Celebrating difference amongst diversity
- Prize Category: Community Collaboration
- Format: Panel discussion
- Country: Kenya
- Languages: Streamed live in English with automated captions in Arabic, English, French, Filipino, Hindi, Japanese, Malay, Portuguese, Serbian, and Spanish.
- Learn more about the Top Ten Shortlisted Schools in the Community Collaboration category on the World’s Best School Prizes website.
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About the school
Still I Rise International School, an international private school in Nairobi, Kenya, is the first school in the world to offer the International Baccalaureate to refugee children, free of charge. Located in the heart of Mathare slum, one of the largest slums in Africa, the school works to celebrate difference among its diverse students and tackle the inequalities they face, providing them with two meals a day, uniforms, stationery and health insurance.
Around half of its students are refugees from Congo, Burundi, Ethiopia, Uganda, Somali, South Sudan, and Rwanda, the rest are Kenyans from vulnerable backgrounds. At times, such a mix has resulted in clashes due to the differences in language, culture and nationality. During school meals, some students have refused to eat because the food is of a different origin. Others viewed each other with suspicion or as inferiors based on their ethnicity. Some students struggled to communicate in English or Swahili, making school life difficult. In response, the school worked to celebrate the differences among its student body, encouraging them to see each other as equals.
The school works to bring students together regardless of culture. Students are encouraged to speak their native language at least once a week and on occasion teachers and students attend school in an outfit of their choice that shows off their unique heritage. Students have taken to crafting traditional artefacts, reciting traditional poetry and singing their own national anthems.
Join the first school in the world to offer the International Baccalaureate to refugee children, free of charge. Located in one of the largest slums in Africa where they celebrate differences amongst diversity.
Moderator: Amos Orendo
Teacher of English Language and Literature
Speaker 1: Hellen Namwamba
Teacher of English Language Acquisition
Speaker 2: Daniel Onginjo
Speaker 3: Nicolo Govoni
Chief Executive Officer – Still I Rise