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Veronica Nduku


When I observed the children of my school working creatively during the workshop with the German design students, seeing them participate with dedication and concentration, it made me wonder what the value of our educational system actually is. Do we really get the most out of education or are we sort of subjected and brain washed, following a system that we hardly benefit from and that is tailored in a very special, one-dimensional way?

This reflection emerged in my awareness after realizing that truly all kids are talented in one way or another. It reminded me of a famous story in which all animals that populate our world are called for a test. The story goes that it was to be discovered which animal climbs a tree the fastest.The monkey and the cheetah arose as the best. Fish, oyster and whale were incapable of climbing the trunk, thus the sea animals are considered to be lazy and stupid. In the same one-dimensional way our educational system judges the capabilities of our children. If the sea animals had been given a chance to swim, their true nature and strength would have become obvious.

I saw how this co-creation project brought out the best in some of the children and how that proves our educational system wrong. These children, usually being slow in class, suddenly were able to concentrate and I could see their determination and focus while making and designing amazing crafts from recycled waste products.

Directly after the project, I started to integrated art classes in my school. With the support of Caren Moraa, an artisan and manufacturer, those kids who are interested come together and make different products using techniques as braiding, beadwork and weaving. I am very confident that this work will empower and boost the children’s self esteem, hence bringing out the best in them, that our education system is failing to do.

I am very grateful for the workshop and the insights it offered  all of us and I am looking forward to continue the collaboration with Susanne Stauch in the future, working on opportunites of how to become more independent as a school, whether it is by making and selling art & design objects or by growing our own food.

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