Pics of the lovely Aga Khan Nursery School. More photographs at the blog.
Nikhil Agarwal writes about his experience working at CHD in Mombasa.
So, I’m working at the Community Health Department (CHD) of the Aga Khan Health Service on the campus of the Aga Khan Hospital in Mombasa. CHD is a small organization, just under 20 staff and..well..no budget! Quite a drastic change when you come from an organization with 12,000 staff and a $1.5 billion budget. I have to bring my own pens to work with me here. Like many other NGO’s we are solely dependent on grants for our funding, and unlike some other NGO’s under the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) we do not receive any type of funding from AKDN or the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF). While being independent of AKDN/AKF is a source of great pride, it is also comes with some risk. You see, CHD is currently wrapping up a major grant that has basically been sustaining the organization for the past 4 years. It was a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to implement a Community Based Health Information System (CBHIS) in one of the poorest districts in Kenya – Kwale District. Basically, we want to modernize the system from paper to electronic while also providing a comparison for the health information that is collected at a higher level. CHD has done a lot, kinda like the little engine that could.
Residents of Mombasa City commemorated this year’s World Environment Day with a tree planting ceremony at Mombasa’s infamous Haller Park.
Representation from the Ismaili community was organized by the Ismaili Youth and Sports Committee headed by Councilor Al-sayeeda Suwani.
The community was represented by the President of the Aga Khan Council Mombasa, Mrs. Narmin H. Somji and the Hon. Secretary Mr. Zaher Bhanji, along with other councilors, Ismaili Volunteer Corps and Jamati members, both young and old joined forces with the youth from across Mombasa in planting indigenous species of trees at the Haller Park on Saturday 7th June 2008.
Coastweek – - Mombasa has enjoyed the rare privilege of listening to an inspirational talk by a leading motivational speaker and management consultant, Azim Jamal. The event took place at the Diamond Jubilee Hall, at the Aga Khan Sports Club on Friday 13th June 2006.
The talk was part of the year long celebrations organised by the Ismaili Community in Mombasa, to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of His Highness the Aga Khan’s inauguration.
DOCUMENTARY FILM ABOUT AGA KHAN AND ISMAILIS
Coastweek – - An Islamic Conscience: The Aga Khan And The Ismailis – Film Mombasa: 4:30 p.m., Saturday, June 21, 2008.
The acclaimed groundbreaking documentary film ‘An Islamic Conscience’ makes its Kenyan debut in Mombasa on Saturday, June 21, 2008.
Born into a world of wealth and privilege, H.H. the Aga Khan devotes his life to eliminating poverty and inequality.
A religious leader who traces his ancestry back to the Prophet Muhammad, he struggles to balance the traditional with the modern.
For the past five decades, the Aga Khan has been the spiritual leader and Imam of the 15 million Ismaili Muslims in a world that has changed dramatically.
From the end of colonialism and the expulsion of the Asians in Uganda to the fall of the Iron Curtain and 9/11, the Aga Khan has struggled for a common humanity in a divided world.
Securing a rare and exclusive interview with the Aga Khan in the year of his Golden Jubilee, Bill Cran (multiple Emmy-award winning Director) and Shamir Allibhai have completed a two-year passion project to make the first documentary on the Aga Khan in over forty-five years.
Talks on healthy life-style given by eminent doctors
Coastweek – - THE Cardiac Support Group will be holding a “Healthy Heart Fair”, the very first of its kind in Mombasa.
Chairlady of the Group, Mrs. Munira Bhaiji, her members, Dr. Vinesh Vaghela with his team of doctors and nurses were buoyed by the success of their Heart Camp for the underprivileged which was held at the Aga Khan Hospital last year.
The highlight of the function is Talks on ‘Awareness of healthy life-style’, given by eminent doctors.
A variety of Companies from Nairobi and Mombasa are displaying their products for sale.
Participating at this Fair are Pwani Oil, Bio-yogurt, Forever Living, Healthy U, Khosla’s Farm, Nyali Health Club and catering by Nila from Cafe Noche will bring up a unique healthy heart menu, to follow up on the theme of the evening.
On-the-spot tests, BMI tests and others will be conducted during the Fair.
Please do not miss this opportunity.
Entrance is free to this fair which will be held on Sunday, April 27 at the Diamond Jubilee Hall from 5p.m. onwards.
The talk will be held from 7 to 8p.m.
Coastweek – - H. H. Prince Aga Khan Shia Imami Ismaili Council for Mombasa have hosted a most successful Milad-e-Shariff celebration in Mombasa under the banner of Ismaili Women’s Committee.
Both brothers and sisters of the Ummah attended this historical first Milad at the Aga Khan Sports Club Mombasa.
The Program commenced with the recitation of the Tilawat-e-Quran.
Next, Mr Shiraz D Alibhai, the Regional Vice-Chairman of the Madrassa Early Childhood Development Program made the introductions where he mentioned that The President of H.H.
Prince Aga Khan Council of Mombasa, Narmin Hanif Somji is the First Lady President in 130 years of institutional presence in Mombasa, and that this event was very historical as it comes during the 25 years celebration of The Madrassa Early Childhood Development Programme, which was celebrated in this very hall in the Presence of His Highness the Aga Khan in August, 2007.
AGA KHAN ACADEMY
Students attended a Model
U.N. debate in South Africa
Coastweek – - In the spirit of fundraising, teachers at the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa auctioned their services to raise funds for students that attended a Model United Nations debate in Cape Town, South Africa.
The event provided an opportunity for parents, students and faculty to bid on packages offered by teachers.
Items up for bid included an exclusive photo shoot, a family portrait sketched on wood and a VIP lunch served and hosted by the Head of Senior School.
The event was a great success, raising over KShs 80,000 for those students who attended the debate in South Africa.
The students were selected in a merit-based, means-blind process and competed against the top nine teams from South Africa, five teams from the United States, three teams from the United Kingdom, three teams from Kenya and one team from Ethopia.
Overall, the Aga Khan Academy did very well, finishing in third place.
Annual ‘Survivors Day”
Sitting [from left] Rukiya, Abigail, Nafisa, Naaz, Papi, Beckie, Raksha and Mrudula. Standing [from left] Gulbanu, Ajabu, Zehra, Jedida, Antoinette and Sultana.
Coastweek – - The Breast Cancer Awareness Support Group of The Aga Khan Hospital, Mombasa has been functioning since 2000.
It is a volunteer organization that works under the umbrella of the Aga Khan Hospital, Mombasa.
Currently it has 18 members who work tirelessly to spread awareness of Breast Cancer; a number of the members are breast cancer survivors
The Free Breast Camp is one of the many free health clinics that The Aga Khan Hospital holds every year as part of its corporate social responsibility.
This year a total of 900 women and 10 men were screened and 30 survivors attended the annual ‘Survivors Day”.
A big thank you to all our supporters. A Big thank you to all who have made this to become a success.
Coastweek – - Saturday November 3rd 2007 was a day of Social Event with a twist, where 54 Ismaili students from 9 different schools in Mombasa attended a Youth Empowerment Session at the Aga Khan Academy.
This was part of an activity to mark the Golden Jubilee Year of His Highness The Aga Khan.
The aim of the day was to empower and bring together the youth aged 13 to 20 years.
The session consisted of three stations, activity, drama and physical fitness.
Participants were divided into three groups, who were given the opportunity to visit all three stations.
The activity station brought about awareness of working together as a team and the benefits it derives from exchange of ideas and thoughts gained rather than single minds.
It taught them how to work as a team and brought awareness of benefits one can derive with exchange of ideas and thoughts as a team than individually. Participants got the opportunity to interact with each other and fellowship was attained.
Skills of leadership, balance of life, concentration and listening to others were also portrayed.
A used forum theatre, Brazilian technique, to engage students in discussion about social issues that affect the youth was part of the drama station.
