Kenya’s first female elected to parliament from the North Eastern Province, Sophia Abdi Noor, visited St Edward’s Church of England Primary School on Friday (November 9) to take part in a lesson in which Year 6 pupils linked up with their peers at Kanyuambora School in Kenya.
The Romford and Kenyan schools have been paired through the Department for International Development and British Council’s Connecting Classrooms initiative. As part of the scheme, Year 6 teacher Rosanna Goldstein visited the Kanyuambora School in February this year.
Ms Noor was in the UK for the Female MPs of the World event at Westminster the day before (Thursday, November 8) and she joined a lesson in which both schools took part in a lesson on equality through a live video link.
Passionate about human rights, and particularly in championing women’s rights, the Ijara MP recently won the Pride of Africa Women Award at a summit in Nambia which is aimed at strengthening political understanding of women’s role in conflict prevention and post-conflicts peace building.
After hearing about her 20 year battle to become an MP, many of the St Edward’s pupils had questions for her.
Ms Noor told the students how she became a teacher after leaving school and launched a non-profit organisation because some of the classes I taught didn’t have classrooms, desks or water.”
“I wanted to do more than the charity work, so I asked for people to vote for me so that I could serve them as my MP,” she explained.
Despite winning enough votes, she revealed how she was denied the seat due to discrimination, but fought for 20 years before finally being able to take up her place in the Kenyan parliament.