Stephanie and I spent the last two days at the Notre Dame School in Njiro, a primary and secondary school run by Notre Dame sisters from India. We have seen andexperienced some lows in our first week here and now we have felt some highs. The school consists of Montessori 1 – 3 classes (the equivalent of nursery and kindergarten), primary grades 1 – 7, and a secondary school for over 100 girls and about 10 boys.
The first 8 high school girl “boarders” were bunked in one of the secondary classrooms last fall, and in a year’s time over 80 girls have made this school their home away from home. To meet this overwhelming demand for a boarding girls high school, the sisters transformed 3 classrooms into bunk bed dorms. Now plans are moving ahead to raise funds as quickly as possible for a real dormitory to properly house up to 300 girls.
On Monday we were greeted with an outdoor courtyard “assembly” replete with a percussion band, singing, skit and roses. So began two days during which we witnessed students from the age of 4 to 18 completely engaged in the process of learning – and more importantly, affirming their own value and potential. These sisters have accomplished so much with really so little. All the food served at the school comes from its own gardens and farm animals; the students and staff keep a beautiful property; respect and dignity are accorded everything and everyone.
If only Notre Dame could be cloned throughout the developing world, and if only those with resources could see how far their support of such schools can change lives and raise the human spirit.
STEPHANIE’S VIDEOS AND PICTURES TOMORROW!