Emphasis of physical fitness in daily life was the theme of the third station whereby the Youth were put through their paces physically both in a cardio and weights capacity with a message ‘A Healthy Body creates a Healthy Mind’.
The group took a break for lunch, in an informal environment allowing them to socialize with the organizers, facilitators and fellow participants.
Aspiring speeches continued after lunch which was followed by a cultural movie ‘Colour of Paradise’, which illustrated theme of different cultures.
Newly launched Programme for Continuous Education
Coastweek – - The Aga Khan Health Service Kenya’s Community Health Department Holds a Successful Training Course “On Managing a Health Facility”
Held at the Milele Beach Hotel between 8th – 26th October 2007, this three weeks course was geared towards health managers and participants came from all over Kenya with one international participant from Tajikistan.
The course introduced them to management principles, effective and efficient practices in management of health services by managing people, assets, finances and health services.
This course is part of the newly launched Programme for Continuous Education and plans are in place to offer the same course next year in August.
Provincial Medical officer Coast, Dr Anderson Kahindi receives a bouquet of flowers from the Community Health Director while Mrs Narmin Somji, the President of the Aga Khan Council Mombasa looks on.
Additional courses to be introduced in the next year will include Community Based Health Development to be introduced in March 2008 and Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Surveillance in June 2008.
“They say if you want to fight an enemy, the best strategy is to learn and know about the enemy inside out”.
This is the singular reason why the Coast Chapter of Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) institution held a thematic Quiz Afternoon on 16th of August 2007 at Mombasa Serena Hotel to fight a common enemy, HIV/AIDS under the auspices of Network Facilitation Team (NFT), Coast.
A view of thematic quiz contestants at the Serena Beach Hotel and Spa, Mombasa North Coast.
The Quiz, (the first one of its kind) was largely based on HIV/AIDS competence and dwelt on transmission, prevention, care and support of PLWA, treatment and KAP (knowledge, attitude and practice) behavior.
It involved both peers and peer educators.
The participants were drawn from AKDN Coast Institutions i.e. Kamyn Industries, Nation Media Group, Aga Khan Hospital, Mombasa, Community Health Department (CHD), EMACK, and Mombasa Serena Beach Hotel.
The panelists came from APHIA(Aids, Population, Health Integrated Assistance) II, Coast.
The crossfire session was both competitive and rich with fun.
Great lessons were shared and the participants agreed to make it an annual event owing to its significance in fighting the pandemic.
Speech by Salim Bhatia
Salim Bhatia’s welcoming remarks, Mombasa
Mombasa Residential Campus Foundation-Stone Laying Ceremony
August 14, 2007
Chief Guest: The Honourable Professor George Saitoti,
Honourable Members of Parliament,
The Provincial Commissioner,
Your Worship the Mayor,
It is my great pleasure to welcome you today to this Ceremony for the residential campus of the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa.
I am particularly happy to welcome our Chief Guest, the Honorable Professor George Saitoti, Minister for Education for Kenya, and salute his role in the development of the Government’s policy to provide free primary and now free secondary education in Kenya.
At this time, we envisage a network of 18 campuses across 14 countries in East Africa, South and Central Asia, and the Middle East. Once fully developed, the network of Aga Khan Academies will be teaching 20,000 students who possess the potential to become future leaders of civil society. The 505 students at the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa are at the front of that line. A first step in the process of developing the network of Academies is to make the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa the best school possible since it serves as the flagship for the others that will follow. Our first cohort of students took their International Baccalaureate Diploma exams in June, and they performed well. Their overall average was nearly two points above the global average. 2 of the 22 students who took the exams scored in the top 3% of the 180,000 students globally, and 4 of the 22 scored in the top 10%. We are proud of their accomplishments and of the quality of education they received at this school. A remarkable aspect of this achievement is that very few of the faculty who taught these successful students had prior experience teaching the International Baccalaureate curriculum. Through their dedicated hard work and the Academy’s strong commitment to professional development, our faculty has become accomplished teachers as measured by a global standard.
