Since last week, 14 Marin Academy students and 4 MA adults (Dean of Students Lynne Hansen, history teacher Dave Marshall, and science teacher Mark Stefanski and his wife Johanna Brandriff) have been hard at work at Daraja Academy, a boarding school for Kenyan girls with no means to continue their education.
Daraja is a project of Marin’s Carr Educational Foundation. Daraja’s mission is “to provide a quality secondary education to exceptional Kenyan girls because we believe educated girls can transcend poverty and change the world.” The first class of girls began in February 2009. This is MA’s second service learning trip to Daraja, which, appropriately, means “bridge” in Swahili. According to the school’s founders, Daraja Academy “is a bridge from who the girls are now to who they have the potential to become.”
For the MA community, Daraja is a bridge between our own teaching and learning. This experience allows students to gain a greater understanding of another part of the world and learn what it means to be a global citizen—not a global tourist. It embodies our commitment to 21st century skills, particularly the connections between curriculum and global and multicultural perspectives. Our students have opportunities to collaborate, work, and learn with like-minded people in another educational setting. In the past, students have returned with a greater appreciation for what it means to learn and have different opportunities for learning. Each is changed by the experience.
But don’t take my word for it—take their words for it. The students and teachers are keeping a blog (with photos) about their experiences.
View this video to learn more about Daraja: