Nairobi’s slums are home to thousands of potential high school students. Until the birth of New Dawn Educational Centre in Huruma in 2004, several of these students would not have had an opportunity for a high school education. Local educator Irene Tongoi has provided the visionary leadership for New Dawn, which now offers 160 students a world-class high school education. New Dawn also operates a medical clinic for the students and surrounding community.
The school engages in several income-generating activities and sustainable practices to help offset its operational costs. New Dawn is powered with solar energy, and has a rain catchment system that provides irrigation water for the vegetable gardens and greenhouse, a pumping station that purifies water from the nearby river, and a bio-digester that turns cow dung into methane gas to heat meals.
Several New Dawn graduates have gone on to receive university educations, and others have returned to the community to volunteer at New Dawn as teachers and library aids. One has even established a local elementary school for the younger children in the community.