Thanks to you, GlobalGiving Donors, this is the last report for this project as posted. The Distance Learning Center has been established. It is in the hands of the Community Based Organization, Rabondo Community Project. They are responsible to lead and guide the Center to meet the communities’ needs. A small library was added and is doing well. We are going to revisit our Memorandum of Understanding together and set new goals. As the Library project has been so successful, we hope to increase the Children's Reading Program. You may see another project listed to take the Learning Center to the next step.
This project is in a collaboration with another organization, The Rabondo Community Project. In 2012, volunteers from Expanding Opportunities, traveled to Rabondo and gave the small library a boost cataloging additional books and building shelves to put them in circulation. At the beginning of 2013, the Rabondo Commhnity Project was undergoing some changes. Expanding Opportunities has not been to visit in the first quarter of 2013.
Though the center was built with the mission to bring connectivity and distance learning to the rural community of Rabondo, a secondary mission has grown. The constant, important ever loved practice of READING BOOKS TO CHILDREN jumped to the forefront. The children flock to the center during their lunch break and after school to hear a story.
The Center is still in operation and in need of a boost. Additional computers, signage and a long term volunteer (2 to 6 months) to organize and formalize the library reading program. Your donation at this time will be applied to computers, signage and materials for the reading program.
The learning center is open and running. Maggie Smith was there in September. She spent days doing catalogs of the books at the library. I was there during that time and the work she did is very great. I really appreciate on behalf of the RCPUSA, the community and the Learning Center.
Though the learning center is running well, there is still more to be done and money is badly needed. Supplies are needed, for example; paper, ink cartridges, toner etc. Lilian's salary also. A pit latrine is badly needed as Lilian has to cross over to the other side of the compound. People coming to the Learning Center also need a latrine. Some maintenance is needed as well. We await the expansion of the learning center to the other available rooms. Plastering, painting and installation of electricity is necessary. The purchase of books in line with the Kenyan education curriculum will help students who cannot afford to buy them. They will be able to come to Learning Center and study.
We got a better printer and it is good in both quality and reliability compared to the others we had, but the toner it uses is very expensive.
The traffic that we had earlier went down during the power shortage then before it could rebuild, the strike occurred in schools. The schools rely on the Learning Center for services.
As we did not expect traffic to rise immediately, the progress is promising. Indeed, the Learning Center and especially the library is one of the best things in the Rabondo community and we cannot afford to lose it. It really supported students who were out of school due to the strike. They found a place in the Library at the Learning Center conducive to study.
I am sure the Learning Center will achieve self-sustainability. I expect the traffic to start building up soon. I anticipate that there will be a lot of work as the election is nearing. People will visit for various services; pictures, posters, ID processing documents etc.
Women and children are benefiting very much from the program. Women train and embrace the culture. Therefore, its continuity is important for the community.
It is always a great pleasure when a volunteer chooses to return to continue a project. In early 2012, Maggie volunteered to assist at the Distance Learning enter in Rabondo. Sorting through books, cataloging them and placing them on the new shelving in the tiny library was a hot but rewarding job. While working outside with the books, the children heading home for lunch were drawn like a magnet. That was when Maggie decided to start a reading program. Selecting a child's picture book from the myriad books on the table. She began to read! What fascination and wonder. From that day it was hard to get the children to go have lunch and then return to school!
This fall, 2012, Maggie has decided to return to the Distance Learning Center to continue the reading program and assist with the computer classes.
The Learning Center in Rabondo has its challenges and success. Marketing the center, teaching computer classes, internet access is only a piece of the work. A library is slowing building and more are visiting to use its services. This year, as books were being sorted in the bright African sunshine, children on their way to and from school wandered in to see what was going on. Voila! A new reading program has begun. Children gathered on their way home from school for a book reading!
Your donations move this project along and increase access to education for all ages in Rabondo.
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