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Nov 27, 2017

Meet Some of Our KC Super Heroes!

Super Hero Helen
Super Hero Helen

Over the years we have provided project reports that shared the many initiatives that Kenya Connect has inaugurated to break down barriers to education and to empower and engage students and teachers to be successful in the 21st century.  These robust programs are a result of donors like you who support our work, and more importantly the students in Wamunyu.

Today we want to share a few stories of our Kenya Connect Super Heroes.  Your past support has helped Helen, the third daughter of a wood carver and subsistence farmer, use a computer for the first time.  Considering that Helen and most of our students lives with no electricity, this is quite a feat.  With access to technology classes, Helen learned how to use computer assisted design and a 3D rpinter to create a small solar flashlight.  Helen dreams of being a nurse, and having access to Kenya Connect's enrichment programs is helping her pursue her dream.  

Another Super Hero is Evans.  Evans has been part of the English ACCESS program and has exhibited strong leadership skills and has won recognition by the U.S. Embassy as a member of the ACCESS program.  He loves reading and acting and would like to be an architect.  The son of a casual laborer, Evans is dreaming big and is already contributing to his community.

Mutua is the only child of a single mom who works as a tailor.  He is extremely bright and outgoing and would like to be a teacher.  He has taken a number of computer classes including coding and 3D pritning.  Mutua loves to sing and dance and is seen as a leader.

And we have Carol, a joyful girl with physical and cognitive impairments.  She is in the prevocational class at the Wamunyu Special School.  Her mother is single and a peasant farmer.  Carol loves singing, reciting choral verses and poems.  An avid knitter, Carol plans to do this as a career.  Carol is also a champion handwasher and encourages her peers to wash up!

These are just four of the 17,000 Super Heroes that we work with each day.  Students in rural Wamunyu face so many barriers to education.  Support from donors like you have made a profound impact on these students.

Will you continue to support us in 2018 with a gift on #GivingTuesday or by year end?  All gifts on #GivingTuesday, November 28 will be matched and recurring gifts will be matched by 200% through the end of December.

On behalf of the Kenya Connect Team, please accept our continued heartfelt thanks.  You, too, are heroes for supporting our life changing work.

Super Hero Carol
Super Hero Carol
Super Hero Mutua
Super Hero Mutua
Super Hero Evans
Super Hero Evans
Oct 24, 2017

New Initiative Keeping Girls in School!

Creating the Wings Poa Kit
Creating the Wings Poa Kit

Did you know that 3 out of 10 girls in rural communities miss 3-4 days of school per month since they do not have products to use during their montly menstrual cycle?  In Wamunyu, the Head Teachers shared that many girls were missing school and requested assistance.  As a result, Kenya Connect developed, Wings Poa, a reusable sanitary pad kit to help keep girls in school.  As a result of several grants and donations from folks like you, Kenya Connect began to work with the Kithito kya Kyeengai women’s group and the students and staff at the Wamunyu Special School to produce Wings Poa locally. The two groups were adequately trained on how to make the product using local cotton and flannel fabric. Each Wings Poa kit is comprised of two shields made from waterproof PUL material, 8 liners, a drawstring bag and two zip lock bags for washing. The PUL material is not locally available and therefore Kenya Connect donates the PUL to the groups who in turn donate 15% of all Wingspoa kits made. The donated kits are given to school girls free of charge with the groups selling the rest of the product to the community at $5 per kit. This model is helping to create some income to the women groups. 0ver 170 girls in 5 primary schools have benefited from Wings Poa and our production continues.

Before issuing Wings Poa Kits, Kenya Connect conducts a pre-survey to determine what sanitary materials the girls are using and to determine if the girls are unable to attend school due to lack of sanitary materials. It was established that 85% of girls from two sample schools missed school 3-4 days a month because of lack of sanitary pads. Kenya Connect staff trains school girls and their mothers on the benefits of using Wings Poa. Our program has been embraced over the synthetic sanitary pads because girls and women find it to be cost effective, environment friendly and confortable to use. Due to lack of incinerators in most rural areas, the synthetic pads are disposed of by throwing into pit latrines, which results in quickly filling up the latrines. Unlike synthetic pads provided by the government, Wings Poa is a personal product that cannot be shared.

