Kenya has been a focal point for a collaborative educational opportunity since the fall of 2008. The School of Education responded to a request from John Muhanji, the director of Friends Ministries in Africa, to assist with writing a curriculum for peace and conflict resolution for ninth-grade students in Quaker high schools. This request was prompted by the 2007 post-election violence in Kenya, which disrupted the country and displaced many people from their homes and communities.
Out of this violence, the Quaker high school leaders recognized an urgent need to have a curriculum that would promote peace and conflict resolution in their schools. The members of the George Fox team working on this curriculum have included Lon Fendall, Scot Headley, Linda Samek, Kristin Dixon, Ken Badley, Suzanne Harrison, Steve Cathers, Marc Shelton and Eloise Hockett.
During the course of 2009-10, various members of the George Fox team have made a total of five trips to Kenya to collaborate with teacher and principal leaders from the Quaker high schools and guide them in the writing of a 45-lesson peace curriculum. In addition to the curriculum writing, the George Fox faculty also have conducted professional development sessions and visited 15 of the more than 220 Quaker high schools. In August of 2009, Linda Samek and Eloise Hockett, along with six of the Kenyan leaders of this project, met with the Kenyan minister of education, who affirmed the need for such a curriculum and pledged his continued support for this project. The curriculum is currently being piloted in 15 selected Quaker high schools in Western Province.
The School of Education is pursuing additional opportunities for U.S. educators to collaborate with the Quaker schools in Kenya. For further information, contact Eloise Hockett at firstname.lastname@example.org.