Our History

Building Hope Academy was born following a dream by a teacher and her students at Red Deer Lake School in Calgary, Canada. Elizabeth Critchley and her students wanted to reach out and connect with an African partner to build a school. Rick Castiglione, a Calgary-based filmmaker/adventurer/humanitarian, who had previously met David on one of his many visits to Kenya, connected Red Deer Lake School with the Nairoshi Foundation and the dream began to take shape.

Initially two classrooms were constructed at the local government school to ease congestion and provide a conducive learning environment – there had been over 700 students in 5 classrooms.

Following intensive research on school attendance in our community, we discovered that over 120 children, between the ages of 3 and 8 years old and living in the villages, had not had any form of education. This was primarily due to the long distance (a 2-3 hour walk each way) to the nearest school and also the wild animal corridor between their home and the school.

This led to the decision to construct a quality nursery/kindergarten to encourage early education and provide quality foundational education to enable the children in our community to experience the same quality of education received by their counterparts in urban areas. The original dream of Elizabeth Critchley and her students at Red Deer Lake School was realised! The support for providing quality education has now spread globally as we continue construction of the school.

The school was opened in May 2013 with one classroom, 51 students and 3 teachers. All children started in Baby Class (the first of three levels of pre-primary in Kenya), were aged between 5-8 years old, and had not previously attended school.


Parents and staff on closing day, 2015

Parents and staff on closing day, 2015