On Friday 3rd February 2023, the EducAfrica Foundation team had a rare and special opportunity of hosting the Chilean Ambassador to Kenya, Her Excellency Maria Alejandra Guerra and the Cultural Attaché Mr. Juan Eduardo in an activity in Mathare slum in Nairobi, Kenya. Together with EducAfrica, the ambassador visited 6 community schools in Mathare to issue poem books to the learners. The books were to boost the learners’ literacy skills. The books contain a collection of Gabriela Mistral’s poems and translated from Spanish to Swahili. They will help the learners to improve their vocabulary, strengthen fluency both in Swahili and Spanish, improve working memory and allow for learning of basic Spanish.
Gabriela Mistral, born on April 7, 1889, in Vicuña, Chile (died January 10, 1957), is a celebrated Chilean poet, who in 1945 became the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (The Nobel Prizes are widely regarded as the most prestigious awards given for intellectual achievements in the world). Mistral grew up in a village in Northern Chile and became a schoolteacher at age 15, advancing later to the rank of a college professor. Throughout her life, she combined writing with a career as an educator, cultural minister, and diplomat. Her reputation as a poet was established in 1914 when she won a Chilean prize for three “Sonetos de la muerte” (“Sonnets of Death”) and thereafter cultivated a broader interest in humanity, but love of children and of the downtrodden remained her principal themes.
After over 400 years and 66 years since her death, the works of Gabriela Mistral continue to improve the lives of young learners in Mathare, Kenya and the rest of the world through the kind gesture of the Chilean Embassy in Kenya and EducAfrica Foundation. “The Foundation supports the acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills in early childhood education and this was a smart opportunity for us to make our literacy program richer,” says Oriwo Evans, Education Coordinator at EducAfrica Foundation.
Alice Wanjiru, Head of Finance at EducAfrica, added, “On behalf of the EducAfrica team, we unreservedly wish to thank the Chilean Government, here in Kenya represented by H.E Ambassador Alejandra Guerra, for this opportunity to be part of the global team celebrating the works of Madam Gabriela Mistral and thus helping young learners acquire education.”
Article written by Oriwo Evans