Mar 13, 2019

Celebrating our Girls for Women's Month!

Wings Poa
Wings Poa

Last week we celebrated Women’s International Day and as we did so, we reflected on the work we are doing to break down barriers to school for girls in Wamunyu. One way we do this is through our Wings Poa Reusable Sanitary Pad program. Several years ago, the Head Teachers alerted us to the fact that girls were missing school during their monthly menstrual cycle and asked if we would help. Even though the Kenyan government had promised to send sanitary napkins, they often did not arrive in Wamunyu, and if they did, they were locked in the Head Teacher’s office, often a male.

Our staff and board came together, and thanks to Board Member Faith Doucette who was born and raised in Wamunyu and now living in the U.S., we developed a plan and a product. Researching other programs and designs, Faith and friends developed a product that consisted of a shield, liners and method for washing the pads. Women in Wamunyu and students in Wamunyu are now making the kits that we named Wings Poa. Since the program launched, we have distributed 315 kits to students at 9 schools. As we introduce the program, our staff has also provided education on menstrual health and hygiene and talked to the girls about empowerment and self-care. One of our summer interns created a video about the program that you can watch HERE.

We have also been thoughtful in selecting books for our libraries that include stories and biographies about strong girls and women including Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai and Malala Yousafzai. Our team has also worked with girls in our ACCESS and TSF programs about using their voice and breaking traditional gender roles as they prepare for future careers.

Up next? We are exploring girls coding programs, sexual health and reproduction workshops and girl empowerment programs. Your generous support helped provide funding for the Wings Poa program and allows us to explore more programming for our girls. Thank you for being a champion for our students.

Wings Poa at Lema Primary School
Wings Poa at Lema Primary School
Keeping Girls in Schools!
Keeping Girls in Schools!
Feb 13, 2019

DNA and Gumdrops: What do they have in common?

Creating DNA
Creating DNA

What do DNA and Gumdrops have in common....... a FABULOUS learning opportunity!  Students at Kituui Primary School are participating in Global Doctors: DNA Genetics and World Health hosted by Kenya Connect partner Level Up Village.  

What better way to learn about DNA than creating your own strand with gumdrops, toothpicks and cardboard. These students are learning about genetics and world health. Students and their US partners learn about genetics, while discovering how environmental and social conditions around the world can influence those things for better or worse. Patrick Munguti, Director of Technology and Educational Programs and teacher of the course commented, "The students are excited to learn new things about health and genetics. It is one of the wonderful classes in LUV as it resonates with day to day life."  These enrichment programs provide new modes of learning for our students allowing them with hands-on experiences that promote critical thinking, creativity and conceptual learning.
This is part of our comprehensive strategy to introduce technology to students in creative ways while nurturing critical and conceptual thinking.  This class, along with Global Inventors and Global Conversations, has been very popular with our students.  We have also hosted several skype sessions this year with students who participate in our Pen Pal program.  These skype sessions expand our students' world and helps build friendships across the globe.
We are able to host these classes, skype sessions and basic technology classes thanks to donors like you.  Donations help ensure we can pay for reliable internet, technology upgrades and our teaching staff.  We are grateful for your support and the difference it's making in the lives of our students.
As we are off and running in 2019, we will also have friends in Maryland running and walking to support our work at the Kenya Connect 5K:  Running for Education on Two Continents being held on Saturday, March 30 at 9:00 am in Ellicott City.  We are especially excited that Patrick Munguti, Kenya Connect's Director of Technology and Education Programs, will be running the race and sharing more information about Kenya Connect with the participants.  We would love to have you join us at the race or as a virtual runner.  You can learn more about the race and register HERE!
We don't know about you, but we have a new appreciation for gumdrops after seeing how our students have creatively used them.  We are sure you are also happy to hear that after  the class and discussions, our students enjoyed a tasty treat!  
Thanks for making these dynamic learning opportunities a reality!
Learning about Global Health
Learning about Global Health
Learning is Fun when it's Hands-On!
Learning is Fun when it's Hands-On!
Jan 16, 2019

Off and Running in 2019!

Back to School and Ready to Check Out Books!
Back to School and Ready to Check Out Books!

Happy 2019!  We are grateful to our GlobalGiving donors for supporting our work so generously.  As a result of your donations, we are positioned to expand our comprehensive initiatives to break down barriers to education while providing enriching and empowering education programs.

Each month we will be highlighting a specific program to let you know how your support is making a difference and how we are working to lift our students out of extreme poverty through the power of education.  

Last week, as students began their new school year, Kenya Connect's "Magic School Bus" began its rounds bringing books to the schools for students to check out during Library Days.  Last year we issued 1400 library cards to students at 14 schools.  We are striving to double that number so more students will have access to the knowledge, joy and wonder of books.  All studies show that daily reading helps improve student success and helps increase fluency and comprehension while nurturing creativity and critical thinking.  As we issue more library cards, we are building our library collection and hope to reach 10,000 books by the end of the year!

We know that  parents are instrumental in nurturing a reader.  Librarian Primma Kioko has been meeting with parent groups demonstrating effective strategies of reading a book, encouraging a “reading safari" through suggesting that parents have their children read books to them, and asking about pictures and posing, “What If” questions. A Parent Guide was created in consultation with parents and written in both English and Kiswahili, giving pointers and ideas on how to nurture reading (see attached).

One of the barriers to reading for many of our students is the lack of light at their homestead.  As a result of our rent-to-own solar light program, more students are reading at home through safe and clean light.

James Musyoka, Executive Director, Kenya, has stated, "the reading program is one of the most important initiatives to truly improve education and to help our students be successful.  We are striving to be TheVillageThatReads as we work to enrich our students through the power of books."

As we are off and running in 2019, we will also have friends in Maryland running and walking to support our work at the Kenya Connect 5K:  Running for Education on Two Continents being held on Saturday, March 30 at 9:00 am in Ellicott City.  We are especially excited that Patrick Munguti, Kenya Connect's Director of Technology and Education Programs, will be running the race and sharing more information about Kenya Connect with the participants.  We would love to have you join us at the race or as a virtual runner.  You can learn more about the race and register HERE!

Thank you for being a Kenya Connect champion!  We encourage you to follow us on social media for daily updates and stay tuned for next month's update!

Time to Read!
Time to Read!
Librarian Primma is checking out books
Librarian Primma is checking out books
Solar lights issued to students
Solar lights issued to students

Attachments:
 
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.