A New Dawn of Peace, Love, Freedom, Transparency and Value-based Change
Kenya's involvement with LVEP began in the summer of 1998 with a visit to Kenya by Ann Stirzaker, a teacher who enjoyed using LVEP in England. She and Wangui Kangethe met with John Owingar at the Kenyan Institute of Education and soon a small group of people wanted to learn more. In October 1998 they travelled to the island of Mauritius to attend a regional LVEP TTT. A couple officers from the Kenyan Institute of Educator joined a banker and several other educators in this journey. Later they, along with Episcopalian Bishop Bernard Njoroge, became the first members of the Board of Directors for the Association of Living Values Educators (ALIVE).
ALVE organized a LVEP Train-the-Trainer Workshop in August 1999 and have been training schools around the country in Living Values since that time. The Ministry of Education has officially recommended LVEP for integration in the school curriculum for all schools in the country. The Curriculum Development Centre is looking into it, although funding presents a challenge.
The LVEP team is continuing the dialogue with the national educational organizations and it continues to train teachers. In the year 2000, a five-day TTT was held for 17 teachers from various schools. A three-day training was held for 9 teachers while 43 teachers received two days of LVEP Educator Training and 41 teachers received one day of training.
In November 2001 ALVE offered a three-hour training to Kenya National Workshop on Training of Trainers for Non-Formal Education comprising of primary and secondary school teachers, university lecturers, curriculum developers, adult education officers and NGO's working with children who are undertaking non-formal education programmes at Kenya College of Communications Technology from 25 November- 8 December. The LVEP training covered: Introduction and Values Awareness Sessions. The government of Kenya and UNICEF Kenya Country Office sponsored the training.
The Association sent a team to Mauritius to participate in the Regional Conference that took place from 4-6 December 2001. The participants included 'she Director Christian Children's Fund (CCF), a Curriculum Developer from Kenya Institute of Education and the ALVE Programme Co-ordinator. The Director CCF Kenya presented a paper on 'Culture of Peace', which mainly covered how CCF Kenya is integrating values in all their progammes. She also spoke on their future plans; of particular interest was their plan to build a 'Peace School' as a bridge for two neighbouring and warring tribes in Kenya. The aim will be to educate children from both tribes using values based approach and take the opportunity to introduce values to their communities.
The Center for British Teachers Kenya, which trains teachers and health workers on HIV AIDS and health education, invited ALVE to give a three-hour LVEP training during their project training-of-trainers workshop, which took place in Nakuru from 18-22 April 2002. This particular training included teachers, health workers and education officers.
The Association of Living Values Educators provided a three-hour training, which took place at Limuru Girls Center near Nairobi from 1-5 May 2002. This Center runs two-year progammes for young adults on horticulture and small business entrepreneurship progammes. Teachers from Limuru Girls Center and four other such centers had gathered together for a training sponsored by a Non-Governmental Organization project known as Baobab.
The Chairman ALVE, John Owigar, presented a paper on 'Ethics and Values in the Kenya Constitution' during the training of the members of the Kenya Constitution Review Commission. The Constitution of Kenya Review Commission had a seminar on the Role of Culture, Ethics and Ideology in the Planned Kenya Constitution. The Seminar took place at the Great Rift Valley Lodge Naivasha from 7-8 February 2002. The paper was very well received by members of the Commission and other presenters. It was based on how to institute values in a country's constitution.
During the International Children's Day of Broadcasting, which took place on 9 December 2001 LVEP activities got a ten minutes coverage from one of the country's TV station known as KTN Baraza Ltd. Children from Marurui Slum Area in Nairobi shared their experiences of the wonderful effects of education the values programme has had in their lives. They are part of a programme named Nairobi Integrated Programme CCF Affiliated. This broadcast presented Kenyans, nationwide, with the awareness of LVEP in Kenya.
Christian Children's Fund Kenya has translated and printed Living Values Parents Groups: A Facilitator's Guide book into Kiswahili Language. They have also translated the messages of the Twelve Core Values into Kiswahili and six other local languages. They are also in the process of translating LVEP Educators Training Guide. The translated and printed versions are for use in their projects in Kenya.
Number of Sites Using Living Values Education
Total number of sites 9
Currently, there are nine schools implementing LVE. These include a Nursery School in Mombassa Town and four Primary Schools in Mombassa, Nairobi and Nakuru. The entire school is implementing LVE in two schools while some teachers are involved in the other two schools. Four Secondary Schools are doing LVE in Nairobi, Siaya, Kericho and Athi River and at each location the entire school is involved. Additionally, the Christian Children's Fund is conducting Living Values Parent Groups.
Michael Owino, the principal of a primary school in Kenya, reports that he and the teachers in his school have been doing LVEP for two years. He notes:
"This Programme creates an atmosphere of peace and a deep understanding of human worth where everyone matters, regardless of age or position. The Programme has brought about much discipline in the school. It has also generated a lot of enthusiasm in children. Truancy and tardiness have been eradicated. It has created good relationships between teachers and children - there is more love and attachment to school. On the side of the teachers, it has created an atmosphere of mutual understanding resulting in very healthy working conditions. The result of this is higher productivity since no time is wasted in personal conflicts. As the head teacher, I find my work has, to a very great extent, been made easier."
"The Friday assemblies have more activities about values. These activities involve poems, reading a story, a play, sharing experiences or elocution. One day, children lodged a complaint through their teachers asking why I skipped a living values lesson. After a convincing explanation and apology, I asked them why they liked the lessons."
These were some of the answers given by a few of the five-year olds:
'Because I enjoy the good songs like 'I am a peaceful star'.'
'I like the sharing talks, things like colours and happiness.'
'You feel like changing into nice people.'
'Because it is teaching us how to be silent and think about others and ourselves'.
Mrs. Mary Njugana, a teacher of Class One with five-year-old students noted:
"This Programme has generated a lot of interest in pupils and has made learning more fun rather than a routine burden on children. Children now take a more active part in the day-to-day running of their affairs, all in the name of responsibility. This Programme has one major demand: that the teachers must constantly remain conscious of their responsibility as a role model."
Mrs. Milly Mjumbe, a teacher of a class with seven-year-old students noted:
"LVEP has really helped children and teachers by changing their attitude. Teachers now understand children more and have a positive attitude toward them. The children really practise the values among themselves."
Mrs. Joice Karuma reported the following with regard to her pre-primary class of four year-old students:
"The children are now showing more openness toward teachers and fellow children. They have become more responsible and critical in their decisions. They appear to be happier than before. They are better listeners and are ready to resolve conflicts among fellow children. They are now easier to manage and therefore easy to teach."