Beatrice may be one of the “crazy” ones of the bunch, but she is full of positive energy and lots of love. Beatrice is a Pre-K student who has had many hardships in her life. A few months ago, Beatrice lost her mother, and her father is in and out of the hospital. Now her grandmother is struggling to take care of Beatrice and her two siblings. KSG is the only consistent aspect of Beatrice’s life during this hard time. The support at KSG is helping Beatrice get through it. She is a wonderful student, always raising her hand and participating in class discussions. She loves to dance and excels in P.E. Class. When Beatrice grows up, she wants to be a teacher. This makes a lots of sense, because Beatrice is has compassion for others and a love for learning. If Beatrice keeps on the path she’s on now, she is sure to reach that goal. Her enthusiasm and excitement brighten the classrooms at KSG every day.
Beryl, a Pre-Kindergarten student, has what might be the most adorable smile in the world. But don’t let that adorable smile fool you: Beryl is very smart and witty. Beryl loves to joke around, which can at times result in mischievous behavior. She has perfected the classic “But I didn’t do it” look. However, any mischief Beryl causes is all out of love. She always comes to school with an open mind and excitement to participate in class activities. When she grows up she wants to be a doctor so that she can help others. She loves the color red (just like her school uniform!) Beryl also loves to sing and dance. Beryl is always so full of energy, it seems like she never runs out of it! During morning movement class she would love to show off her skills dancing, skipping, and playing limbo. When Beryl grows up, she wants to be a doctor. Beryl is working hard at school, and is sure to grow into a smart, talented, and determined young woman.
Diana is strong-minded and serious about her education, just like her father, the Chairman of the KSG Parents Association. Her father, who goes by Baba Diana (“Diana’s Father” in Kiswahili) is at the school every day. It is obvious that the value of education and of the school community has been instilled in Diana’s mind. Diana may seem shy at first, but she is strong-minded and opinionated. Diana is giving, with a huge heart. She often, on her own accord, will collect her classmates’ dishes after breakfast or lunch, or help clean up materials at the end of class. She’s one of the top readers in her grade, and with good reason! Diana loves books and stories, and can remember the smallest details from them. One day in the morning, she and her reading group read “Are You My Mother?” by Dr. Seuss. Later that day, Diana was coloring with her class and drew a beautiful picture based on the book. When Diana grows up, she wants to be a doctor. Diana exclaimed, “Because they give us injections and make us not sick!” With Diana’s determination, she is sure to become whatever she wants to be!
With a round face, chubby cheeks, and a big smile, it’s easy to fall in love with Elizabeth the moment you see her. Elizabeth is always laughing or giggling; you can count on her to make you smile. Her beautiful spirit is complemented by impeccable listening skills and patience far beyond that of a typical child, especially one who is only in Pre-K. Elizabeth is a hard worker, always practicing her spelling and reading. Her hard work pays off, because she is one of the best readers in her grade. She effortlessly read the word “strawberry” in a book, to the surprise of her teacher. Elizabeth is determined; whenever she finishes her lunch before her classmates she shouts, “I finish number one!” That determination and free spirit will be sure to carry beyond KSG to the rest of Elizabeth’s life.
Faith is a thoughtful Pre-Kindergartener who is optimistic, despite having had a difficult life so far. Her father died a few years ago and her mother was unable to take care of Faith and her siblings, but she is now happy and healthy living in Margaret’s Safe Place. Faith retains a certain childlike excitement and energy, yet there is something quite old about her soul and the sophisticated way she connects to people. You would not expect this from such a tiny, fragile looking girl. Faith has an undeniable beauty about her that you notice instantly. But after getting to know Faith, it is obvious that this beauty really comes from deep inside of her. She is kind to her teachers and friends, and always cares about the way others feel. Such compassion is unique in the Pre-K class, where many girls have not yet developed quite an understanding for the way others should be treated. Even given her sometimes-serious exterior, Faith has an insatiable excitement to explore, to laugh, and to learn. Faith has so much love and energy to give. At the Kibera School for Girls, she is able to give that love.
Grace is extremely smart; she is a great reader and loves participating in her reading group. When Grace gets a question wrong, she will nervously giggle with her hand over her mouth, or hit her hand onto her forehead. But Grace is a determined girl who never gives up; she always keeps trying until she gets the correct answer. When Grace grows up, she wants to be a pilot. Grace loves to learn and play equally, and is great at both of them. She can easily make her friends and teachers crack up with a funny face or silly comment. Grace is famous for her signature deep, gravelly voice. When you first hear Grace talk, you’d be surprised that her voice could come out of her body. While Grace is great at making people laugh, she also loves to laugh herself. Just smile or wink at her and she’ll be laughing to tears. During end of the day reflection, she is always the most excited to share how her day was. She will raise her hand high into the air. When called on, she will reply, “I love running and dancing,” or “I learned a lot and read books.” Grace loves the Kibera School for Girls, and this fact is obvious from the pure joy and enthusiasm she has at school every day.
