The Berlin based association People Make Maendeleo e.V. focusses on an intercultural exchange project with the St. Philip’s Elementary School in the Mathare Valley Slum in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. With its activities it wants to call for attention to the living conditions of the pupils and their families as well as to the engagement of the school director Mr. Andenyi and his staff and discusses topics like colonialization, the emergence of so called “slum areas”, corruption, language policy and education. Moreover, People Make Maendeleo e.V. promotes elementary school education, basic supply, medical care and the timely payment of the teachers’ wages. It also supports the transformation of the St. Philip’s Elementary School into a “Green School”, an environment-friendly and sustainable institution with an own school choir and a community garden. Here the pupils can learn how to grow fruits and vegetables on their own. In the future it is planned to use biodigesters, containers that process organic waste to biogas, which could be used to heat a cooking zone. Transparency, sustainability and continuity have the highest priority for People Make Mandeleo e.V.
People Make Maendeleo means ‘People Make Progress’: above all, there is the vision that all people, no matter which Nationality, can change something together – first and foremost their own consciousness and the intercultural dialogue to counteract the prevailing negative view on Africa. „Education is going to be the best avenue for us to try and change the entire society of Mathare“ says school director Andenyi getting to the heart of it. The St. Philip’s elementary school is a beginning but the big goal is to reach a multiplication effect. As many children as possible should have the chance to benefit from elementary education as stated in Kenya’s ‘policy of free education’ which was introduced in 2003. At the moment there are only a few public schools at all and the private schools as St. Philip’s which are based on tuition fees are not affordable for most Kenyan families. To change this situation the association is about to take an eye on it.
Since last year the association has been attracted to three permanent cooperation partners: the vegan, fair trade fashion label ‘Noxout Clothing, which supports it with world map prints, the fashion label ‘pieceofpeace’, which distributes hand-tailored unicums made of African materials and ‘Doesign Art’ with impressing canvas and portraits. By the purchase of Kenyan Art, which is hand-made by the pupils’ parents, and products of its cooperation partners, interested people can help to improve the learning atmosphere of the elementary school. People Make Mandeleo e.V. is always looking for creative heads with new ideas for events that can be organized together. In the future there will be a ‘Musicians for Musicians’-charity concert where local artists will be on stage and the recordings of the school choir will be presented. The association’s events give a platform for talented designers to present themselves and to support the St. Philip’s community.