Unlocking the Power of Stories
Kenya Human Rights Commission commissioned ‘Attack of the Shidas' by Muthoni Muchemi in the aftermath of 2007/8 Post Election Violence in Kenya. It features young children addressing community conflict, part of our work to teach and stimulate conversations about peace and national cohesion among children. In keeping with this theme, our partnership with UN Habitat led to ‘In The Land of the Kitchen’, a story that provides a platform for discussions about conflict resolution among young readers.
Every year, we hold The National Read Aloud Day, the largest gathering of Kenyan Children reading aloud from the same text at the same time in multiple locations. It is held on the last Friday of January and on or around the Day of the African Child (June 16th). In 2016, more than 200,000 students from 1,097 schools across 44 counties took part. They read from the KHRC-commissioned ‘Attack of the Shidas’ under the theme ‘Reading Aloud for Peace and National Cohesion’.
Our collaboration with UN Habitat led to 'The Matatu From Watamu That Drove Into The Sea', which tackles marine conservation. A musical theatre production based on the book was performed as a pilot in May 2010 with children from Arya Primary in Ngara, a school that serves children from a low income area.
At the Storyhippo Club, we use stories to teach life skills and bring books to life through exciting art forms such as storytelling, arts and crafts, dance and drama. Our stories act as a vehicle for teaching Curiosity, Critical thinking, Confidence, and Creativity.
The Storyhippo creative arts programme offers young readers a chance to have fun with books through music, dance, and drama. They are rewarded for their reading prowess and encouraged to explore stories alongside their peers. Children take part in creative writing workshops with a chance to publish their own book. It is an immersive experience that children greatly enjoy, spanning the length of the writing process for young book lovers.
Our goal is to equip people with the skills they need to successfully produce work to world-class standards. In line with this, writers, editors and illustrators have been trained by our team, raising the bar across the industry. Of note is our transition to book illustrations that are works of art, holding their own relation to illustrators of global repute.
With the introduction of the competence based curriculum (CBC), there has been a great need to inform teachers about what it requires of them. Our training sessions for ECD (Early Childhood Development) teachers across Kenya have gone a long way in unpackaging the CBC, making them more confident in their delivery of new curriculum content.
Over the years, we have held writing courses both online and offline. These equip upcoming writers with the craft skills they need to tell compelling tales and are in line with our commitment to raising the calibre of writing in the region.