Hopping aboard Noah’s Ark


Photo courtesy Noah’s Ark Academy  

InterestEng. unexpectedly found Noah’s Ark last summer and happily hopped aboard. On this present-day Ark in Kenya are some 100 children who, for the first time, are receiving a good education, 1 good meal a day, and the vision and means of learning to work hard and help themselves.  



“All that was needed was a revolution of mind and attitude; for them to learn to recognize and under- stand how best to utilize the qualities they possess. To make them start to think differently about them- selves in order for them to become masters of their own destinies.”
— Churchill Butalia 


Photos above: children at Noah’s Ark Academy learning hand, word games with Skype tutor.


     Noahs Ark Academy was started about 10 years ago by a re- markable gentleman, Mr. Churchill Butalia, who has been untir- ing in his efforts to help his country. In addition to the academy, his work includes providing local communities with the skills and equipment needed to solve the problems that have kept people so long impoverished. The goal is self-reliance and long term well-being, including programs to conserve and restore local ecosystems. 

     In our years of working with schools around the world, we have seen tremendous courage and determination everywhere. And yet, Noahs Ark Academy has stood out to us as unique. We have been repeatedly in awe of how it pours more effort into working than in waiting for help. Perhaps that, more than any other factor, compelled us to want to support the young school in ways that would benefit both giver and receiver.
     Here are some ideas: 

1.) e-Doves:  an Ark pen-pal program for homeschool families or creative grand- parents with curious grandchildren.  Kids here and there write one e-mail to each other per month. If you are interested in having your child or grandchild participate in this project, a modest donation helps pay the school’s internet costs.  This project has a specially designed website for children and their families to learn more about Kenya.   https://koolkenya.blogspot.com    

2.) Adopt a writer. Writing InterestEng. stories helps the Ark’s children increase their skills and confidence while increasing your understanding of Kenya. A gift in support of a young writer helps pay monthly food expenses on the Ark.           

3.)  Adopt a teacher.  The teachers on the Ark, we learned, are rarely able to be paid. (This is true for much of Kenya and Africa as a whole.)  They teach until they finally need to find work to put food on their family’s table and then return when they can   to the Ark. (A Skype tutoring program run by the wonderful Invictus Institute helps assure daily lessons.) A donation to this worthwhile cause keeps a teacher at the school.  

4.)  Safari skills.  Going on safari?  Or want to know what the words mean in the songs in The Lion King?  Do something unexpectedly fun and learn Swahili!  You can have private, weekly 30 minute lessons for $10/lesson with one of Noah’s talented teachers. (This is the going internet rate for private lessons.) 

     If you’d like to know more about any of these projects, send me an e-mail . . . or a dove with an olive branch.  
     The “how to support” info is below.   

                                                                   — Mrs. Chips

P.S.  As you know, friends, InterestEng. has never solicited funds for itself or any other worthwhile cause. However, we regularly get notes from people asking if there isn’t some way they can support our work.  Noahs Ark Academy would be both worthy and very grateful for your support.  The “how to” is below.


                                  “THE HOW TO” 

     Thanks to the kindness of the Invictus Institute, a U.S. based 501(c)3 that currently supports schools in 8 countries (including Noahs Ark Academy) through online tutoring, you can make contribu- tions toward any of the above projects. The Invictus Institute is 100% volunteer.  It is one of the most responsive, transparent, and commendable non-profits we know of.  The organization is charged a small fee to wire money to Kenya but, other than that fee, 100% of your gift will go to Noahs Ark Academy.  Contributions can be sent by using this link:  


     After you click an orange “donate” box you’ll see near the photos, a donation form (like at the left) will appear. Near the bottom of the form is a space to write in a donation of any amount and also a write a comment box.  It’s important to click that box and specify:

               CONTRIBUTION FOR NOAHS ARK ACADEMY.                                      
     Send an e-mail to Mrs. Chips (not the Invictus Institute) if there is a specific project mentioned above you’d like to parti- cipate in, to arrange the details:    

 ©preInterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us:  go.gently.on@gmail.com