I am proud to congratulate our faculty and school leaders on this occasion.
The Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa, swim team is one of the top teams in Kenya and includes two national champions. The Academy’s extensive community service program has established vital links to neighboring communities.
While the IB Diploma results provide an objective, globally based measure of our students’ academic performance and while their athletic prowess can be measured by record-breaking times and winning scores, ultimately we hope that the qualities that are harder to measure – qualities of strong ethical leadership, self-discipline, a pluralistic outlook, and civic responsibility — are those that will distinguish Aga Khan Academy graduates.
Clearly, His Highness’s commitment to establishing this broad network of world-class schools represents an enormous investment of material and human resources. This commitment stems from the conviction that provided a world-class education, exceptional students from any background can fully achieve their significant potential and in so doing improve their lives, the lives of their families, their communities, their country, and the world. Continue reading
Speech by His Highness the Aga Khan
Remarks by His Highness the Aga Khan
at the Commemoration of the 25th Anniversary
of the Madrasa Programme
Mombasa – 14 August 2007
The Honorable Noah Wakesa, Minister for Science and Technology
Honourable Minister Haroun Suleiman
Leaders of the Ummah
My thanks go out to all of you – not only for joining us here today, but for making this day possible. For some of you, this event marks the culmination of a 25 year story – a story that began with the sowing of some very small but well selected seeds a quarter of a century ago – seeds which took root and now have blossomed into an educational success story which can serve as an inspiring example to educators everywhere.
As you know, I have completed 50 years as Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims. Sometimes it’s not so easy these days to remember all the way back to 1957. But I have no problem at all remembering my initial meetings 25 years ago here in Mombassa with the Ummah leadership – with leaders of the Aga Khan Foundation, and with others of you who shared what was then an innovative insight. You shared a conviction that the way in which children are educated in their earliest years is a key which can unlock the doors of opportunity for the rest of their lives.
A deep concern for Knowledge – and the best ways of sharing Knowledge – goes back to the very roots of the Islamic tradition. When we think of our proud educational traditions, however, we often think first about the great Universities and Libraries which became centers of Islamic culture down through the centuries – including in our time the Aga Khan University which now has teaching centres in eight different countries. Or we think of schools which prepare students for university life – as our Aga Khan Academy programme is designed to do.
But we sometimes give too little attention to the schools which prepare young children for life itself – in all of its holistic dimensions. And yet the evidence accumulates steadily showing that an investment made in the earliest, pre-school years can bring enormous dividends as a child proceeds from one level of education to another.
We have particularly strong evidence that this has been the case for the Madrasa programme in this community – and in the other communities and the other countries to which these concepts now have spread. From the seed that was planted here in the Coastal Region some 25 years ago – when Bi-Swafiya Said received her grant from the Aga Khan Foundation – the East African Madrasa Programme has grown to include 203 pre-schools, with nearly 800 teachers, reaching some 30,000 households and serving more than 54,000 children. This is truly an inspiring story.
It is also important to note some additional distinctions concerning this program. One is the Programme’s pluralistic, inclusive approach – embracing Muslim and non-Muslim children alike – and helping all of them to learn important lessons about diversity. Indeed, it is good to see that parents of different faiths are represented on the School Management Committees.
It is striking that modern neuro-sciences have demonstrated that long before the age of 6, children are aware of the different cultural backgrounds amongst each other in their classes. It is thus before that age that pluralism can be instilled as a life value.
Another point worth noting is the rigour with which quality has been assured – with strong Madrasa Resource Centres helping to set goals and standards, and rewarding their achievement through a school graduation program. The progressive nature of this programme is also evident in the fact that women have played such a large part in its success – and that young girls make up such a significant part of the pre-school population. And I would point out as well that the programme’s success has occurred largely among poor, rural populations – where both the needs and the obstacles are often greatest. Our challenge now will be to ensure the programme’s sustainability – and its replicability.
