Still I Rise International School of Nairobi has won a Special Commendation at the International School Awards 2021. The competition received 261 entries from 48 countries and Still I Rise was one of the 13 category winners.

Back in September 2021, the non-profit organization applied for the International School Award in the categories of Community wellbeing and Digital technology in learning initiative. Contributing to the bid was the June 2020 Jenga Pamoja program – a month of cultural awareness events to showcase and celebrate the students’ cultures – as well as the April 2020 E-learning Program, when Still I Rise distributed 140 tablets, sim cards and 60GB of data to the students in just 10 days, so they would be ready to continue learning online during another nationwide lockdown.

“We are so excited to share a platform with important and famous schools from both Kenya and around the world”, says Rachael Wanjiru, Principal of Still I Rise International School of Nairobi. “The Special Commendation we have received celebrates the uniqueness, the creativity and the impact of these initiatives. Part of the award is to be featured in the International School Leader Magazine 2022! This was made possible by the hard work of our incredible team”.


Still I Rise International School of Nairobi was opened by Still I Rise in January 2021: it is the first International School on the African continent for refugee children and vulnerable Kenyan citizens. It provides a 7-year, high-level education IB diploma (International Baccalaureate) at no cost to the students, which can open doors to the world’s best universities.

There are currently 134 students enrolled: 49% are Kenyan nationals and 51% are refugees. Eight nationalities are present: 14% of students are from the Democratic Republic of Congo, 10% from Somalia, 8% from South Sudan, 7% from Burundi, 6% from Ethiopia, 4% from Uganda and 3% from Rwanda.

The school is located on the border of the slum of Mathare, a valley of a few square kilometres in which about 600,000 people live. Every space has been studied in detail to welcome the classes with love, care and serenity. From the library to the canteen, from the sports field to the classrooms, from the office to the common room, nothing is left to chance.

The subjects range from literature, society, mathematics, science, physical and health education, foreign languages, art and design. The peculiarities of the local culture are not forgotten: instead, they are emphasised in the teaching programmes. To this end, 82% of the school’s teachers and staff are Kenyans. The teachers are undergoing specific and continued training in order to adapt the current training modules to the high standards of IB teaching.