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Oct 16, 2018

Beyond the Classroom...

Soko Student installing Mobile Education Software
Soko Student installing Mobile Education Software

Since starting our work almost two and a half years ago, one of the biggest lessons we learnt was that making education accessible to all children was not simply about addressing the issues they faced while at school. While it is crucial to continue to make the classroom environment better and make books and learning material easily accessible (especially to those living in the slums and rural areas), it is also important to go beyond the classroom.

At Soko Primary School in Nyakach, we have been able to address a couple of such issues that go further than the classroom but make a big difference for the students.

Eneza Education

To help students study and revise better after school, we partnered with Eneza Education to run a pilot program using their mobile education platform Shupavu. All registered candidates for the upcoming KCPE exams received access to the mobile platform to help them revise and prepare for their exams in their spare time or whilst at home. The platform allows them to ask live questions to teachers via SMS and helps them brush up on any topics they may be having challeges with. Students also have access to past papers and practice questions with guidance on how to answer questions correctly.

COHESU

Through our partnership with a local NGO, Cohesu, we have been able to ensure that all the girls at Soko Primary School receive new school shoes at least twice a year. This helps reduce the risk of Jiggers and Bilharzia which are both prevalent in the Lakeside region. This also makes the morning walk to school a lot more comfortable and eases the financial burden on parents/guardians who may not have enough money to buy new school shoes.

New Shoes!
New Shoes!
And they
And they're on...
Soko Std. 8 Girls receiving T-Shirts
Soko Std. 8 Girls receiving T-Shirts
All girls of Soko also received books and pencils.
All girls of Soko also received books and pencils.
Ready to run in the new shoes
Ready to run in the new shoes

Links:

Aug 13, 2018

Kitabu Changu Haki Yangu

Students at Valley Learning Centre
Students at Valley Learning Centre's New Library

Kitabu Changu Haki Yangu (Swahilli for My Book, My Right) is a literacy program aimed at building libraries and resource centres in the slums and rural parts of Kisumu County in Kenya.

With students in these areas barely being able to access school text books, having access to story books and activity books among a wider range of books is a distant dream. This project makes this dream a reality and introduces the power of imagination and ideas that will open up their lives and dare them to dream of greater possibilities than their current surroundings allow them.

This program creates resource centres that allow both current and future students to have access to text books (something both parents and the government are unable to provide). It is our belief this will take the burden off parents, encouraging them to enrol their children in school at the right age and pursue education. More importantly, it gives the students access to a much needed wider range of books, especially story books that will expose them to different ideas and worlds, improve their literacy and vocabulary and inspire them to dream big.

While the planet leaps from one technological advancement to the next at a dizzying speed, children in these areas continue to lag behind exponentially. Access to hard copies of books is the first step. However, it is imperative that the students have access to newer forms of reading like e-readers to be at par and connect with students of their age in other parts of the country and the world. It will provide a longer-term solution that is cost-effective, space-efficient and easier to manage in the long run.

Why is there a need for a Literacy Program?

Despite being one of the more developed counties in the country, Kisumu ranks very poorly at 30 out of 47 counties in terms of literacy rates. With an estimated 202 million illiterate people, Sub-Saharan Africa is considered to have the lowest literacy rates in the world. 

At 87%, Kenyan youth have a much higher literacy rate than that of Sub-Saharan Africa. Kisumu, however, lags behind at 66%. (Please note: this is the latest data available for Kisumu from a 2013 report. The current number may be slightly different).

What Progress Have we made?

Since starting this program, we have distributed over 1,000 exercise books and pencils each among other learning material to the various schools we work with. We have made small makeshift libraries at 3 schools (Valley, Soko and Elimu) where students now have access to nearly 800 story books. We conducted our first Reading and Storytelling Workshop with some of the most enthusiastic volunteers we have had the honour of working with who spent time with the children teaching and introducing them to books and reading in a fun and positive way.

Program Infographic
Program Infographic
Literacy Rates Explained
Literacy Rates Explained
Classroom Session at Valley Learning Centre
Classroom Session at Valley Learning Centre

Links:

Jul 18, 2018

Big Dreams, Bright Futures!

KenyanKids Sanitary Pads Program
KenyanKids Sanitary Pads Program

Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful girls of Kenyan Kids and providing them with some food items, story books, learning material and AFRIpads Deluxe Menstural Kits under RKF's Sanitary Pads Program. The Re-usable Menstrual Kits are a more sustainable, cost-effective and long-term solution that will help keep the girls in school throughout the year.

What a bunch of inspirational young women who have big smiles and even bigger dreams. We had an incredible afternoon catching up with them, hearing them sing and share their future hopes. They dream to become teachers and doctors with one of the girls wanting to become a neurosurgeon! Here's to their bright futures...

You can support this project by making a donation between 4pm on 18th July 2018 and 7am on the 19th July (Kenyan Time/GMT+3). All donations will be matched by 50%. Recurring donations will be matched 100%.

KenyanKids Football
KenyanKids Football

Links:

 
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