As we build linkages between students in Wamunyu, Kenya and students in developed nations through teacher collaborations, student letter and project exchanges, and live discussions - all in order to improve educational experiences - we have one major obstacle. Imagine both sides prepared and ready for a highly anticipated experience all to be dashed by a weak internet connection! A $5,000 cable is needed to connect our friends around the world who have so much to learn from one another.
One of the underlying reasons to reach out and create linkages is that Kenyan teachers do not have resources to do their jobs. Twenty-five students are sharing a single book, close to half the students do not attend secondary school in some rural areas, and college is a fantasy. Teachers and students with the best intentions and high aspirations will not succeed without some basic classroom materials to work with and some professional development.
There is one resource that could make a vast improvement. A cable to supply internet access to the recently opened Learning Resource Center - primarily funded by a former Global Giving challenge - would mean that students and teachers would have digital materials available for all the subjects taught in school. And the teachers could access live trainings on the best practices in education.
The long term impacts cannot be overstated. We have 54 schools we work with in Wamunyu, Kenya. This project will affect thousands and thousands of school children. With better resources and training, students will attend secondary schools in greater numbers, better secondary schools will be chosen, some students will go on to college and then be leaders in the nation, and others will have access to jobs upon completion of their education. The economic development repercussions are enormous.