February 2012, found us in Rabondo at the Distance Learning Center, expanding the library with a donation for more shelving, two dedicated USA volunteers and three young Kenyan fellows who were waiting for their KCSE results. The moved boxes, cleaned, cataloged, shelved and repacked books that were unable to fit on the shelves. In addition, two more computers were added and posters were distributed, and signage created.
Thank you for your donations which keep this project bringing education and technology to rural Rabondo.
The Distance Learning Center has now been in operation since October. A slow start was actually refreshing while we worked the kinks out of some of the equipment. With only two computers, class sizes are very limited. The library is popular for browsing. With help from RSSAF consultants, we face an exciting new challenge, developing a HOME STUDY course in English and Swahili. We will draw from the wealth of knowledge about English as a Second Language and adapt a non-technological culturally appropriate curriculum for take home.
Meanwhile grant writing continues to expand and develop the services at the Learning Center to include on site workshops and internet access for agricultural and health information.
Expanding Opportunities received a smal grant to get this project off the ground! I flew to Kenya to adminsiter the grant. Arriving in the late afternoon, the members of the Rabondo Community Project were already gathered with the major contractors. Lots of discussion about the work and the ever-rising cost of materials concluded with the estimates for completion of the one room to begin services as soon as possible.
Community women were excited about the idea of having language classes worked in around their home schedule, one woman wanted to begin computer classes the following Monday! The search is on for the employee with hopes of locating an individual within the next week.
Work began on the room on September 28th. Already the power is installed, the ceiling in place, the interior door is ready to be installed and the painting will be complete in one week.
We are far ahead of schedule and excited to begin services as soon as possible.
We are slightly over budget for the completion of the room. But the community has located desks and chairs stretching the funding further.
Another bonus to this project, The Rabondo Community Project had received a container of books to begin a library. They have been unable to move on this project.
As I am supervising the contractors, I have been sorting and cataloging a portion of the books. We will begin a small fundraising campaign to raise about $100.00 USdollars to build shelving and add a small browsing and lending library in one of the unfinished rooms of the new location.
October 6, 2011:
I mentioned things are moving fast especially for Kenya. The Rabondo Community Project has hired a young lady to begin on October 10th. The advertising is already formatted, logo, course offerings, forms etc. Today the desks were moved into the newly finished room. The interior door was installed and painted., the chalkboard painted on the wall free hand and it is perfect! Tomorrow the advertising hand outs will be printed and the computers moved in! School children on their break were helping to move the desks. They were so taken by the books that will be in the reading library. Even the head teacher at the primary school was excited and wants to be the first to get an advertising flyer.
Today was wonderful! All the furniture is in our one room. A private donation was given for a few book shelves so we can begin a lending library. An adjacent unfinished room was fitted with two bookshelves today. I carried the books that I had been cataloging and before I could get them all on the shelves there were several young people lifting them off and browsing the images. A little later three young men who were on a school holiday, came in and sat down and read until they were called home. It is so exciting to see the desire to learn. The computers, two of them, will be installed tomorrow! The flyers about the opportunities went out today. Groups of individuals carrying several with them and distributing them to the people in villages 15kn distant with excitement for opening day on Monday.
We are on our way! Please consider helping us to develop this center into all it can be. We have only 2 computers. That will not be enough for the hundres of people interested in learning and connecting to the world.
Expanding Opportunities has received a grant from Rhodes Scholars, RSSAF to kick start the Distance Learning Center.
We will be able to finish one room of the Center, hire a coordinator and get started!!
There is still a long way to go so hop aboard and bring Distance Education and on site learning to the Community of Rabondo, Kenya.
Thank you RSSAF for this kickstart! The work will begin ASAP.
Slowly but Surely the Rabondo Learning Center project is moving. Our major focus since February is to get the word out to more people while we seek donations of serviceable laptop computers.
The building to house the Center needs only interior work to begin classes.
We know the story of the turtle and the hare. So steadily we march to the finish.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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