Nov 17, 2015

Progress Report -Bridge Educational Gaps for Girls

Intervention Lesson
Intervention Lesson

Dear friends,

 

It has been a remarkable three months at Elwak Girls Primary School. It's the final term for students in class eight,  and this week, they have started the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE). Due to industrial disputes between the national government and the teaching unions, there were a bit of disruption to the lessons for all schools in the country. Fortunately for us, we were able to find replacement teachers to carry on lessons during the strike. The children have been well prepared and hopefully based on the ongoing assessments results; they should do well in the test. We thank you for providing us with the means to provide this support.

 

The examination results will be out in January, and we are working hard to ensure all the girls who have completed their primary education transition to secondary schools successfully.

 

We are planning to organise a prize giving day in January to celebrate their successes and to use that opportunity to lobby the members of Constituency Development Funds and the County Government to sponsor girls who secure admission to secondary schools.

 

The girls have been making good progress the past three months. Every month, they are being tested, and the results are quite impressive. Collectively, the intervention has seen the average score for each subject go up by up to 29 marks. Mathematics and Kiswahili have particularly registered a good improvement, with Mathematics score going by 29 marks and Kiswahili by 28 marks this term. 

 

As mentioned in our last report, a team of volunteers at Dentsu Aegis Network embarked on 620Km Bike ride to support our project, and we expect to receive about €5000  for our project. Again this support wouldn't have been possible without your support. Thank you very much.

 

Also, we recently applied and secured a grant of £10,000 from GlobalGiving to expand our project activities and increase the number of beneficiaries.  The microcredit scheme component of the project is equally doing well and last month we launched it as a separate project and with the help of our supporters and the 50% match funding from GlobalGiving we have raised just under £1500.  Thank again for supporting our projects.

 

In our next report, we shall share with you personal stories of our girls in more detailed.  Thank you again for the confidence you have shown in our project.

Intervention Lesson2
Intervention Lesson2
Route2Good Bike Riders
Route2Good Bike Riders
Welcoming Route2Good Bike Riders in Paris
Welcoming Route2Good Bike Riders in Paris
mentoring sessions
mentoring sessions
Tree Planting
Tree Planting
Aug 14, 2015

Bridge Educational Gaps for 100 Orphan Girls

Dear friends,

 

We are delighted to update you on the progress of our project, Bridge Educational Gaps for 100 Orphan Girls. As we told you in our last post, the region is still experiencing an educational crisis. Many teachers have left the region for fear of an attack by extremist groups. Luckily, Elwak Girls, the project location, have been spared of the worst exodus of teachers.  The project activities have in away improved the morale of the teachers, and this was made possible by your kind donations. Thank you.

In terms of pupils progress, a lot have changed since our last report. End of second term exam analysis have been completed, and the findings are very encouraging. Most of the pupils have made good progress both in terms of their position in class and their mean score. School attendance has improved dramatically. According to the school administration and interviews with parents, the girls are very keen to attend school and their confidence during lessons has improved.  The school has also introduced extra-curriculum activities such as an environmental club, debating and current affairs discussions after school and some sporting activities.

 

Through debating and current affairs activities, pupils are encouraged to develop their language and thinking skills which are crucial for their personal development.

 

The project has also attracted support from the local community.  Recently a local environmental group called Nomadic Green Belt Movement provided support to the school's environment Club. Nearly forty new trees were planted, and the pupils have promised take care of the plants. Hopefully, in a year's time, the currently bare school compound will have adequate shade for the children. 

 

Also, we organised a youth forum to discuss the current educational crisis and the general decline in literacy and numeracy levels in the Elwak Sub-County. Nearly sixty volunteers attended the forum and have promised to support a planned campaign on literacy improvement as part of our project next term. We are very happy with the level of support and enthusiasm shown by the youth, and we are confident they will support the initiative once it's launched.

