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...
Nov 19, 2013

Computer Lab

Thanks to your donation the computer lab in the Elangata Wuas Library and Resource Centre is continuing to grow. Isaac Kakeni, our enthusiastic computer lab manager continues to teach daily computer classes to a variety of community members in the area. Isaac has had numerous community members come in for basic typing lessons and is enjoying watching his students, young and old alike, flourish. Four Elangata Wuas youth, Ezekiel, Stanley, Milton, and Antony, have been working particularily hard with Isaac on more advanced computing topics. These young men see computer skills as a key part of increasing their employability and increasing their income potential. 

Unfortunately, one of the computers recently suffered a malfunction and had to be fixed. Isaac was able to do this but this speaks to the computer lab's continued need for financial support. The size of Isaac's classes are restricted by the small number of computers available and losing one to a malfunction only reduced how many people were able to use the computers. 

With the success of the computer lab, it is important to reflect on the limited access to computers the Elangata Wuas community had before the lab opened its doors. Prior to the computer lab's opening, any Elangata Wuas community members who wanted to use a computer or were interested in learning how to use one had to travel to the larger nearby community of Kajiado. This trip takes at least an hour by matatu (the local name for privately owned buses in the region) and costs about 1000 Kenyan Shillings (the equivalent of $12 in US currency) for the roundtrip. With such a significant barrier in terms of time and money, few people in the area were able to use computers. Now the lab is only a three minute walk from the centre of Elangata Wuas, a walk of five minutes or less from 2 of the 7 local elementary schools and the regions only high school. In a world growing more and more connected by the internet, we at Africa SOMA cannot thank you enough for helping in the move to make all the information of the internet available to the Elangata Wuas community. 

If you are interested in recieving quarterly newsletters on all of Africa SOMA's projects beyond our work with the computer lab, please follow the link below!

On behalf of Africa SOMA and the Elangata Wuas Community, thank you again for your donation!

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Oct 17, 2013

Meet Gideon and our previous scholars!

Gideon, one of Africa SOMA
Gideon, one of Africa SOMA's 2013 Scholars

"It [the Africa SOMA Scholarship] will help me to continue with my education and continue with my goals that I have set for my life" - Gideon, one of Africa SOMA's 2013 Scholars

Africa SOMA is continuing to fundraise for the four year high school costs of our 2013 scholarship students. To facilitate this work we have been creating microprojects associated with this project which allows us to highlight the talents of the individuals who are the recipients of our scholarships. In September Africa SOMA was pleased to see that the microproject fundraising for Damaris' secondary school costs reached it's goal. 

With this in mind we would like to introduce you to Gideon, one of our two male 2013 scholarship recipents, and our current microproject focus. Gideon loves math and his goal is to become an electrical engineer when he grows up. You can learn more about him by checking out the microproject associated with him here (http://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/help-gideon-finish-school-and-become-an-engineer/)

Africa SOMA has been offering scholarships to the highest achieving students in the Elangata Wuas school district since 2005. As a result we have many past scholars who have gone on to further their studies or enter the workforce. Recently, Isaac, a member of the Africa SOMA team, caught up with some of our previous scholars. Ruth started a bachelors degree in Human Resource Management this September at Kenyatta University. Everlyne also started a  teaching diploma this September at the Polytechnic University of Nairobi. Tony is currently back in Elangata Wuas working as a teacher at Inaudot Primary School and hopes to start University sometime soon. Nathan started a bachelors degree at Egerton University in Wildlife Management. Africa SOMA would like to wish all our previous scholars the best of luck in their future educations and careers and thank all our previous supporters for their investement in Kenyas future!

Thank you again for investing in the students of Elangata Wuas. Your hard earned money is being well spent on the education of bright Kenyan students who hold the future of Kenya in their hands. 

On behalf of them, the Elangata Wuas Community and the rest of the Africa SOMA Team, thank you. 

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Aug 19, 2013

Elangata Wuas Library and Computer Lab continues to flourish!

Thanks to your generous donations the Elangata Wuas Library and Computer Lab is continuing to flourish. Not only are more and more children, youth and adults being drawn into the library to take computer classes and use the laptops, but this service is having a great impact upon the employability of many youth in the Elangata Wuas area. 

This June and July while Kenya's teachers were striking, students in Elangata Wuas flocked to the library to revise for their upcoming exams, making great use of the new revision books, computer lab space and Africa SOMA interns who offered free tutoring. For many of the students having this quiet, well equipped learning space available to them was a saving grace in the stressful period before their standardized exams. 

The computer lab classes have continued, attracting many adults and students who have never used a computer before. Isaac's patience and knowledge has been extremely useful as he offers classes focusing on a wide variety of aspects from basic computer use, to how to use Word, to navigating the internet. 

With an average monthly attendance of over 1000 community members, we have great confidence in the positive impact the Library and Computer Lab are having on Elangata Wuas' community. Whether it's using the revision books to study for exams, learning a marketable skill on one of the laptops you've helped provide, or simply catching up on the going ons of the world outside Elangata Wuas with the newspapers, the Library and Computer Lab is having a significant impact on the lives of Elangata Wuas residents. 

While the donations we have recieved thus far have allowed us to make the computer lab operational, we are still a bit short of our fundraising goal. The money still needed will go towards Issac's salary, allowing him to offer more computer classes and reduce their price, as profits from current computer classes are currently being used to pay his salary. As we continue to fundraise, we want to thank you for your ongoing support of our project. 

On behalf of the whole Africa SOMA Team and Elangata Wuas Community - Thank you!

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