Ivon, who prefers to go by Mary, is a spunky girl with a huge heart. Among a group of very excited young girls, Mary stands out as one of the most enthusiastic. She can get excited about anything. Her eyes get wide and a huge smile emerges across her face. On a field trip to the Bomas (a historical site showcasing typical homes of different Kenyan tribes) Mary got excited from the bus ride alone. “Teacher, Teacher,” she proclaimed, eyes growing and glowing. “Look! Look!” Mary was staring out the window, pointing out the trees, animals, and various scenes that quickly passed by. Mary takes notice of everything, no matter how big or small. Mary also is an active class participant, always putting in extra effort to learn as much as she can. She wants to be a pilot some day, and one could imagine her looking down on the world with the same awe and excitement as when she looked out of that bus. Mary is loving and giving towards her teachers and peers. She is in touch with human emotion, making it easy to make a special connection with Mary. Mary can tell whenever someone is feeling sad, and she’ll be there to try and cheer that person up. (Maybe by performing “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, which she loves to sing… almost scream). With a thirst for learning, laughter, love, and life, Mary is immensely benefiting from the Kibera School for Girls, and KSG is benefiting from her too.
It’s easy to fall in love with Lensa from the moment you meet her. Never one to act shy, Lensa is welcoming and excited to meet new people. She always has an enormous smile on her face, and due to some recent lost teeth, that smile is even more adorable than usual. She can easily make friends and teachers laugh with a silly face or dance move. Lensa loves to have fun; during free time she can be seen outside playing games with her friends. She has been known to play jokes on friends and teachers, showing a sly sense of humor that will be sure to brighten up your day. Lensa was convinced that a KSG volunteer this past summer looked exactly like a previous KSG volunteer, so she would purposely call the new volunteer by the old volunteer’s name. This cracked Lensa up, and she always proclaimed, “you are sisters!” Lensa loves to sing, and she does so loudly and unapologetically. Even if she does not know the words, Lensa’s voice carries over all the other girls (and sometimes is a little off key… in an adorable way). But Lensa is very serious about learning, too. She is an extremely bright girl in every subject she studies. Lensa soaks up knowledge like a sponge, and can read at a level far beyond most girls in Pre-K. Lensa’s English teacher always comments about how excited she is to read stories out loud, and always understands the story after she is done. It is not a surprise that she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. With her intelligence, enthusiasm, and compassion Lensa could even be a teacher at KSG in the future! Lensa is energetic and enthusiastic no matter what she is doing. She has such a big heart and so much love to give. KSG has given her the opportunity to give that love and grow as a learner every day. Lensa is excelling at the Kibera School for Girls, and we are excited to see what will come from her in the future.
Marion is so adorable that it’s hard not to hug her at every moment. She is a little bit quiet and shy at first, but always has a huge smile on her face. Marion is very smart, and loses all shyness to become an active participant in class. The few times Marion does not know the answer, she pokes out her tongue and curls the sides of her lips. It’s hard to describe Marion without using the adjective sweet. No matter what, Marion is the sweetest girl. She never gets in trouble or makes a fuss about anything. Always easygoing, Marion will do whatever is asked of her. She is extremely kind to her teachers and peers, and sensitive towards the feeling of others. After lunch, Marion always cleans up not only her own dishes, but also the dishes of other girls who forgot to clean up. She does this without being asked and without expecting any reward or acknowledgement. Marion has an obvious love for laughter and life. During free time you can find her playing games or singing songs with other girls at KSG. And she does all of this with that big smile across her face. Marion has so much love to give and a continuous desire to learn. When she grows up, she wants to be a teacher. With her compassion and love for learning, Marion will be able to accomplish whatever she wants! The opportunities KSG has given her are sure to forever change the path of Marion’s life.
Mercy is a total ham. She’s one of the youngest and smallest girls at the school, but her personality packs a punch. When she started at KSG, she was extremely quiet and shy, to the point of concern from her teachers. There’s no trace of that quiet girl anymore. Mercy is loud, bubbly, and outgoing. In a lesson on Public Speaking, Mercy wrote and performed a wonderful speech about why she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. She confidently states, “A teacher teach others, give others presents, and don’t beat others.” Before KSG, Mercy never would have been able to stand up in front of a group of people and speak with such poise. Mercy us also very cuddly, offering hugs to her classmates and teachers without pause. Mercy loves to goof around. When a volunteer took a video of all the girls in her class saying their names, she pretended like she didn’t know what to do for a few seconds, then shouted “MERCY!” and cracked everyone up. She loves attention, and sometimes will call a teacher’s name when she doesn’t have anything to say—she just wants to smile at them. Mercy is benefiting immensely from KSG, and it’s already evident in her transformation from a painfully shy little girl to a girl who bursts with joy and energy.
