Brookhouse School award King Constantine Medal to Claude Mulindi

By Katie on 08/11/2017

Brookhouse School proudly awarded the King Constantine Medal to Claude Mulindi for his leadership on the Anniversary Challenge at Brookhouse School.

Claude identified the learning gap in hearing impaired children and recognized the need for additional learning and communication support for these students. He was also concerned about the stigma in Kenya surrounding hearing impairment and wanted to combat this.

"Life is pretty tough for everyone in rural villages in Kenya." says Claude "But it is even more challenging for the deaf as they have little or no support for their disability and often face intolerance from their society. We wanted to ensure that deaf children are appreciated as equals. For our anniversary challenge project we aimed to provide the deaf children with better experience of the basic right that is education."

As a starting point, Claude and his team initiated an inter-schools discussion at the Global Issues Service Summit (or GISS) conference in Nairobi in February 2017. "This motivated us and students from other Nairobi schools to initiate activities to support the hearing impaired in rural schools around Kenya."

"We knew one of the greatest hurdles to a better understanding of the deaf children was our difficulty in communicating with them. So, we decided as the Year 12 class at Brookhouse to undertake a sign language course which saw 100 students learn the beginners to intermediate Kenyan sign language curriculum, equipping them with lifelong communication skills."

This course lasted 6 months and allowed the entire Year 12 class to have the skills necessary to communicate with deaf children in rural Kajiado, where the Brookhouse student team would spend the two weeks of the school's annual service project retreat. 

The culmination of their efforts was the Kajiado retreat; a service learning project that Brookhouse has run for the past five years, modelled on an 'RSIS' experience. The Year 12 class spent two weeks living and working with the children of Ilbissil Primary School, an impoverished rural community school, 200 kms south of Nairobi.

"We spent the two weeks interacting with deaf children at the school, carried out a complete renovation of the hearing impaired unit, painted visual education murals on the walls and constructed new tables and benches for the classrooms. We also donated an interactive DVD and books to aid the teachers with their teaching."

Brookhouse intend to continue the initiative and to continue to teach sign language at their school. You can find out more about Brookhouse's Round Square Anniversary Challenge here.

Claude is no stranger to service, he took part in the RSIS Big Build Project in Nepal 2016.

"I had always had a longing to participate in an RSIS but this particular project was even closer to me. My best friend lived in Kathmandu before the earthquake and his stories and description of the city left me longing to one day visit it. So when the opportunity came up I did not hesitate to cease it." Claude explains "The magnitude of the earthquake and the severity of the damage made me want to help the Nepalese in whatever capacity I could. This coupled with previous accounts of RSIS projects in Peru and South Africa from my peers left me longing to go for the project."

He joined a team of Round Square students from across the globe to help re-build a school in Nepal destroyed during the earthquake in 2015. Students took it in turns to lead on the project.

"The RSIS project showed me that service is more than just giving and not feeling sorry for others but creating a better conducive environment for all." he explains "It taught me servant leadership and humility in the way I approach leading groups and in this I felt it made me a more compassionate leader."

"We are very proud of Claude, he has been involved in many school projects, has expressed his leadership skills, leading from the front in both sports and service activities." says Brookhouse's Round Square Rep, Willie Ng'ang'a. 

Claude was presented the King Constantine Medal by Hon. Mutahi Kagwe, a tenured Kenyan politician at Brookhouse's Annual Presentation.

Claude will graduate from Brookhouse School in July 2018, and plans to study Electrical Engineering at either the University of British Columbia, University of Toronto or Vanderbilt University, USA. After his studies Claude hopes to return to Kenya after University to make an impact in the renewable energy sector.

Due to the long travel to Nepal on his own, Claude is now very confident and able to travel to any destination in the world by himself. Before Nepal, Claude had never flown on his own.

"I fully believe my time on the RSIS Big Build project has equipped me with the tools I need to be a global citizen." says Claude "I have already seen it yielding its fruits in my school life and as I prepare to join University I look forward to applying all the values I have learned in meeting and interacting with new people, as well as in any position of leadership that I will take on."