WISER’s Leaders and Supporters Gather to Celebrate School’s Opening on January 8
Originally posted January 6, 2010
This week WISER Co-founders Sherryl Broverman, Rose Odihambo, and Andy Cunningham along with many fellow WISER NGO Board Members welcome over 1,500 guests from Africa, Europe, and North America in celebration of the school’s opening and selection of the first 30 WISER students.
Days before the ceremony, the WISER selection committee, including new Principal Dorcas Oyugi, held interviews with 51 finalists as the last phase of the application process for the first class of students. Those 30 girls, all of whom will receive full sponsorship to attend WISER at absolutely no cost to them or their families, create the centerpiece of all the activities on January 8. They will begin their classes on February 1.
Pendo Simon Warioba, a student from Muhuru Bay finishing secondary school in another part of the province, declares, “As a girl child, we are very proud of what WISER has done to build a school to enlighten girls who have always been behind. In most communities, girls have been denied the right to education and exposed to early marriages. We are grateful for WISER. Let’s join hands together and support WISER!”
Ceremony attendees include many WISER partners and supporters from corporations, schools, and others NGOs including Johnson & Johnson, MassInsight, SolarAID, UNICEF, and The American School in Switzerland. Students and teachers from Muhuru Bay make up an important part of the ceremony audience to welcome a new private boarding school for girls to their community, along with the District Commissioner of the Kenyan Government and various embassy delegations.
The celebration features remarks by WISER’s co-founders and local, national, and international leaders in education and development as well as entertainment by school and church choirs and traditional dance by the village elders.
Elpalet Owino Ogwand, Chief of Southeast Muhuru Bay, comments in anticipation of WISER’s opening, “I have watched and participated as the project has touched all aspects of our lives in Muhuru in terms of health, economic, and education empowerment. WISER has changed my ways of all approaching issues in my work with the community.”
Building on an exciting new tradition of women and sports in Muhuru Bay, the celebration ends with a soccer match between women of Egerton University, Dr. Rose Odihambo’s alma mater and where she is on the faculty, and the women of Muhuru Bay.
Pictured above: WISER campus view with the Principal’s House, guesthouse, and research center.