By Enos Magaga, BEADS, Kenya
My experience in the Education Design Lab couldn’t come at any better time. Of its five well-thought principles, Taking Care of Vulnerability and Building Beloved Community has been of tremendous value for us at BEADS. We invest much in relationships as we believe that through well cultivated relationships we can join hands and rise against poor cultural practices that serve to impede the education of girls from vulnerable communities.
In my exchange with fellow teachers, educators and Springhouse staff, I discovered that there were many ways to build beloved community in BEADS schools, ways that ensure every person feels important and appreciated regardless of the diversities. Elements like games (name six game), songs, story-telling, poems and drama have played key roles in giving each student and teacher a voice. As teachers, we have also practiced the value of active and responsive listening as well as empathy in the process. We have made a pleasant discovery that people won’t listen and take you seriously till you show them how much you care. It is worth mentioning is that we have enjoyed peace and harmony in our schools despite the overwhelming unrest in schools around us.
I am so happy that the Education Design Lab did not only make an impact in me as an individual, but also in my students and colleagues. As a father, my discoveries in the Education Design Lab gave me deep insights in how to cultivate creativity in my seven year old daughter – by creating an atmosphere that reminds her that her ideas matter and it is okay to make mistakes. I am grateful to be a part of the Education Design Lab.