Africa SOMA Inc.

Africa SOMA sees education as a central tool in improving the lives of all people. In Kenya, progress has been made in expanding access to education, however large hurdles remain: quality is often low, secondary schools are prohibitively expensive, and often the most vulnerable groups, such as Maasai pastoralists, continue to be unable to access even primary education. Improving participation in schooling requires creative solutions that lower barriers to entry and improve the learning environment. Our programs aspire to contribute to such creative solutions. We work in partnership with local organizations and community members and promote community investment and involvement in all of our p...
Sep 15, 2014

Goodbye to Isaac but hello to energizing news

Isaac with librarians, library askari
Isaac with librarians, library askari's and board

Africa SOMA is sad to say goodbye to our wonderful computer lab instructor and Africa SOMA coordinator for the last year and half, Isaac Kakeni. The library and computer lab will not be the same without him, but we wish him the best as he moves on to new and exciting career opportunities in the NGO world and works to advance his education. As we search for a new computer lab manager for Africa SOMA, we know he will not be eay to replace. Thankfully one of our Board Member's Jennie Glassco, is on the ground in Elangata Wuas to facillitate filling the position of computer lab manager. 

While saying goodbye to Isaac may be sad news for the library we are we excited to announce that electricity may soon be available in the Elangata Wuas region. While our library runs off solar power, our solar panels are only able to power a limited number of computers and don't allow for any additional power usage in the library. While we will continue to use solar panels to power our computers, electricty in the community will allow us to expand the libraries activities and potential as a rental space, and the librarians have hopes of buying a projector to use for community presentations. 

As always, and especially as we move through this time of transition we would like to thank Africa SOMA's donors for their continued support. It is through your donations that the Elangata Wuas Library and Resource center is able to offer computer services to the Elangata Wuas community. From us as well as all the students and community members who make use of the computers to forward their schooling or business endeavors - Thank you. 

Jul 16, 2014

Updates from Africa SOMA's Scholarship Program!

As Africa SOMA's 2014 Scholarship Cohort enters the midway point of their first year in secondary school, Abigael, Dorcas, Kelvin and Alex would like to pass on their sincere thanks to the donors that have supported Africa SOMA's scholarship fundriasing efforts. These four students, along with the 

With two cohorts of Africa SOMA Scholarship Recipients having now graduated secondary school, it has been wonderful to see where their educations have led them. Of the 8 graduated students, 7 have continued on to follow post secondary training, and one has started his own business. Three of the graduated students have themselves become teachers. 

However some changes are coming to Africa SOMA's scholarship program. Thanks to feedback from community members it has come to our attention that, due to inflation, the amount of our scholarships need to increase. This will of course require renewed fundraising attempts. This year, Africa SOMA is fortunate to have two summer Montreal-based interns focusing on fundraising and grant writing. These ambitious interns have organized a fundraising comedy night that will take place this Friday, July 19th at 7pm at Montreal's Comedy Nest. For those who are interested in coming, check out the link to the facebook event below to find information about tickets!

At Africa SOMA we believe education is the key to so many opportunities otherwise inaccessible to these rural Kenyan youth, and we than you for your on going support.  

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May 19, 2014

Library Programming - Debate Club Edition!

Let the debates begin!
Let the debates begin!

Library programing is going strong at the Elangata Wuas Community Library and Resource Center! This April students from Good Shepard Primary, Elangata Wuas Primary and Emirishoi Primary squared off in a friendly debate. The debates were set up to immitate the style of Kenya's Parlimentary debates, giving students a good chance to feel what their members of parliment do on a regular basis. 

All groups started strong, with eloquent oration being traded back and forth across the floor. Two students, Samuel from Good Shepard Primary and Challes from Emirshoi Primary were clear standouts. Depsite his small stature Samuel was verbal dynamite, quickly diminishing opponents. Challes on the other hand, articulated her points in a precise and clear manner, pointing out the holes in her opponents argument. 

The debates were not without their spectators, as a large number of parents and community members turned out to watch the debates. The debates were such a success and so enjoyed by students and their teachers that another round will be held in the upcoming term, this time with a focus on science and math.

It is thanks to your donation that programming such as this can be held in the library. The computer lab community classes and pay-as-you go internet time help bring in an income to sustain the functioning of the library, allowing programing such as the Debate Club to continue. Thank you again for your donation and your contribution to the ongoing access to information and learning that the Elangata Wuas Community Library and Resource Center are able to provide. 

Samuel makes a strong opening argument
Samuel makes a strong opening argument
Challes takes on her opposition
Challes takes on her opposition

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