Education  Kenya Project #13015

Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!

by Kenya Connect (KC)
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Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
James providing a mask to one of our students
James providing a mask to one of our students

Why the number 8125?  It's the number of face masks that have been created as part of Kenya Connect's strategy to keep the community safe.  With deep connections in the community, our Visionary Co-Founder and Executive Director, James Musyoka, has led the staff in developing Covid-19 Prevention Programs for the Village of Wamunyu.  Thanks to grants and donor support, 8125 face masks have been created by local women who make our Wings Poa Reusable Sanitary Pad kits.  These masks are being distributed via our staff and Community Health Volunteers.   Boda Boda drivers (motorcyle), Mama Mbogas (Market women), barbers and hairstyles, and students, parents and teachers have received FREE face masks.  As the face masks are being distributed, our staff has provided Covid-19 prevention education including how to effectively wash hands, the necessity of physical distancing, and the importance of not gathering in crowds.  With schools slated to open next week, Kenya Connect will be distributing even more face masks to teachers and students.

"Let me say, Kenya Connect, you continue to surprise us all the time with your action.  The masks you gave us for the CHVs-- first responders-- have been extremely helpful.  From the Office of the Governor, we really appreciate this donation of 700 face masks." Mark Nzomo, Mwala Subcounty administrator.

As a result of our nimble and swift response to the Pandemic, the ONE Campaign to eliminate extreme poverty featured James Musyoka in their.  "Stories of Solidarity." We invite you to take 2 minutes to watch this thoughtful VIDEO on the importance of NGOs in fighting the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Over the years, GlobalGiving donors to Kenya Connect have ensured that we can deliver creative, necessary, and well designed programs that meet the needs of our community.  We couldn't do it without you.  Your vote of confidence allows our Kenyan team to provide enrichment and empowerment programs while being able to pivot during this unprecendented pandemic.  

Next month we will be sharing more on the reopening of schools.  We know that students will be excited to start computer classes, borrow books, and begin learning again,

On behalf of the students, teachers, parents, and community of Wamunyu, we thank you for donating to us.

Community Heath Volunteers
Community Heath Volunteers
Teaching effective hand washing
Teaching effective hand washing
Mamas ready to make masks
Mamas ready to make masks
Safe library days continue!
Safe library days continue!
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Abigael is a Read Aloud Reader
Abigael is a Read Aloud Reader

Abigael, a member of the Lioness LitClub, was the featured reader for the Kenya Connect Radio Read Aloud!  "It was so exciting to hear my voice on the radio!" Abigael joyfully commented.  Reading Mama Hen's Cozy Wings, Abigael's strong voice inspired student readers listening to the show.  The Radio Real Aloud show is part of our strategy to reach learners during the school shutdown due to the Pandemic.  Featured during the children's hour on Mbaitu FM, a station broadcasting from Machakos, the Radio Read Aloud features a story, lesson and activities.  Students can call in (using their parents' phones) to win prizes as well as through completing assignments.  During the Read Aloud program we invite students to enroll in our library card program and to borrow books to read while schools are closed.

LitClubs are part of our new partnership with LitWorld, a non-profit promoting literacy around the world.  With training and materials from LitWorld, staff members Cyrus, Cornelius, Monicah and Margaret serve as mentors for these weekly sessions.  It's been especially rewarding for the staff to arrive at the schools to begin the LitClub sessions to find the students leading Read Alouds with each other!  Monicah commented that back in February when we began the clubs, students barely spoke, and now they are confident readers!  

In addition, 540 students are participating in the 2020 Reading Challenge! Each student is challenged to read 25 books during a three month period.  They record the books read in the colorful Reading Challenge guide designed by high school students at the Garrison Forest School in Maryland.  The guides also include crossword puzzles, mazes, word searches and fun fact activities.  In October all students completing the challenge will receive a string bag and other prizes and we will "crown" the top King and Queen readers.

These reading programs, coupled with our ongoing library days, are providing literacy learning for our rural learners.  Support from our GlobalGiving donors ensures that we can continue these programs that inspires and builds confidence for our students.  

"I want to be a pilot and reading is paving the way," says Koki, one of the Radio Read Aloud presenters.  Thank you for supporting Abigael, Koki, Janet, and Alex, our first group of student Radio Readers.  As a result of the Radio Read Aloud success, plans are underway to continue this program in 2021.

