Nairobi, Africa

A schoolchild at KwaNjenga Primary decorated for the Festival.

The link between Tallaght and Mukuru goes back to 2003, when a team of students and staff at IT Tallaght first visited the Nairobi slum to work as volunteers on the creation of a Street Festival and Carnival to mark the official opening of KwaNjenga Primary School, built with funds from Ireland.

The volunteers from Ireland, coordinated by Wexford based Street Theatre Company, ‘BuíBolg’, travelled to Nairobi at their own expense to work with teachers and children at the school. The team created colourful traditional African costumes with the children, with stilt-walking puppets and elaborate and bizarre figures and floats for the parade. Based on African tribal folklore, the children performed a number of music and dance routines for guests at the school, before parading out into the surrounding slum streets, transforming the area into a blaze of colour and sound, and introducing an exciting festive atmosphere into the grim reality of life in the slums.

Nairobi, Africa/ Moshi, Tanzania, Kilimanjaro

IT Tallaght students, Keith Mooney and Séanda Long, on the final slope to the summit of Kilimanjaro.

The following year, a team of staff and students again visited east Africa, accompanied by Councillors and staff from South Dublin County Council, took part in an expedition to climb Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest peak at 5,985mtrs. The 2004 expedition was organised to raise sponsorship for educational projects in the Mukuru slums.

In this way the bond was created between the Mukuru and Tallaght communities, leading to the foundation of the Harambee Education Programme in 2006.