Mishel is the smallest girl at the school, and everybody (including the teachers) calls her “Baby Mishel”—and sometimes just “Baby”. Contrary to her tiny size, she has an enormous personality. She shows off at her personality at every opportunity. Mishel is famous around the school for her funny faces. She never seems to make the same one twice… literally. In the many pictures of Mishel (she is the first to jump in front of any camera), she has dozens of silly faces: tongue sticking out, huge grin, open mouth, big eyes, the list goes on and on (picking just one picture of Mishel for this bio was almost impossible). There is only one consistent part of every picture: Mishel’s adorable dimples. She’s incredibly cuddly, and somehow always finds a lap to sit in. Mishel lives right next door to the school. Often when teachers or volunteers walk home from school, they wave hello to her as she’s playing outside. Mishel’s mom, who goes by “Mama Mishel”, is very young but loves her daughter fiercely. Everybody at KSG, teachers and students alike, adores Mishel. She’s an enthusiastic artist and very determined; she sticks out her tongue when she works and sometimes sings to herself, completely lost in her own world. Though she may be adorable and ham up the part of “Baby Mishel,” Mishel is definitely not a baby. She is a confident and intelligent young girl, who is excelling as a wonderful student at KSG.
Sarah is, for sure, one of the cutest girls in the Pre-K. She’s really spacey and always off in her own world, but she snaps back to reality and lets out her characteristic giggle as soon as you make a funny face or wave to her. When she’s not daydreaming, Sarah is probably playing a game or a joke on somebody. One especially funny thing she does is close her eyes and pretend she can’t see anything—she walks around the classroom, feeling her way and trying to pick things up as she goes. Sometimes she also pretends to fall asleep in the middle of lunch, and just passes out in her chair. She always has the teachers and the other girls in stitches. Although at first Sarah seems quiet and very shy, in truth she is definitely a goofball. She lives at Margaret’s Safe Place and has very sweet relationships with the other girls who live there, almost like sisters. Even given Sarah’s sometimes silly personality, she can be very serious. She is a hard worker and excels academically. Sarah loves to read, color, and learn. Sarah has an obvious beauty to her from the moment you see her; when you get to know Sarah, you realize that this beauty really comes from within. Sarah is extremely affectionate; even given her difficult life, she easily forms connections with others. Sarah will often hold your hand and just stare at you smiling. It’s hard not to stare back at her beauty and poise. Sarah is becoming stronger and more confident every day; there is no doubt that great things will come from her at KSG.
It’s best to always keep an eye on Selma, because if you turn away, she’ll be gone before you know it. She is one of the Pre-K’s chief troublemakers, but she does it in such an adorable way—she’s got the “who, me?” face down—that you can’t help but love her. Selma’s favorite thing to do is sing, and she’s great at it! When the girls sing together, her voice carries over the group. When they’re working on something else, she’ll often sing to herself. And when learning new songs, she’s incredibly quick to pick it up. She loves leading the group in call and response songs, and is an enthusiastic musician no matter what. When she’s not singing, Selma is bound to be dancing, playing games, or reading with her classmates. She especially looks up to the older girls at the school. Selma’s been known to disappear during her class’s free time, only to be found participating in the second grade’s activities. Her constant antics have her teachers and classmates in stitches. She’s got a quick smile, a quicker laugh, and is always a joy to spend time with. The joy Selma brings brightens KSG’s classrooms every day.
The girls at KSG play lots of games that involve one girl standing up and leading everybody in a song or dance. Sharon always jumps at the chance to be a leader, and sings and dances with sass that far outsizes her tiny self. She’s one of the youngest girls in the school, but more than makes up for it with personality. Sharon’s joyful (and loud) voice carries over all the other girls in the classroom, so she always stands out. Her funny faces and voices can make anybody laugh, and you can often catch her singing to herself as she works. Sharon’s bubbly demeanor brightens the halls of KSG every day. Not to say that she’s not concentrating—she’s very determined to do well and eagerly presents all of her work with a proud smile. When Sharon grows up, she wants to be a policeman. This is not surprising, considering her big personality. Sharon is always one to stand up for what she believes in. She puts an incredible amount of energy into everything she does–especially, to a hilarious effect, dancing. Sharon’s enthusiastic and over-the-top dance moves put the rest of the KSG girls to shame–a feat considering that all of the girls at the school are fantastic dancers. As long as Sharon stays on the same track she’s on now, she will continue to channel that energy towards growing into an incredible young woman.