 

The microcredit scheme component of the project is equally doing well. The five ladies involved have managed to save Ksh 7000 (£45) and are due to receive £320 loan from the project once they have received basic business management training.  Thank you for your support once again for enabling us make a wider impact on our community.

 

We are also happy to report that a team of volunteers at Dentsu Aegis Network have organised a charity bike ride called Route2Good  from Amsterdam to Paris in October to raise funds for our project. Without your donations, this would not have been possible. Thank you. You can access their fundraising below and support them with whatever you can.

May 14, 2015

Bridge Educational Gaps for 100 orphan girls

Girls having afternoon tea and mandazi
Girls having afternoon tea and mandazi

We are happy to let you know your kind donations have continued to improve the life chances of our girls. Girls who could barely read before we started the intervention are now able to read with confidence and enjoyment. The gradual improvement in the tests scores in both the end of term tests organised by the school and our monthly continuous assessment tests shows we are making headway in improving our students' achievement and attainment. Of course, the knowledge gap that existed at the start of the project was such that it will take a considerable amount of effort and time to reduce the gaps to our satisfaction.

 

Needless to say, we operate in a remote region and proximity to Somalia Border, a country still struggling to find its feet due to decades of conflict, is a challenge in good times. The past five months have been particularly challenging for the entire northern Kenya region due to cross-border raids by Al-Shabab militants targeting Non-Muslims Kenyans working in the region. Many teachers have died at their hands and the recent massacre at Garissa University in which  147 Kenyan Students lost their lives has exacerbated the situation. Many teachers have abandoned the region leaving thousands of students without qualified teachers.

Both primary and secondary schools in the region have continued to perform poorly in the national examinations due to shortages of teachers and inadequate resources. As a result, every year only a few students succeed in joining national universities to pursue professional courses. The region depended on the non-local workforce in crucial areas such as health and teaching. Unfortunately, due to insecurity caused by Al-Shabab militants from southern Somalia especially their deliberate targeting of Kenyans of non-Muslim faith, many professionals have abandoned the region.

The situation is now desperate, and many schools are now recruiting untrained teachers to fill the gaps. The standard of education will stand to get worse and, therefore, perpetuate the vicious cycle of underdevelopment. That is why the success of projects like ours is ever more needed to provide hope for orphans and vulnerable children who cannot supplement the poor quality of education they receive in the state schools.

Our girls are fortunate to be receiving 12 hrs of supplementary lessons taught by qualified teachers. Thank you for making that possible and with your continued support, we are confident that our students will make us and you proud.

Let me now share with you some of our successes as a result of your donations and continued support.

•    We managed to secure a grant of £5000 from Waterloo Foundation for our project. Thank you for making that possible.

•    We promised to let you know the amount of donation received from Red Sea Resort, a hotel business based in Mandera County; £5900

•    We have initiated a micro-credit scheme that is targeting vulnerable women-headed households. Five women are now working on our project. Please allow me to share with you a short background of Abdia's family.

Because of your kind donations, we were able to support Abdia's family. Abdia is a physically challenged mother of 5 children, 4 of whom are under 12 yrs of age.  The injuries she sustained during inter-clan conflicts in 2008  caused her disability. In 2013, her husband passed away due to malaria. Abdia was forced to make a very difficult decision of withdrawing her 13 yrs old son to take charge of the donkey-cart the father used to ferry firewood for sale to provide food for his family. To supplement the family's income and thereby reduce pressure on her son, Abdias is now receiving support from GENCAD 's Micro-Credit Scheme. She is among five women who supply tea and Mandazi to the orphan girls after school to enable them concentrate during lessons. Without your kind donations, this would not have been possible. Thank you, once more.

Girls having afternoon tea and mandazi 2
Girls having afternoon tea and mandazi 2
Lesson
Lesson
Lesson 2
Lesson 2
Beneficiaries of Micro-Credit Scheme
Beneficiaries of Micro-Credit Scheme
Abdia- Micro-credit beneficiary
Abdia- Micro-credit beneficiary

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