Early on a Wednesday morning we made our way to Kibera where we met more than 100 kids from FAFU and Mobjap schools.   Both schools are projects of Crossing Thresholds.  On arrival, the most joyful kids with their big grins and contagious laughter greet us. We begin to set up for the day.   We will be decorating and prepping planting pots to decorate the school walls.

We get the paints, brushes and little pots ready, and with the help of volunteers from Crossing Thresholds, the children go ahead and start painting their recycled plastic pots with their names on them.  What a day filled with color, creativity, dance and music!   Why are we doing this you might ask?  We know from Six Seconds research that the climate in a school determines the success of the school and is linked to the level of engagement of the school community – teachers, students, governors and parents.  That the more conducive the climate in a school, the more engaged the school community will be.   So creating a beautiful learning environment with hanging baskets should likewise impact these schools.

On day two we arrived at Karura forest, greeted by the cool air and lovely scenery.  The kids get out of the bus and walk to the auditorium where we watch a documentary about Karura forest and its beautiful and rocky history.

Bursting out of excitement the kids run out of the auditorium ready to go on the nature walk around the forest. We are escorted by some guides who share about all the different ecosystems and trees found in the forest.  The kids listen attentively

Then we come to a halt! As we approach the caves and waterfalls. The excitement on the kids faces was overwhelming.  The guide talks about the history of the caves and waterfall.   This is the first time many of them have been in this forest.  We never expected to see such beauty right in city of Nairobi. We keep on with our journey around the forest.  We will certainly not be the same after this walk.

At last, we get to potting plants in the little recycled plastic pots that the kids had worked on a few days earlier.   The Wangari Maathai Foundation staff take the kids through the process of potting the plants.  In no time all of them are done!

The kids rush over to the picnic area where they have lunch and get to play.

We enjoy a picnic lunch together and reflect on the day before they leave.  Reflection of the trip:

“ I feel like a little Wangari Maathai” – Student Mobjap

“It is very important to be surrounded by living things, it brings in a lot of light. I have never seen this before in Kibera, but I hope it travels and inspires the rest of Kibera to do the same”-  Simion  ( Head Teacher- FAFU School)

[1]  The Green Jeneration ( J is for Junior) is an initiative for children, created by children who wanted to be part of “making the world a better place”. This children’s movement creates beautiful learning environments by greening schools and developing the value of responsible stewardship. This creates opportunities for children of all walks of life to spend time in nature at the Karura Forest under the leadership of the Karura Forest Environmental Education Trust. According to Six Seconds research, the climate in a school determines the success of the school and is linked to the level of engagement of the school community- teachers, student, governors and parents. That the more conducive the climate in a school, the more engaged the school community will be. In the process of engaging with the Green Jeneration, children will also enrich their environmental awareness as they care and nurture the plants in their school. WMF has hosted 150 children through the Green Jeneration project from Oasis Kindergarten, Mobjap and FAFU schools