Sheldan always has a smile on her face. She never whines or complains, and is happy to just hang out or play by herself while the other girls are running and yelling. She’s ready to play and will often tug at your shirt and raise up her hands, looking to play a hand game. Sheldan is pretty goofy from time to time. Just making a funny face is enough to make her laugh. Sheldan has a lot of imagination, and from time to time ends up off in her own world. She got lost on her way to school one day, and, after showing up a few hours late, just sat down and smiled like nothing had happened. And though she can be pretty shy, she’s super snuggly and never afraid to climb into a volunteer’s lap and make friends. Sheldan is very eager to learn, and is one of the best listeners in Pre-K. Sheldan is a hard worker, and always goes above and beyond when doing her work. In public speaking class, most students decided to write speeches about what they want to be when they grow up. Sheldan, however, decided to be different. She wrote and performed a speech about why she loves “pilau,” a typical dish of East Africa. She performed the speech with confidence and enthusiasm, exclaiming as loud as she could, “I like rice!” At 4 years old, Sheldan is the youngest student at KSG, but you wouldn’t know it. She is a voracious reader and a determined artist. Her great attitude makes her a great addition to KSG, and KSG’s vibrant atmosphere makes it the perfect place for her to grow.
Sofi is a little angel. She is quieter and more polite than the other girls, but so beautiful and sweet. She virtually never misbehaves, but she also never waves her hands around at her teacher to prove she is doing something good. For example, at lunch, the girls race to see who can finish their food first. Though she always finishes second or so (and purposefully eats quickly), she doesn’t scream, “Teacher! Teacher! Look! I am almost finishing!” Instead she quietly eats all her food, then shows her empty bowl to the teacher. Similarly, rather than whining about getting drawing paper during recess, she is more likely to grab a book off the shelf and read to herself. In KSG’s recent talent show, Sofi was her group’s fearless leader for their song at the performance. She was loud on her own (the leader in the call and response song), and it made all the other girls sing loudly. This was so impressive for a quiet girl in front of a big audience. KSG’s nurturing environment the perfect place for Sofi to grow into the beautiful, poised young woman she will surely be someday.
Teresa is such a cutie! She is very cuddly in the sweetest way. She misbehaves sometimes, but if you just pick her up and sit her on your lap and give her a big hug she changes and is the most adorable. Teresa loves to color and draw. She is quieter than many of the other girls. At the same time, she is often playful with the other girls. Teresa loves to learn, and this is obvious by the way she actively participates in class. During KSG Summer Camp, Teresa loved the activities where she was able to move and run around. She excelled at dance and sports. Teresa is also one of the best readers in the Pre-K class. She is also a very good speaker; she performed at wonderful speech about why she loves KSG in her public speaking class. KSG is helping Teresa immensely by giving her a place to come where she feels loved and is given one-on-one attention. We can’t wait to see the wonderful things Teresa will do in the future at KSG, and throughout the rest of her life.
Vallery is the best. That may sound silly, but there is really no other way to put it; she’s just the best. Vallery recently moved into the Margaret’s Safe Place, and has shown definite improvement since then. When she moved in, Vallery was shy, seemed traumatized, and would only talk when she was sitting on an adult’s lap. As time has passed, though, she has become loud and outgoing, an amazing transformation. Now, Vallery is always walking around with a big toothy smile. Vallery loves to color, and she is pretty good at it. She is special because she is so full of life and joy despite everything that has happened to her. KSG is benefiting her not only because she is getting an education, but also because the school has acted as a security net when she was moved into Margaret’s. With thanks to KSG, Vallery (and her big smile!) will continue to grow and develop into an amazing young woman.
Violet is one the loudest girls at KSG. She is very outgoing, and friendly to anyone who she meets. She is always looking for attention. She LOVES to play with legos, especially during lunch. She also loves to color and is always asking for more paper. Violet misbehaves sometimes, but it is only to get attention. She is happy to walk along in silence, as long as someone is holding her hand. Violet is very smart; but more than that, she is clever. Violet understands how to trick people, so you have to keep an eye on her. During lunch she sometimes hides her food under the table, just to try to trick her teachers that she is done. KSG, however, has helped Violet a lot; she is a lot more attentive and well-behaved than she used to be. KSG has helped her calm down and control herself. At the end of the day, Violet has a huge heart, and so much love to give. KSG allows her to give that love.