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In June 2003, the then Principal of Chogoria Girls’ High School (CGHS) Mrs. Riungu visited Scotland .Out of that visit and through other efforts – CGHS got a partner, Currie Community School in Edinburgh.

In January 2004, the then Principal of Currie Community School Mr. Eric Melvin visited Chogoria Girls. Reciprocal visits commenced with CGHS sending two teachers (one of whom was the CGHS current principal Mrs. V.M Gitonga) and two students. Currie Community School reciprocated with two teachers and two students in September 2005. By the end of the partnership grant period(three years) eight teachers and eight students from both schools had benefited from the DFID/British Council sponsorship.
The partnership has had tremendous impact in the two school communities. Mr. Melvin, who probably made it all possible, says the partnership has resulted in “a huge educational gain,” with some students in Currie High having had “life-changing experiences.” He tells of how one young man had planned to pursue a degree in graphic design at the University but on coming to CGHS on a partnership visit, he is seriously considering changing his course to a more humanitarian one. The partnership has also helped to bring actual contact between the two school communities. This has helped to build better understanding between them by removing previously held misconceptions and prejudices.

“One used to get “bad news” from the British Press (about Kenya) so you get an opportunity to learn the real facts because you are in contact with an actual Kenyan Community” Mr. Melvin confesses.
CGHS can also count numerous gains from the link, ranging from Educational materials (books, projectors, CDs, stationery, ICT ware to digital cameras. The beautification programme too is a child of the partnership, under the wider theme of environmental conservation. The teachers and students who visited Currie High got an eye opening experience; they now see the world in a wider, more global context.  Mr. Melvin says that the programme is so valuable for both communities that, though the sponsorship is over, the programme should be sustained through other media/avenues.
“The programme should be sustained, even through the internet, to maintain the global citizenship. I’d really be upset if the whole thing came to an end,” Mr. Melvin concludes.



 Experiences from Scotland- Bessy Kanana shares
“My trip to Scotland exposed me to a different way of life. I learnt how to cope with humanity from all over the world, how to fit in and behave in a place where people think so differently and do things in a different way.

Scotland helped me understand better the saying that “disability is not inability”. This was learnt after meeting two guys that’s Mark and Euan .Mark had a condition known as the Downs Syndrome and he really seemed abnormal to me. So it was pretty amazing to realize that he was one of Britain’s great swimmers and had won them four gold and silver medals. Euan also couldn’t co-ordinate his writing and had to do his exams verbally but what was striking about him is that he was a good artist and really creative when it came to architecture. He would design buildings he wished constructed in future. So what really matters is your attitude to the handicap, and to de offered opportunity to excel.
I also learnt the need to keep time. If the flight change was scheduled to take seven minutes, that’s what it took.”


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