A week of welcomes and sharing

12 May 2014

It’s only been a few days since we last posted, but they’ve been a busy few days - and they’re going to get busier! On Saturday we extended a warm welcome to visitors from Londiani: 10 teachers, two Friends of Londiani Kenya (FOLK) staff and three members of the medical team from the Londiani District Hospital, one of whom also represents FOLK. As you will probably have guessed, this is a reciprocal visit in response to the one made by Irish teachers and students to Kenya in February and April (some of the highlights of which are posted on this blog). It was made possible by support from the Irish Aid WorldWise Global schools programme (www.worldwiseschools.ie). The teaching group will be in Ireland until next Saturday. During their week-long stay they will spend time with their host schools in Killinarden Tallaght, Moate community school, Mountrath community school, Scoil Ui Mhuiri Dunleer, Co Louth and Mount St Michael in Claremorris. These school partnerships seek to improve our understanding of each other, celebrate our diversity and share our cultures. And that is precisely what has happened. In fact since the beginning of the current school year, students both in Ireland and in Kenya have been developing a deeper awareness and understanding of global issues by learning about human rights and responsibilities, sharing their knowledge and experiences with the other students in their schools, letter writing between Irish and Kenyan students and cultural exchange. And now we are delighted to welcome our Londiani teaching friends. While they are here, they will spend time with Irish students and staff, act as guest speakers and share their knowledge and experience, especially in relation to human rights and responsibilities. As guests of the Irish teachers, they will be extended an Irish welcome and have many opportunities to experience Irish culture. The FOLK staff - Norah Sirma and Caroline Chelangat -and the medical team - Dr Betty Langat (who is also the Country Director of Friends of Londiani Kenya), Dr Kigen and Madame Annah Soi - will be here for slightly longer: two weeks to be precise. The medical staff will spend their time at Mayo General Hospital. Our FOLK colleagues will divide their time between Mayo General Hospital, the schools and the Friends of Londiani office in Cork. But this isn’t just an internal Friends of Londiani affair. There are opportunities for you, the Friends of Londiani volunteers and supporters in Ireland, to meet our Kenyan visitors in Dublin, Castlebar and Cork. They will be visiting the Lantern Centre, Synge Street in Dublin from 6pm to 8pm Dublin this Wednesday (the 14th of May) and Sport Clinic West in Castlebar in the evening of Friday the 16th of May. Our FOLK visitors will be coming to the Friends of Londiani office in Midleton on Thursday the 22nd of May. Contact Rose (rosehennessy@friendsoflondiani.com) in the Friends of Londiani office for further details, but do please join us - and, of course our visitors to whom we again extend Cead Mile Failte.