In establishing a lasting educational resource for underserved and at-risk youth in Kenya, The Mama Sarah Obama Legacy project is the culmination of Mama Sarah’s lifetime of service towards helping orphans and impoverished families feed and educate their children. After years of feeding and clothing children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, Mama Sarah established her foundation with the goal of making a larger impact on their lives. Despite having never obtained formal education herself, she believes strongly in the transformative and empowering impact of education.
Located in the birthplace of President Barack Obama’s father, the Legacy project is an educational campus that will serve upwards of one thousand students and pre-schoolers. The project is comprised of three major components; a secondary school, a primary school, and an early childhood development center. The Secondary and Primary schools will support students aged seven to eighteen. The Early Childhood Development Center supports infants and children aged two to six. In promoting a sustainable approach to community-strengthening and education, the campus design embraces the notion of a chain of knowledge physically and programmatically. Each school is uniquely designed for its specific age group and is supplemented by age-appropriate playgrounds and sports fields.
The Early Childhood Development Center includes a nursery, playrooms, nap rooms and its own private outdoor play space. The Primary and Secondary schools each have their own libraries, science labs and media labs. The architecture of the campus is an aspirational tool; where the dynamic spaces and buildings inspire students to advance to the next academic level.
Despite the common shared boundaries of the campus, it was important that each school was designed with its own entrance, courtyard, and private garden space. This allows for each age-group of students to have their own respective space for studying and socializing, without disrupting the other age-groups. Two different types of outdoor space where developed for each school that help to facilitate this division. Each school has its own courtyard for high-energy activity such as socializing and playing. Each school also has its own private garden space for studying, quite reflection and low-volume chatting. Although the schools operate completely individually from each other, they are united through a variety of shared public spaces such as an auditorium, sports fields, and cafeteria. These community-focused spaces will support special assemblies, school celebrations, and sporting events not only for the schools but for the surrounding community as well.
The Mama Sarah Obama Foundation is actively raising funds to support this much needed educational resource in Kogelo.
You can also view a short documentary about Mama Sarah Obama and the Legacy project.
STATUS: In Development
SITE: Kogelo / Kenya
SIZE: 12 Hectares
CLIENT: Mama Sarah Obama Foundation