Kenya Connect (KC)

Our mission is to connect youth globally through correspondence and service for the purpose of promoting deep cultural exchange and understanding. We hope to ignite youth worldwide through person-to-person connections to understand local community needs and practices in a first-hand, meaningful way. Kenya Connect is working to make significant and lasting changes that contribute to peaceful productive globalization. We believe that the experience Kenya Connect provides to children are precisely those that inspire them to be "world citizens." Our goal is to create peaceful and global citizens who have great respect for the lives of others around the world.
Dec 13, 2016

The Initial Results are In! (and they're terrific)

James Musyoka Sharing Information on the Lights
James Musyoka Sharing Information on the Lights

Since August Kenya Connect has distributed 900 Pico SunKing Lights to students in eleven different schools in Wamunyu in our "rent-to-own" program.  As the students eagerly receive their light, Field Director James Musyoka explains how to flip the light over so the solar panel can charge during the day and how to use the three different light settings.  Sometimes under a broad tree in the dusty school yard or in a dark cement classroom, James then explains the importance of reading and doing homework and how this small lamp can help accomplish these goals.  It's an opportunity to encourage a community with a very high illiteracy rate to read.  James then distributes a log sheet to each student so that they can record how many minutes are spent on reading and how many minutes are spent on homework. 

Kenya Connect analyzed the log sheets for three schools: Iiana, Kyamatula, and Kisinzini and the results are exciting.  Prior to receiving the light, students reported that the combined time spent reading and doing homework was 32 minutes per day.  After receiving their Pico light, students are reporting that they are spending 59 minutes on homework and 56 minutes reading for a combined total of 115 minutes per day versus  the 32 minutes they averaged before receiving the lights.  We are thrilled!  

As we introduce new programs, Kenya Connect finds it essential to work closely with our community to garner feedback and ideas.   At the end of November James met with 25 teachers from Wamunyu Zone schools about our NEW Reusable Sanitary Pad Program.  In addition to giving us ideas on how to properly clean the pads and how to make them so the girls can easily bring them to school, we received the following comments from the teachers:

That is good.  It will help our girls very much.  Please issue them as soon as possible!

I so much support the benefit of empowering the girl child.

Wow! What an invention!  One of our own!  (Board Member Faith Doucette who introduced the project was born and raised in Wamunyu)

Your donation to Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya is helping to provide more lights and reusable sanitary pads to the community in 2017.  Our GivingTuesday Campaign garned 36 gifts for a combined total of over $5,000 and we now have 16 recurring gifts! If you haven't made a gift yet, it's not too late!  Our campaign will continue through December 31 and gifts will help support our Light Program, the Reusable Sanitary Pad Project AND our on-going classes at the Learning Resource Center to empower students with technology and literacy.  And recurring gifts will be matched 200% by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through December 31 (see terms and details).

As we come to the final weeks of 2016, the entire Kenya Connect team and the 17,000 students and 500 teachers are grateful for the support you have provided to help lift our students and their families out of poverty through the power of education.

Students testing their new lights
Students testing their new lights
Faith Doucette instructs how to make pads
Faith Doucette instructs how to make pads
James Meeting with Teachers about Pad Project
James Meeting with Teachers about Pad Project
Students Learning Robotics on School Break at LRC
Students Learning Robotics on School Break at LRC
Tutoring in Math and Chemistry
Tutoring in Math and Chemistry
Nov 17, 2016

Let There Be LIGHT and Reading!

SunKing Pico Light
SunKing Pico Light

Just imagine every night in your home it's dark at 6:00 p.m.  Your may have homework and reading to do, but there is no electricity.  The only solution is a tin can filled with kerosene which is lit, but it's dirty, smelly, and not the safest.  As mentioned in our last project report, Kenya Connect began a solar light program using SunKing Pico lights.  This "rent-to-own" project provides families the opportunity to purchase a light for $1.00 per month for 8 months so their students can have a light to study and read with in their homestead.  We are thrilled to announce that since July, 900 SunKing Pico lights have been distributed in the community with only a handful of parents missing a payment!  When the students receive their light and instruction on how to use it, they also receive a log sheet so Kenya Connect can monitor how they are using the light-- perhaps it's for a school assignment, or reading, or to do a chore.  We will be analyzing this information in the next couple of months.

