their kids at school. We are driven by the principles of collective responsibility where parents and teachers join hands and efforts to shape up the life child.”

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