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Feb 10, 2016

What the Numbers Mean for Mata and for us?

Text Books Class 7
Text Books Class 7

Dear friends and fellow partners,

it's almost the middle of February 2016, and we are yet to wish you great year ahead. My apologies for coming in this late...Happy New Year!

They say better late than never.

Allow me to ride on this theme even as we share a few insights, hopes and progress we are making as a team.

In November 2015, together we helped 15 children complete their primary school. Their average age 17 years. They were on average three years late, but they made it.

Because of you and with your partnership over the years, these children would have dropped out of school. Because of your generosity, they came through

In January 2016, 102 children received Vitamin A supplements after being reviewed. None was malnourished, thanks to the 2015 School Feeding Program. In 2016 we do not have any committments to support the School Feeding Program as was the case in 2015.

Also In January 2016, we got back the results and letters to join Form One. 100% of the students received calling letters to enter High/Secondary School/. We are yet unsure how many will take up the places.

Impact (100% got the opportunity to transition into High School), they might have been late- but they got the chance because you belived that every child deserves every chance.

Knowing these and more encourgaed us this year to take in more children like Mata*. She had been in a public primary school. She attained 247/500 marks at the end of last years assessment test. At age 15, she did not want to repeat another year in primary school. Mata is an orphan  but her resilient character caused her to come to Acres of Mercy and seek for a place. She had not even a shilling on her. We just had to take her in, to support her education dreams.

But we know, that she will complete school and with the right help transiion well and have a great future. It is for girls like Mata that we continue into the year knowing that every resource will work towards achieving this goal. Let us team up to provide the books, uniforms, teaching staff and techniques to improve chances of 20% girls 30% boys obtaining scholarships (1 former student at Acres of Mercy got two scholarship opportunities and had to choose one). My request to you is to consider doubling donation support, increasing recurrent giving and mobilize friends and family to join in this cause.

For example our current Textbook to Student Ratio is 1:12. Getting this to 1:2 would improve teaching and learning with 20% possible improvement in standadised test scores.

This is our 2016 challenge. Let's join forces, rise to meet the challenge. 

Nutrition Intervention
Nutrition Intervention
Sharing Everywhere
Sharing Everywhere
Nov 17, 2015

Transition Time: 10 years of Education Investments bears Fruit

Graduating Class 2015
Graduating Class 2015

Dear friends,

Ten years ago we started intervening in the lives of vulnerable children and families, wth the aim of helping their parents stabilize socio-economically as their children received an education.

We started out with seventeen children in pre school stage.

Ten years later, all the original children we started out with have successfully completed primary level education. Through various challenges, false starts, unexpected successes, internal turmoils, parental instabilities, political upheavals- we have experienced the smell of primal success.

The average age of these students was 16 years, with the oldest being 18 years of age and the youngest being 15 years of age. The transition age at primary level would normally be 14 years of age. This means that we have successfully transitioned children who would otherwise have dropped out of school without our intervention. The graduating students will now be able to transition either into secondary school or into youth polytechnics and other tertiary schools.

Some of the key statistics are as follows:

  • Of the 15 students, 5 were girls (33%); 10 were boys (67%)
  • One girl was pregnant during her last year in school- giving birth to a baby girl in October, a month before the final exam.
  • She was supported through counselling and was still able to study and sit her final exams.

There were  5 other students who had interim periods at the school and whose benefactors were later able to afford higher fees. The total of students transitioning out of primary school because of direct and indirect intervention with the help of your support comes to  20, 13 boys and 7 girls, a completion rate of 117%.

From little boys and girls to young men and women, your faithfulness over the years has borne the fruits of dogged determination to give all children every chance.

Thank you, for making this possible. 

Looking Back 2011-2012
Looking Back 2011-2012
Nov 17, 2015

Dare to Integrate Research into Classroom Practice

Teachers Working Together
Teachers Working Together

Dear friends,

The drive to ensure quality teaching is given to students who are vulnerable continues. It has been a long school year at Msingi Bora Learning Centre yet the resolve to do better as teachers in the coming year has never been stronger. You can sense it in the earnesteness of the questions being asked by the teachers.

"What must we do to get our children to improve? Our challenge here is comprehension. The children can read but the comprehension levels are still low? We must exchange ideas to improve their perfromance in this area."

These are words from one of our staff during a review and planning meeting on how to ensure students are getting what they need. It is encouraging to say the least. The passion is evident as strategies are shared. We have a pool of resources including a years subscription to access relevant research from the International Literacy Association (ILA).

The teachers will have access to strategies to intervene in situations like the one mentioned above. This interaction with research into reading, comprehension and how poverty affects literacy would help us develop local interventions. 

As we dare to integrate research into daily classroom practice we know teaching quality will improve and children will have a better chance at succeeding in life.

Your part in enabling this transformation is most appreciated and we trust to see results multiplied as we continue standing together, working together, sharing ideas, and pointing us to best practices that will sustain the impact we are having in the live of vulnerable children who would otherwise not be able to access quality education.

Thank you most importantly for giving generously, sacrificially in support of the vision to give children a fighting chance in life. 

 
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