In the remote communities of Wamba, Kenya there are no pencils or paper here; no desks to call anyone’s own, and books are rare. There is only a thirst for learning that defies the harsh reality of an arid sub-Saharan landscape.
Under the sun’s scorching gaze and the sporadic shadows cast by barren tree limbs; an oasis of eager bright eyes focus on their teacher. Even as dust may swirl relentlessly around them and their lids may grow weary from squinting against the glare of a midday sun, it doesn’t deter them from soaking in the alphabet or learning their numbers.
Staffed by at least one teacher, this makeshift school under the open sky will also provide one meal a day to its students. Most of these children range in age from 3 to 7 years old.
With few resources teachers have become masters in creativity, inspiring their young pupils through the harshest environment by utilizing everyday objects as learning tools. Colored bottle caps and twigs lay in piles on the table; used for counting and deciphering simple math problems as wilting posters of the alphabet are hung against a wooden board.
It’s obvious that what they lack in material supplies, they make up for in spirit and a passion for learning. Witnessing their enthusiasm forces us to reflect and count our own blessings: desks, pencils, paper and a school roof over our heads. As these children are learning half a world away, they are also teaching a humble lesson in what it means to have an opportunity for education, even if it’s under the sun.