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...
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.  

Links:

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

Links:

Mar 20, 2014

Computer lab allows college and university students to pursue distance learning from home!

Noah is working on getting a business degree
Noah is working on getting a business degree

Over the last months the computer lab has been used extensively by primary and secondary students as well as individuals from the community taking lessons in computer skills from our talented computer lab manager Isaac. However, there is a new group of computer lab beneficiaries we are just discovering: college and university students pursuing degrees through distance learning.

Noah comes to the library every day from Monday to Friday to study for his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He uses the laptops in the computer lap to access online course materials, prepare and submit assignments, and do research. 

It’s because of this facility that I was able to pursue my degree from St. Paul’s University by distance learning” says Noah. “Going to live in Nairobi while pursuing my studies would be very expensive, and so I am very happy to be able to work towards my degree while living at home”. 

In response to the number of college and university students now using the library, we are looking into expanding our book collection to include appropriate research resources, and are planning to install additional research software, including offline Wikipedia, onto our laptops. 

Thank you to all of our donors who have made it possible and affordable for students in Elangata Wuas to pursue higher education by providing and equipping this distance learning facility!

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