The eighth site in the KPSP network, Anwa Junior Academy, is a primary school located in Lindi Village. Developed through a participatory process and engaging local youth to provide skilled labor, the project responds to the need for improved learning facilities in Kibera as a fundamental component of sustainable development.
Anwa Junior Academy is an informal school founded by a group of mothers in Kibera.
Beginning with just a handful of students and a rented room, over time the school grew in attendance and reputation, but the ramshackle buildings in which the classes were housed were cramped, dark and unsafe.
KDI worked with students and the school community to identify the amenities and infrastructure that would fulfil their needs and aspirations.
As well as co-designing the new school buildings with its end-users, we engaged an education partner specializing in informal schools to help develop the capacity and skills of the teaching staff, while Carpentry Academy trainees provided sustainably-produced furniture and fittings.
The new school building features wattle-and-daub mud walls and matabi (steel) sheeting to reference local Kiberan informal architecture.
The classrooms are fitted with bamboo shutters to improve light and ventilation, while toilet facilities, a new staff room, and living quarters accommodate the needs of students, visitors, and on-site staff. Outside a series of innovative sustainable water management solutions, including rainwater harvesting, permeable pavement, and an underground stormwater detention tank made of upcycled plastic crates, help protect the school and surrounding neighborhood from flooding.
The new school building has been operational since 2017, providing a flexible and pleasant learning environment for 400 children ranging from 2-14 years.
The school's inimitable founder and principal Ann Wambui says: “Now, we feel we have the best school – the best structure, the best design, with the best materials. The kids will be focused on their classes. There will be an atmosphere of learning.”