Documentaries, Storytelling & Travels
Miche Bora is the name of a Primary School located in one of the most deprived suburbs of Mombasa (Kenya). In Swahili, this means ‘excellent sprouts’, suggesting the prospect of growth, progress and a blossoming future.
Miche Bora is now 12 years old, but it would not have been possible to even get to this point, had it not been for the work and dedication of two lovely, capable people. Originally from the UK, Rita and Geoff were enjoying a holiday in Kenya when, on one fortuitous day, they were taken to visit this particular school in an area where tourists are not often seen.
Rita, a former teacher and her husband Geoff, a retired civil engineer, were immediately touched by the poor conditions of the school which, at that time, was hosting 17 children and two teachers in two classrooms. That was the moment when the seed of a beautiful story was planted – a story that would soon grow way beyond those few young sprouts.
In 2010, the school moved to a new rented building with four classes, by which time Miche Bora counted 100 children and 5 teachers in its number. Within only a few years, the number of students had reached 175 and the school had outgrown the space available. No other building in the area was suitable, so Rita and Geoff took on the challenge of the local bureaucracy and eventually succeeded in buying a plot of land and started building a brand new school.
In Kenya, even government schools are often overcrowded, with anything from 80 to 120 students per class. The main goal for Rita and Geoff was to limit the number of students in each class to 25. In a country where only 30% of disadvantaged 14 year old children have reached the level of education expected of an 8 year old, it’s easy to imagine the importance of an education of quality. At the end of 2020, the school was completed.
Now, 300 children are divided across 11 classes. At Miche Bora, not only do the children learn, but they receive a meal, they have access to clean and fully functioning facilities and even a clinic.
What started as a hope, is now a reality: the sprouts are growing – they are building solid roots and keep on blossoming.
Find out more at the Mustard Seed Project website.
As a photographer, of course I aimed to discover every corner of this incredible town from different angles and light conditions. Hence, I found myself joining guided tours, accepting invitations into people’s houses and walking around town at all times of the day and night. All this gave me plenty of opportunities to blend in an environment which became more and more familiar to me. Some years later I went back to Matera and I had the privilege to also visit Grottole, a small, semi-deserted, fascinating town on one of the nearby hills. A few photographs are also displayed in this gallery.
My passion for these places and photography, led me to create customised photographic tours which are available upon request.
If you are curious to find out more about my adventure in Matera and my approach to traveling, feel free to read Eliana’s testimonial here.