 Three months after Kenya Connect rolled out the first set of Wings Poa kits, a post survey was administered to determine if the beneficiary girls were using the product and to determine the rate of absenteeism from school. It was found out that 90% of the girls had used the product and the rate of absenteeism had dropped from 85% to 5%: a very drastic shift! This greatly confirmed that Wings Poa is working to break down the barrier for girls’ menstrual hygiene.

"Wings poa is very comfortable to use than the sythentic pads. It is easy to clean and to keep hyginic after use. Since I recieved a wings poa kit, my parents have saved the money to buy synthic pads"

Ruth student beneficiary at Nunga Primary school.

We continue to listen to the local community to develop our programs and with the support of committed donors like you. we are making these programs a reality.  We will continue to expand the Wings Poa program so that more girls will have the opportunity to an education.  

Of course our technology, literacy, and deworming programs are still in full swing and we will be sharing more information on these programs in the next month.  We trust you enjoyed reading how this special initiative is making a difference.

Students Creating Kits
Students Creating Kits
Distributing Wings Poa Kits
Distributing Wings Poa Kits
Students Receive Kits!
Students Receive Kits!

Links:

Aug 10, 2017

New Technology at the Kenya Connect LRC!

Engaged learning with the KioKit
Engaged learning with the KioKit

Our BRCK KioKit has arrived at the Learning Resource Center!  This indestructable black-box kit includes a content rich server and 40 tablets with headphones.  The Kenya Connect team is determined that this would provide an additional rich experience for our students that would enhance their classroom learning and provide them with resources and materials not available at our 44 primary and 11 secondary schools.  This past week we had The School Fund secondary students test it out while on their school break.  As James Musyoka wrote, "We were marveled by how the class was so quiet with each student wearing their headphones and super engaged. The students did not seem to want to leave the LRC and we had to tell them to go."  These secondary schools students will be studying at the Learning Resource Center during the next two weeks of August for tutoring in math, chemistry, and biology and will also have the opportunity to borrow books and to spend additional time using the educational resources on the BRCK Kio Kit.  

The TSF aslo recieved solar lights to help them study while at home. In addition to meeting with the TSF students, the Kenya Connect staff met with their parents to discuss the students' progress and share the ways the students can benefit from Kenya Connect resources.  The parents were so excited that they suggested a Parent Council be created to help further support the work.

Our community based approach would not be possible without donors like you.  Your generous gifts allows our staff to develop programs and new approaches to support students in rural Kenya who face so many obstacles and challenges to education.

In addition to the KioKit, Kenya Connect is piloting the use of the Rachel Plus device, a content rich server that can connect to any electronic device--- a laptop, tablet, or smart phone.  The Rachel Plus server provides world class curriculum with interactive lessons and modules to practice concepts, wikipedia, TED talks, animated books and print stories and a plethora of additional materials.   In July, our staff met with the Wamunyu Curiculum Development Officer and headmasters to share the Rachel Plus.  The Headmasters were excited to see the many possibilities and are looking forward to borrowing if for their schools.  

The Kenya Connect staff is also developing ways to best support teachers in the primary schools who have received government issued tablets for standrard one (grade 1) students.  Sadly, many teachers do not know how to use the technology so the tablets are sitting unused in locked closets.  Our team is working to provide training and support to ensure that students in Wamunyu are not being left behind.

We are deeply grateful to you for being a donor to Kenya Connect.  Every dollar helps continue our work that is changing lives by breaking barriers to education and providing resources that would not be available to the 17,000 students we serve in rural Kenya.  

As we say in Kenya, Asante Sana marafiki!

Our Black Box filled with wonders!
Our Black Box filled with wonders!
Grateful to committed TSF parents
Grateful to committed TSF parents
Headmasters learn about Rachel Plus
Headmasters learn about Rachel Plus
Trying Rachel Plus content on their devices
Trying Rachel Plus content on their devices
My solar light will help me shine in school!
My solar light will help me shine in school!
 
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