Wednesday, October 5, is UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Teachers’ Day, proclaimed in 1994 with the focus on appreciating, assessing and improving the educators of the world.
The theme for 2022 is “The Transformation of Education Begins with Teachers,” certainly something we all Bread and Water for Africa® can relate to and appreciate as we know that for millions of children and youth in sub-Saharan Africa education is the key to success – and that begins with their dedicated teachers.
Among them is Ms. Fidence Ochango, a grade four teacher at the Seed School in slum of Kibera, one of the largest on the continent of Africa, located on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya.
The Seed School, operated by our partner there, the Seed Foundation, provides an education for children who are among the poorest in Kenya, if not the entire continent, and who live in squalor in cramped, dark, tin-roofed structures and sleep on dirt floors alongside siblings and other family members.
For them, the Seed School – and dedicated teachers such as Ms. Fidence – are their only hope for a life out of the slum.
Patrick Odongo, founder and director of the Seed Foundation, noted that Ms. Fidence has not had an easy go of it herself having been married at a very young age, then divorced and living as a single mother struggling to raise her infant daughter as her sole provider.
“She found herself totally helpless,” says Patrick.
But that was before Ms. Fidence began working at the school in 2021 and is now already having a big impact on the lives of her young students, with Patrick reporting, “She has managed to register some credible results for the children in her class.”
And while Patrick notes, the employment opportunity “enables her to support her daughter and pay her needs on a monthly basis,” for Ms. Fidence teaching at the Seed School is much more than just a job.
“She also helps in offering individualized help for the slow learners in her class after school in the evenings and over the weekends,” he told us.
Thanks to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®, over the past few years we have been able to provide funding for a meals program there ensuring that all of the roughly 200 students who attend the Seed School receive two free meals each school day, which as Patrick has noted improves attendance by the children and eases a major financial burden on their parents.
In addition, this year we partnered with the Seed Foundation to make substantial improvements to the school building itself.
But, first and foremost, the quality of any school hinges on the administrators who oversee it, and the teachers like Ms. Fidence, who are the front-line educators, mentors and role models who demonstrate on a daily basis to their young students just what is possible for them in life.
“We are so proud of her efforts, and what she is doing in the lives of the children within our community here,” commented Patrick.