Benja before COVID-19 studies with a Kindle.
In our March fundraising campaign, we featured Benjamin, a boy in Grade 6 whom we sponsor for school fees. With the arrival of COVID-19, Benja, like so many other students around the world, has been at home.
Normally when schools are closed, he would be at Elimu Resource Centre getting his hands on textbooks to improve his performance and storybooks to build his literacy. He finds all the reading materials he needs on our Kindles and computers. But this time is different, he cannot come to the Centre, nor can any of the children who used to come.
His case is a little different than most children in England, or Canada, or other countries of the West. For poor children like Benjamin in Kenya, there is nothing like a TV or Smartphone at home to help him keep up with his studies.
In March, prior to COVID-19, we launched a campaign to raise funds for the much needed replacement of our digital tools and resources at Elimu Resource Centre. With over USD$5,300 raised we were well on our way to upgrading some important inventory.
But we will do things a little differently due to COVID-19. We will also purchase a stock of traditional paper textbooks to assist our sponsored students with course materials that they can use at home.
Thanks to many generous contributions, we will be able add to and to replace our digital resources - especially the malfunctioning Kindles each stocked with 200 - e-textbooks and e-storybooks. We will also add five more laptops to our Cisco Networking Academy. That will give us a total of 15 to help the youth of the community gain digital skills that will improve their employability. We have 35 recent high school graduates pursuing Cisco courses - waiting for an end to COVID-19 to get them back to their studies.
Some of our Cisco students have access to some type of digital device at home but money for internet access is spotty and the devices are slow. Keeping up with their course is difficult and frustrating but some of those we recently visited at home are doing their best to persevere. You can read more of the stories they shared with us on our online eMagazine: https://www.elimu.ca/eMagazine/Brian.html
We hope to at least have our Cisco students back to their studies by September. We are not yet sure when Benjamin and the other primary and high school students will be able to join us again at Elimu Resource Centre for study time with their friends under the guidance of our team of staff and volunteers. We wait eagerly for that day!
Boys use Elimu laptops to pursue Cisco courses.
Elimu Cisco students pursues her course at home.