Reflecting on our Children in Junior High School

Reflecting on our Children in Junior High School

At Children of Hope, we opened our homes with the commitment to create a nurturing and supportive environment for the children in our care. Our aim was to provide them with not only the love and care they needed but also to encourage them to grow strong in their faith in God, and to help them reach their full potential.

Through forming strong family-like bonds with aunties and uncles and their brothers and sisters, our children have experienced and developed a sense of security and belonging, which has further helped them thrive in various aspects of their lives. They’ve worked with their aunties and uncles to do well in school, build on their interests and passions, and gain more knowledge about the real world.

This year, 13 children collectively, from both homes, entered Junior High for the first time, under the new Kenyan school system. This Competency-Based Curriculum began in 2017 when they were in grade 2. Today, all 13 of them get to collectively experience Junior High under this educational model. The new system has allowed our aunties and uncles to be more involved in homework and class activities, since the model’s introduction in 2017. They help the children gather materials and support them as they develop their individual projects. 

A Day in the Life: Junior High

Pictured from left to right: Amos, Esther, and Noah from our Kikuyu home started Junior High School in January

All our children attending Junior high are in boarding school. Their daily routines involve waking up at 7:00 am, doing their morning prep, and attending class from 9 am to 4:30 pm with lunch and breaks in between. From 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm, the children do their extracurricular activities, such as participating in games, going to club meetings, and so forth. For the rest of the evening, they shower, rest, go for dinner, and do their homework. Bedtime is at 9 pm on weekdays. On weekends, the children have more downtime – Sunday mornings are for Church, followed by a day of entertainment and free time. 

The children were recently home for their mid-term break and we’ve seen an increase in their levels of interest, concentration, and ability to grasp academic concepts in them. Meshack, from our Kitalale home, found the previous educational model challenging but is thriving in the current holistic approach. He has more time to develop his interests, and as a result of that, he’s been making great strides. Additionally, five of our other junior high children, Abigael, Sam, Clara, Elisha, and Christine, are enjoying exploring their love for music, and arts and crafts. 

Pictured from left to right: Esther, Elisha, Clara, Christine, Abigael, Benjamin, Joyline, Sam, Praise, Meshack from our Kitalale home.

The children are delighted about the fact they are “high scholars,” indicating that they’re in a higher grade than the lower classman. They wear their new uniforms with pride and enjoy delving into different subjects and learning how to do practical experiments in labs. The children say that they’re having a blast in a more relaxed learning environment, and look forward to attending their classes every day. We’re so happy to see them take such big steps in their academic pursuits, and can’t wait to see what the future holds for them. 

Staff Testimonials

The aunties and uncles at home feel similarly. 

Auntie Rebecca, the social worker of Kitalale, said, “ I like the new curriculum since it gives the child the freedom to explore their gifts and talents without too much pressure. This has made learning fun and enjoyable.”

Auntie Irene from Kikyuy chimed in, “CBC is child-friendly. I like the fact that they have projects where parents and children collaborate, it bonds us more and children love it that way. It also caters to the slower learners, the system gives all equal opportunities to learn without pressure. The exams are not the driving force in learning, but rather a way of gauging progress. I have seen some of our children who struggled previously enjoying learning like Moses, Manuel, Abe and this is credited to the new curriculum.” 

Through God’s grace and your support, our children are able to embrace this new chapter in their lives as they continue to grow into well-rounded individuals. Our hearts are full of love and prayers for these precious 13 children as they continue through the school year. Thank you for all that you do to support the work of Children of Hope.