Nairobi, Kenya

Thanks to The Mugumo Project and Jessie Hagan, Open Hands Project was able to participate in our first international direct-media exchange program! Students at Reidsville Middle School in Reidsville, NC learned about Kenya and then put together videos to introduce themselves to secondary school students at the Early Bird Academy outside of Nairobi, and to show them around their school.

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Then Early Bird students blew them away with a detailed video response and challenged them to get even more creative. Round two included demonstrations of sports and the American students’ favorite childhood games. It was a riot to film, and students at both schools developed a deeper understanding and respect for each other and the differences between their schools. Particularly poignant were the Reidsville students who marveled and envied how open to the outdoors and the natural world Early Bird was, and how the Early Bird students were in awe of the facilities at Reidsville, though it is one of the poorest performing and lowest funded schools in the county.

The end of the year came too quickly, but both schools hope to renew and extend the exchange during the next academic year.

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