The August holidays are over and Term 3 is now underway in Kenyan schools.
For students in their final year of primary or secondary school, this is the most important term of the academic year as they are now preparing for their national exams. Unlike the majority of schools, KiMMta's after-school programme didn't take a four week break. The time off from school meant extra study time for the "candidates" who take their exams very seriously and are willing to put in the extra hours to help improve their grades.
Help was on hand for the students thanks to a former beneficiary of KiMMta's after-school project. Stephen is now enrolled at university having achieved high grades thanks to support from KiMMta. As his way of giving back to the project, Stephen and some of his fellow university students volunteered to hold academic clinics helping the next generation of KiMMta students to follow in his footsteps.
After two weeks of classes the formal programme of study concluded although the resource centre was still accessible to any students who wanted to use it to study or access text books. KiMMta chairman, Vincent, explained why it is important not to fill up the whole holiday with studies. He says that KiMMta recognises the effort that parents put in to provide for their children throughout the year and so the older students should be in a position to help their parents with some chores during the holiday period.
At the other end of the scale, KiMMta's youngest beneficiaries are the students in the Early Childhood Development centre (ECD). The ECD closed for a full month to give the children a break and time to play, when we visited last week wth our Patron it was the first day back at school. We passed by KiMMta's head office first where Vincent told us that the children were very happy to have their red uniforms back on and be back at school. When we arrived at the ECD centre we realised that he was absolutely right! The young children were in high spirits and genuinely looked happy to be there.
We added to the excitement by passing on a donation of footballs from local organisation Alive and Kicking. KiMMta received 30 balls of various sizes to be used across all their programmes, The ECD students were keen to start practising and are hoping to find a tournament to compete in soon!
Thank you to everyone who has supported this project through GlobalGiving. Children of all ages are benefiting from your generosity and are able to work to reach their full potential through KiMMta's education programmes,
After four weeks of holidays, KiMMta's nursery school re-opened this week and it was clear that the students were happy to be back. The project's chairman, Vincent, was delighted that on the first day of term over 70% of students reported back to class with more expected in the course of the week. This is a high percentage as it usually takes a week or so for parents to bring their children back to school in their community.
Vincent also shared the story of one little boy whose mother had transferred him to another school....unsuccessfully. The young boy apparently cried and refused to go to his new school claiming that he had to go back to KiMMta where his friends were and where they received good food and a cup of porridge. Vincent explained that this demonstrates the importance that children place on the project and on the need for the feeding programme. Another boy had been suffering from malnutrition before attending KiMMta's nursery school. He now receives two healthy meals a day and this has made a tremendous difference to his health and development.
Kate, who runs the Girls Empowerment Desk at the KiMMta, told us that many of the children she interacts with only have one meal a day and that is the lunch they are given at school. Without these feeding programmes students' academic performance suffers as they are unable to concentrate in class.
KiMMta's after-school programme of tuition will resume next week as they allow students one week to settle back in at school before they resume their additional studies.
Thank you to those who have supported KiMMta's education programme to give brighter futures to children in Kibera.
It has been a successful start to the year for the KiMMta team and their education programmes.
9 students from the Early Childhood Development programme have reached a level where they have now been able to graduate and join primary school.
At the other end of the scale, 55 students who had completed their primary education received the results for their KCPE (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education) exams. The top student was Evans who scored an amazing 400 out of 500 marks. This is a great achievement. Another 24 students scored over 300 marks, proving that KiMMta’s programme is making a difference.
The numbers are great but to show the impact of KiMMta’s work from the students’ perspective we carried out a survey among a small group of the children and youths who use the resource centre for after-school tuition.
This is a sample of their comments:
"In school teachers don't have enough time to teach one student but in afterschool tuition maybe if we have a problem we can call one teacher as other students continue with other teachers..." Ephy, aged 14
"The afterschool teachers help me with anything and most things we are not taught or we do not fully understand in our different schools. There are teachers who teach us here. I also get help in my education from peers." Evans, 14
"In our school we around three thousand pupils so if the teacher has taught us something and if you have not fully understood he/she cannot repeat. So here in KiMMta you have many teachers who can assist you. In our home we do not have enough light to read so I always come to KiMMta to read. I have improved my performance in school and I always be the highest in class." Mary, 11
"The struggles I had was space to study because at home you find no fuel (for lights) sometimes, a lot of work at home and so many others but afterschool programme has helped a lot. I have the time, space and requirements needed to complete my homework. I would like to request if this afterschool programme would be increased in other communities to help people develop and become future presidents...." Davis, 17
We would like to thank everyone who has helped Ephy, Evans, Mary, Davis and hundreds of other students by supporting KiMMta through GlobalGiving.
One year ago, thanks to funding from Vision Africa in association with the Souter Charitable Trust, Kibera Mpira Mtaani (KiMMta) opened their doors to the first sixty students at their ECD centre. Early Childhood Development is key to preparing children for primary education and KiMMta wanted to give young children in their community a strong foundation on which to build.
When we visited the project shortly after it had opened, the teachers had their hands full as many of the children had never attended school before and were being separated from their parents for the first time. A lot of time was spent developing social skills which would mould the young students and create an environment in which they could learn.
The teachers have worked very hard over the last year and the results are impressive!
This week when we visited, there was a feeling of calm as we walked in to the first class. The youngest students were busy learning and had the confidence to play teacher and stand in front of the blackboard and talk to their classmates. The children followed instructions and when the arrival of visitors caused some excitement, the teachers had a short routine about listening which quickly got the students’ attention and brought their focus back to their work.
Moving up to the new classroom which has been built upstairs, the older students were working hard on a maths lesson. One of the great things about this lesson was that the teacher had incorporated learning resources brought by our visitors from Thorntree Primary School in Glasgow. The Glasgow teachers had trained staff in alternative teaching methods which explained lessons in a variety of ways rather than the traditional method of simply writing the information on a blackboard.
In this classroom we were told that nine of the students have made such good progress they will be transferring to primary schools in the new school year which begins in January. Two of these students have secured places at the government run Olympic Primary School which. Places here are in high demand and students have to sit an entry test to compete for a place so we are delighted that some of KiMMta’s first students have succeeded and will be joining this school.
While we were visiting the centre, morning porridge was served. It’s clear to see that the children enjoy this nutritious morning snack which is followed by a healthy lunch. The feeding programme is a valuable part of KiMMta’s education programme.
It was wonderful to see the progress that this project has made in just one year. Thanks to our friends who have provided ongoing support to KiMMta through GlobalGiving. Your contributions are very much appreciated.
Things are going well at Kibera Mpira Mtaani. Students at the ECD (Early Childhood Development) Centre are continuing with their learning and the after-school students are still showing up in large numbers to take advantage of the services provided at the centre.
In recent months, KiMMta has been able to extend one of the buildings by adding on another storey. This gives extra space for the ECD students to learn and means that all the after-school students can study in one building rather than being split across two locations.
KiMMta has had a couple of big deliveries in the last week. One was a donation of 142 footballs from Alive and Kicking. Alive and Kicking is a social enterprise based in Nairobi which manufactures hand made footballs which are durable for the surfaces on which many children in Kenya play. Through a partnership with a UK department store, Alive and Kicking was able to donate footballs to charitable organisations and KiMMta received one of the largest donations due to the number of children they connect with in the community of Kibera.
The other big delivery was a 100 seater tent and 100 chairs. These will be hired out and the proceeds will be invested in KiMMta's education programmes....helping them become more self-sustainable.
Thank you to everyone who has supported Kibera Mpira Mtaani's education programme through Global Giving. Your contribution is very much appreciated.
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