A truly grand occasion, beyond our dreams! On Monday, June 11th, the Elimu team welcomed over a hundred guests at the official opening of the new Elimu Resource Centre. Heading up the shining guest list were Her Excellency, the Canadian High Commissioner to Kenya, Sara Hradecky, and His Excellency, the Governor of Kilifi County, Amason Jeffah King.
Another first for Malindi, thanks in great part to the Elimu team, who outdid themselves with all the preparations and set-up. Our new conference hall was decked-out with a new set of curtains. Plasc chairs were covered with shiny fabric and decorative drapes and flowers were in place. The study halls and eHub were set up to demonstrate how students use our digital tools for their studies.
Students from our partner schools were granted a day-off school to join us at the Centre for the special occasion. With final exams scheduled later that week, the students took full advantage of the opportunity to use our Kindles and computers for some extra study time.
When guest began arriving, the students were available to show them how to use the devices. Another team of youth volunteers helped with site cleanup and set-up of all the essentials for a successful event.Two vehicles and a couple of tuktuks shuttled dignitaries and ran the many errands needed. Special staff uniforms were made with the local Adrican fabrics, including Nina’s hostess dress, which was also custom designed by Elimu sewing graduate, Janet Iha.
The event began with a receiving line of dignitaries and Elimu staff to receive the High Commissioner and the Governor. A prayer of thanksgiving and blessing was offered by Fr. Joseph Ngala of the Catholic Diocese of Malindi. Our two special guests jointly cut the ribbon to officially open the new building.
The High Commissioner and Governor toured the eHub space and Junior Study Hall, while the remaining guests made their way to the new conference hall. They mingled with our students, enjoying hands-on demonstrations of the digital education resources our students use to fill the gap of resources they miss at school.
Once assembled in the conference hall, Kamotho Ndung’u, Elimu Chief Executive Officer provided the background of Elimu and a glimpse at our future vision. Founder and President, Nina Chung called on the sewing students to model their creative and vibrant new designs. An Elimu alumni, now studying nursing, shared how much Elimu has impacted her life, and, a teacher spoke to the positive impact of the resource centre on students’ lives. Nina’s speech highlighted our vision of serving students through the full spectrum of life, from primary school to high school, and through the transition after high school. She noted some of the challenges Elimu is currently facing and invited the Malindi and Kilifi County communities to join hands in realizing the great potenal in the years to come. The event was closed with a prayer by Muslim leader, Mr. Shee Abbdallah Shee.
In her speech, Canada’s High Commissioner defined the new Elimu Re-source Centre as, “a place where young people can imagine and dream of a new and different path for themselves.” She also said that Nina and the Elimu team are the true ambassadors.
To our great joy, Governor Kingi announced during his remarks that he would inest in the purchase of 35 new Worldreader Kindles for the Centre. Each Worldreader Kindle holds over 200 books, and the additional 35 eReaders will add 7,000 new eBooks to our inventory! We are extremely grateful for this support as it will ensure that many more students can access the textbooks we offer. Thank you, Governor Kingi!
Join us in reliving the memories with some great photos from the day on our website: wvvw.elimu.c.a/openingERC.html