The first encounter in June of 2007 revealed that the essential needs of the students in the Huruma slum of Nairobi, Kenya, are primarily health care and nutrition. Many of these children are HIV/AIDS positive and lack regular medical attention. A few local agencies combine in an outreach and supply a hot meal one day a week.
The majority of students are bright, alert, and happy; those in the minority are distant, remote, and ill. During the visit the children were warmly receptive and anxious to please. However, the face of a seven-year-old child who is in the advanced stage of HIV/AIDS leaves an indelible image in the minds of all observers.
During a conference with four of the teachers who deal with the youngest students, a request for support emerged. This request materialized into The Africa Teacher Foundation.
Teachers often tend to teach the way they were taught, but these Kenyan teachers are most anxious to embrace all approaches. Change is difficult and sometimes slow but can happen as witnessed by the over 500 teachers who have been trained and the establishment of the Africa Teacher Foundation Center for Pedagogy, which is a permanent center in Nairobi run by teaches who have been trained through the institutes.