A passionate commitment
‘Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world’
Over many years Akamba, a unique Birmingham Garden Centre, have been supporting the Brainhouse Academy in Nairobi with small fundraising activities and personal support. This was support was started by Chris Canaan who had been visiting and working in Kenya for over 20 years.
Whilst working in the slums of Mathare Nairobi Chris came across a small school in need of desperate help, after talking to the headmaster about the schools immediate needs, it was decided that a full tummy was the right road to getting an education, on Chris’s return to the UK he started talking to his various business friends and lobbying his customers at Akamba to raise funds for the Brainhouse Academy, with the generous support of the Akamba customers money was reaching the school each month to buy the basics ( beans, rice and maize).
In May 2010 this became a much more significant relationship through the involvement of Liz Formby who inspired friends and family to make a difference as part of her fiftieth birthday celebrations. In a very short space of time a substantial amount of money was raised thanks to the generosity of the local community and the hard work of the school’s patrons and their friends here in the UK.
But a one-off initiative was not enough, and commitments were made to the children of Brainhouse Academy to support them over the longer term and so the registered charity, ACEF – Akamba Children’s Education Fund, was born. From this small start the school has come on leaps and bounds, it has electricity, running water, food a library and above all HAPPY STUDENTS.
Brainhouse Academy is a school crammed from wall to wall and floor to ceiling with 900 plus kids who have a passion for life and learning. The teachers who work at the school are amazing and work tirelessly to support their students – they are in loco parents, friends and coaches and are there for the kids no matter what they need. It is a school that treats obstacles as opportunities – it is an environment which simply inspires.
How we make a difference:
- provide better facilities, including clean water and power that will meet the needs of the children
- introduce sustainable horticulture to initiate a more balanced diet and feeding programme
- improve the children’s general health and wellbeing, supporting particular children with severe health needs
- provide a better standard of education through the introduction of creative education
- widen the children’s education to sport and art
- introduce links with UK schools and the voluntary sector
- connect the lives of these inspiring children with the lives of our amazing volunteers – enriching both.