Learning is fun at the Lioness LitClub!
Learning is fun at the Lioness LitClub!
We're Going to Read 25 books!
We're Going to Read 25 books!
Mentor Monicah explains the Reading Challenge
Mentor Monicah explains the Reading Challenge
Excited to be a Radio Read Aloud Prizewinner!
Excited to be a Radio Read Aloud Prizewinner!
"I want to be a pilot!" Read Aloud Reader, Koki
"I want to be a pilot!" Read Aloud Reader, Koki
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The Joy of Reading!
The Joy of Reading!

Library Days, Compost Toilets and Wings Poa..... that's an odd combination.  Actually, it's some of the projects that our staff is working on during the Pandemic.

As of this newsletter, Kenya is reporting 22,053 cases with 369 deaths.  Recently there have been several deaths in the Mwala subcounty where we are located.  Our staff continues to lead the way with Covid-19 coronavirus prevention and the distribution of masks made by local women.  These masks are being distributed by community health volunteers, to students and parents borrowing books, and other community members in need.

Schools have been closed until January 2021 due to the pandemic.  This means many of our students are falling farther behind.  In an effort to keep students reading, we are holding socially distanced library days which is coupled with the distribution of face masks.  We've created activity sheets, launched our Reading Challenge and encouraged students to keep journals.  At some schools, parents are coming to check out books for their children.  They are grateful to have the enrichment for their children since most are without electricity, internet or materials for learning at their homes.  Our staff has produced and broadcast 7 Radio Read Aloud Programs.  Mbaitu FM has reported that we have over 400,00 listeners!  

At the same time, Kenya Connect has built banks of compost toilets at Maanzoni and Ngangani Primary Schools.  These toilets use the elegant technology by GiveLove.org for "Keeping Poop in the Loop!" Each bank of toilets has five stalls, hand washing stations and the girls bank has a shower so girls can stay clean during their menstrual cycle.  Last year teachers at these two schools piloted the compost toilets and are very excited that the students will be able to have clean sanitation.  Eventually compost will be used to nourish the Moringa Trees and kitchen gardens.

Recently we learned that many girls are without sanitary products to use during the pandemic.  In response, our staff is distributing Wings Poa Reusable Sanitary pad kits to girls at our partner schools.  As the kits are being distributed to the groups of girls, our staff is providing menstrual health and hygiene information as well as face masks to the girls and their parents.  Esther Muinde, our Coordinator for Monitoring and Evauluation and Empowerment Programs commented, "I am pleased we can support our girls even when they are not in school."

We are deeply grateful to our GlobalGiving donors who continue to support us so generously.  Local NGOs like Kenya Connect are leading the way in fighting the Covid-19 coronavirus while still providing enrichment to our learners.  We couldn't do it without you.  Asante Sana (thank you very much!)

The 2020 Reading Challenge has launched
The 2020 Reading Challenge has launched
Parents borrowing books for their children
Parents borrowing books for their children
Student Bank of Compost Toilets
Student Bank of Compost Toilets
Wings Poa Kits
Wings Poa Kits
Continued Mask Distribution
Continued Mask Distribution
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We're Excited!
We're Excited!

Schools may be closed, but the Kenya Connect Team is working hard to support learners during the pandemic.  In June we launched "Radio Read Alouds" on the Machakos Mbaitu FM station to engage students with books.  A staff member reads a delightful story which is followed by a lesson with our PLC Coordinator and Teacher, Judith Mutisya.  During the show, students can call in to win prizes and activities are recommended to do after the show.  One of our partner teachers, Mr. Masingi, wrote to us.  "I listened through the introduction, story itself, and the explanation/analysis.  Honestly, it was wonderful, marvelous, fascinating.   I lack the adjectives to describe.  I hope our learners follow it every Saturday.  Even teachers who follow it have an added value to their experience."  We plan to continue this program at least through July.  At the same time, our library is open for book check-out (following proper Covid Prevention procedures).  We are also launching our 2nd Annual Reading Challenge to encourage students to read over 25 books in an effort to strengthen fluency and comprehension while opening new worlds of books to them.  

At the same time, our Moringa Tree Project is growing thanks to the PanAfrican Award, 1Treellion Foundation, and individual donors.  The Moringa Trees are being planted at four partner schools as a way for students to learn about the life-cycle of trees first hand, as a means to improve the environment, and as a school enterprise project.   Once the trees mature, the leaves and seeds will be harvested to create Moringa powder for teas and to add to soups and stews as a nutrient.  This week Co-Founder and Executive Director James Musyoka was featured on the Butterfly Effect Trees Podcast with Tali Orad on Spotify.  You can listen to this beautiful piece HERE.