Along with the advent of light, Kenya Connect had another successful year of computer classes at the Learning Resource Center with 287 students taking STEAM classes in partnership with Level Up Village including Global Inventors and 3D Printing.  Another 102 student learned basic computer skills including turning on the computer, wordprocessing, and internet searches.  For students who have never seen a computer or used any sort of technology, this is HUGE.

As we are making 21st Century Connections with our computer training, we are also continuing our work to strengthen literacy skills through our library book borrowing program and professional development workshops.  This year 665 books were borrowed from the Learning Resource Center (a new record) and 47 teachers attended professional development workshops and 22 participated in on-line webinar training.  

All of these programs are a direct result of donors like you.  Kenya Connect is able to offer computer classes, book borrowing, and professional development programs because of the many generous people who helped to build and equip the Learning Resource Center, who provide operational support for our ALL KENYAN staff, and who help us to continue to develop innovative ways to break down barriers to education for students in Kenya--- like our SunKing Light program.

We hope you have marked November 29, GivingTuesday on your calendar.  On that day, donations will be matched at 50% for one-time donations and 200% on recurring donations, all until funds last, beginning at midnight thanks to a generous donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Your donation will help us to build on our many successes and assist us in making 2017 even BIGGER AND BOLDER year for Kenya Connect!

Again, our heartfelt thanks for your continued support.

The Thrill of Light!
The Thrill of Light!
Professional Development Workshops
Professional Development Workshops
Cataloging Books for the LRC Library
Cataloging Books for the LRC Library
Learning about the Pico Lights!
Learning about the Pico Lights!
Global Inventor Class
Global Inventor Class

Links:

Sep 19, 2016

Global Inventors Solve Problems!

Makaalu Students work on solar box designs
Makaalu Students work on solar box designs

It's exciting to see students in Kenya connecting with students in the U.S. to discuss global problems and to work together to design, print, and test an invention! This month, Mbaikini, Makaalu, and Kituiu Primary Schools are partnering with schools in Texas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Connecticut, and Arizona through Level Up Village (LUV) in their Global Inventors Class.  Students in this class will learn about one of the most innovative technologies of our time - 3D Printing - and how to use Computer Aided Design (CAD) software to create and print (and take home) a series of awesome designs! Through this course, students will exchange video messages and together, they will come to identify and learn about a global issue, and will then collaboratively design, print and test an invention to help solve that issue!  

This enrichment program enhances the education of our students in Wamunyu and helps them to think critically about an issue, to work collaboratively with a peer, and to design a product.  Now in our second year of working with LUV classes, teachers in Wamunyu have reported that students participating in these classes are more engaged in their regular classes and school work, and looking at problems and questions in a new way.  

This program WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE without the support of donors like you, who helped us build the Kenya Connect Learning Resource Center and have continued to provide operational support for programs like this.  Our LRC remains the only center of its kind for 100km and our staff continues to provide enrichment programs in basic and advanced computer classes, reading and literacy programs,  professional development workshops and leadership training for students.

We are also thrilled to announce that this summer Kenya Connect initiated a "rent to own" solar light program so that students can read books borrowed from the LRC in their homesteads at night.  Barriers like the lack of electricity in homesteads and the limited access to books hold students back from reaching their full potential.  

Kenya Connect remains committed to breaking down barriers to education for children living in rural Kenya (many in extreme poverty) and to providing enriching and engaging programs to support them in being students of the 21st Century.   We encourage you to visit our website and to "like us" on facebook to learn the latest on our work.  We are deeply grateful to you for your continued support in making these programs possible for the students at our 55 partner schools.

Student from Kituiu enjoy coding
Student from Kituiu enjoy coding
Makaalu student watches a video from their partner
Makaalu student watches a video from their partner
Clean solar energy means more time for study
Clean solar energy means more time for study
The love for books is beginning to take root!
The love for books is beginning to take root!
The LRC Opened in 2013 is the Hub of education!
The LRC Opened in 2013 is the Hub of education!

Links:

 
   

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $10
    give
  • $25
    give
  • $50
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $250
    give
  • $500
    give
  • $1,000
    give
  • $10
    each month
    give
  • $25
    each month
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $250
    each month
    give
  • $500
    each month
    give
  • $1,000
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.