We gather today, then, in a spirit of enormous gratitude – to the Pioneers who led this effort, the Ummah and Jamat leadership, the donor community, the government leaders who have been involved, and so many dedicated volunteers – from the very beginnings of the programme right down to the present day. In the end, the story of the Madrasa Programme has been a story of personal commitment.
And we know that the story must go on. The dream will continue to unfold. And the work which all of you have been doing will continue to resonate in the thousands of lives you have touched and shaped—and in the lives of their children and grandchildren.
FOR AGA KHAN ACADEMY, MOMBASA
Coastweek – - Honourable Professor George Saitoti,
Minister for Education laying the Foundation Stone
for The Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa, Residential
Campus in the presence of His Highness The Aga Khan.
PHOTO – REAZ D. ALIBHAI
At The Aga Khan Sports Centre, Mombasa
Coastweek – - On His arrival at The Aga Khan Sports
Centre, Mombasa to celebrate 25 years of the
Madrasa Regional Programme, His Highness The
Aga Khan is seen being introduced to Madrasa Reg-
ional Committee Chairman Dr. Farouk Topan [right],
by Aga Khan Foundation East Africa Chairman Al
Karim Dawood [centre].
COASTWEEK PHOTO – REAZ D. ALIBHAI
Story by JEFF OTIENO
Publication Date: 8/17/2007
Children recite the letters of the alphabet under the watchful eye of three youthful teachers.
It is the first day for a number of children who seem to be mesmerised with all the work and play, but it is business as usual for others who have spent almost a year at the institution.
That is a typical day at Istiqama Nursery School, about 14 kilometres from Mombasa Town.
The school, the size of a standard two-bedroom house, accommodates 70 children aged between two and eight years
They are the beneficiaries of the Madrasa Pre-School Programme, which has helped to transform education among the Muslim population in East Africa.
The programme was initiated by the Aga Khan following a request for help by Muslim leaders in Coast Province after years of poor performance in national examinations.
Since its inception, first in Kenya and later spreading to Tanzania and Uganda, the programme has benefited thousands of children.
A teacher gives a lesson to pupils at a Madrasa Pre-School centre in Mombasa. Photos/WILLIAM OERI
The programme, currently in its 25th year, has come a long way since the idea of establishing a unique system of education to act as a bridge between secular and religious education, was initiated back in the early 1980s.
The programme’s silver jubilee coincides with the golden jubilee celebrations of the Aga Khan as the head of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, a responsibility bestowed on him on July 11, 1957 at the tender age of 20 years.
Story by JEFF OTIENO
Publication Date: 8/15/2007
A multi-million shilling residential campus was inaugurated at the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa yesterday.
Social progress can be greatest when aristocracies of class give way to aristocracies of talent or meritocracies – Aga Khan.
The Aga Khan is greeted by pupils from the Aga Khan Foundation’s madrassa programme at a function in Mombasa yesterday to celebrate 25 years since the inception of the programme. Photo/WILLIAM OERI
Construction of the campus launched by the Aga Khan, makes the academy the model of a series of top-level institutions to be built in more than 14 countries in Africa and Asia.
The spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims said the academies programme will be rolled out in other countries to create a network of institutions offering high quality education.
The Aga Khan said students will enter the academies programme solely on merit irrespective of their financial resources or family background.
“Our central hope for the programme is that when students leave the academies, they will move to high quality universities and then to positions of social leadership,” said the Aga Khan.
Earlier, the spiritual leader attended Silver Jubilee celebrations of the Madrasa Pre-School Programme which has helped transform education in Coast Province, at the Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Hall.
The Aga Khan said early childhood education was important in unlocking the potential of pupils at an early age.
He noted the sharing of knowledge can be traced to roots of Islam. The spiritual leader urged the public to give more attention to schools which prepared young children for future life.
“Evidence accumulates steadily showing that an investment made in the earliest, pre-school years can bring enormous dividends as a child proceeds from one level of education to another,” he added.
Speaking at the Academy grounds, Education minister George Saitoti commended the Aga Khan for his efforts to boost provision of quality education.