Finally, we are beyond thrilled to announce..... drum roll please..... the creation of the LRC Annex and Maker Space!

The LRC Annex will house a proper Library.  It will be a library with a kiddie story time corner, study carrels, reading seating, and plenty of shelves to house our growing collection of over 10,000 books.  The creation of the Library will allow students as well as community members to directly borrow books!

The building will have a small Sound Studio/Radio Station to create videos and radio content and to provide students with a hands-on learning experience by hosting radio shows.  This two-story building will also house staff workspace and a conference room in the upper floor.  Currently the staff is crowded in the LRC, and in order to grow and support our many programs, it’s essential to have more space.  The LRC Annex will be solar powered and connected to the Kenya Connect internet.  A front veranda will provide additional program space.

We will renovate the current LRC staff office space to create a Maker Space with a laptop cart, sewing machines, art materials, robotics kits, silk screening materials and other supplies for students and the community to create.  This creative space will allow for entrepreneurial activities and student enrichment.  The Campus will be flanked by newly planted trees and will include seating areas for reading and meeting.

We invite YOU to contribute to this project on GlobalGivings Summer Match Day on July 15th!  We've created a special page for this LRC Annex and Maker Space Capital Project.  Donors will have the option for naming and dedication opportunities too.

Our work continues to expand with a deeper impact reaching even more students thanks to you!  We hope you'll join us on July 15th!

Musyoka listens to the Read Aloud
Musyoka listens to the Read Aloud
Cornelius takes students on a Lion Hunt
Cornelius takes students on a Lion Hunt
Students Planting Moringa Seeds
Students Planting Moringa Seeds
1Treellion Moringa's growing
1Treellion Moringa's growing
LRC Annex
LRC Annex

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LitClub Students Receive Their Packets!
LitClub Students Receive Their Packets!

"I'm so happy to see the bus filled with boxes of books!" Mwende.  Schools are still closed in Kenya due to the Pandemic, but LitClubs and borrowing books has begun with social distancing, face masks, and special procedures.  

Most students in our village live in homes without electricity, internet or books.  Students help with farm chores and collect water, but most are bored and are missing school.  We consulted with teachers and parents and have slowly and carefully begun to reopen several of our programs including LitClubs.  The staff created "Lit" activity packets for the students and traveled to their schools to distribute them.  Prior to the "LitClub" activities, Kenya Connect provided information on Covid-19 to the students including how they can protect themsleves and the importance of hand washing, social distancing and the use of face masks.  In addition, each student was given a face mask made by local women and funded through Kenya Connect.

Cornelius, Cyrus, Monicah and Margaret, KC's Lit Mentors, met with the LitClubs sharing the activity packets and assisting with book check out.  The students were thrilled with the enrichment activities and excited to borrow books. Using sentences with adjectives, solving anagrams, and identifying nouns were all part of the packets.  With no public libraries or books at home, the students were ecstatic to see the Kenya Connect team and the collection of books.

Supporting our students and these enrichment programs would not be possible without donors like you.  The pandemic has been especially challenging for our rural village, and even though the Kenyan Ministry of Education is offering distant learning via the internet and television, almost all of our students are being left behind.  We are looking at ways to begin offering additional programs within the Kenyan Covid-guidelines and in a safe manner for students and our staff.  

Thank you for supporting Kenya Connect on GlobalGiving.  If you haven't done so already, please follow us on instagram, twitter and facebook to see our work on a daily basis.  We love sharing our stories!

Reading is a true gift.  Stay safe and know that you are expanding students' horizons in rural Kenya through the joy, wonder, and knowledge of books.

Teaching Students How and When to Wear a Face Mask
Teaching Students How and When to Wear a Face Mask
Checking Out Books!
Checking Out Books!
Cornelius Meets with LitClub Students
Cornelius Meets with LitClub Students
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Organization Information

Kenya Connect (KC)

Location: Wamunyu, Machakos - Kenya
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @KenyaConnect
Project Leader:
James Musyoka
Wamunyu, Kenya
$205,174 raised of $250,000 goal
 
3,122 donations
$44,826 to go
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Account: GG13015

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