Welcome to Global Learning for Kids! I am so excited to write about Kenya, a country in East Africa with coastline on the Indian Ocean. Kenya is known for its beautiful landscapes as its exotic wildlife. Let’s learn more together about this beautiful country and its people.
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1. Read A Book
Malika, my eldest daughter, has often said of late, that she wants to be a scientist when she’s older. So what better way to combine Malika’s new found passion for science, with knowledge about Kenya, than with the book, Seeds of Change: Wangari’s Gift to the World
This beautifully illustrated book, is a biography of scientist Wangari Maathai, the first African woman and environmentalist, to win the Nobel Peace Prize, in 2004, for her work planting trees in her native Kenya. Malika and Ameenah loved the illustrations and the inspiring story has persuaded Malika to further her dreams of becoming a scientist!
2. Make a Friend
Ammara is actually Malika and Ameenah’s cousin, who has recently made a huge move from Kenya to Northern Ireland, to live with her Irish father. Malika and Ameenah have yet to meet Ammara, but will meet her in Scotland in March, which we are all very excited about! In the meantime we have had a few catch-ups on Facebook and Whats App, to help Malika and Ameenah and their newly arrived cousin, to get to know one another.
Question: What do you think about Northern Ireland so far?
Answer: I really like it so far! The roads and pavements are very different to what i was used to in Kenya! I really love my new school, called the Enniskillen Model Primary (a unique school in NI with Catholic and Protestant pupils) and the teachers have been really kind to me.
Q: Where are you from in Kenya?
A: I was born in Mombassa and lived in a town just outside it called Mtwapa. You can see them on the map here:
Q: How old are you and what class are you in, at school?
A: I am eight years old and in Primary Five.
Q: What was your school like in Kenya?
A: The school I went to in Kenya was very different, to the school that I am in now. My school in Kenya had no windows or doors – the weather was very different and very hot Malika, so we didn’t need the same kind of building there, as we do here! We would start really early in Kenya as the school day started at 7am and did not finish until 5pm! There were around 365 children in my old school and 2-3 to a desk. We get less homework in Enniskillen which I prefer!
Q: What was your school dinner like?
A: The food is really different also – we would have ugali, beans, and chapati for lunch. Very different from an “Ulster Fry” which is a famous breakfast in Northern Ireland!
Q: What is the biggest difference between Kenya and Ireland?
A: One of the biggest differences for me is the weather! As you know I lived on the coast area in Kenya and the weather was always very hot. Northern Ireland is very cold and damp in comparison.
3. Learn about the Kenyan Flag
Ammara also taught Malika and Ameenah about the Kenyan flag and we used templates from here – to colour in copies of the flag.
According to Ammara, the flag of Kenya has many different meanings behind it. The Masai shield is in the middle of the flag, and the shield and spears, protect everything in Kenya that the flag represents. The black colour, in the middle of the flag, represents the Kenyan Black majority. The red color, is to represent the blood shed during the fight for independence. The green represents the land and the white stripes symbolize peace and honesty!
Finally we made a large map of Africa and tried to locate Kenya on the map. We got back from a family trip to Morocco two weeks ago, so locating Kenya, in relation to Morocco, helped the girls make sense of the location of the two countries.
4. Learn Some Fun Facts
Whilst locating Kenya on the map, we also discussed some fun Kenyan facts.
- Kenya is located in East Africa, on the equator.
- In 2012, the population of Kenya was estimated to be around 43 million.
- Kenya is officially known as the Republic of Kenya.
- The capital and largest city is Nairobi. Mombasa is the second largest city.
- The two official languages in Kenya are English and Swahili, although there are dozens of other languages spoken in various parts of the country.