Nifa finds a new comic to read in our library
Nifa is 10 years old, has an older brother and two younger ones, and lives with her father in Kibera, Kenya, one of the largest informal settlements in East Africa. An outgoing student, Nifa likes to jumprope, tell jokes, and play football. And now, thanks to her enrollment in Sunflower's Pathways to Alternative Learning and Education (PALE) program, Nifa loves to read.
Nifa enrolled in Sunflower's Pathways program as a shy fifth grade student. "She lacked confidence," remembers PALE teacher Victor Owour. Her lack of confidence was directly tied to her inability to read. After an inital testing, the Sunflower staff realized that Nifa was functionally illiterate; her poor reading skills affected her education, her future plans, and most importantly, her self-esteem and self-worth. When she couldn't read, Nifa felt "stupid, useless... like I did not know anything".
Three months later, Nifa's reading has grown tremendously, thanks to the PALE and the Pass the Mic Program. Immersed in literacy on a daily basis, Nifa was Sunflower's most improved student in literacy during her first term at PALE. Through the dedicated work of our PALE teachers, Nifa grew 33% in spelling, 66% in vocabulary, and 20% in comprehension, making her one of our most improved students in the PALE program. Her parents and teachers report a change in attitude as well, Nifa is more outgoing, confident, and engaged in class, as a result of her time at Sunflower.
At the end of our first term, our 20 PALE students grew an average of 8% in spelling, 11% in vocabulary, and 33% in comprehension, and 17% in overall literacy, proving that our PALE model works to bring the most vunerable girls from illiteracy to holistic education and support. Three months ago, Nifa was functionally illiterate. Today, she is a voracious reader with an apettite for knowledge, who dreams of becoming a teacher or headmistress.
The first phase of the Pass the Mic! project is all about the building blocks of literacy, phonics, writing and basic comprehension. This second phase, our PALE students will engage with personal narrative writing to build their own Pass the Mic! book. In keeping with our holistic model, our students will engage with proven confidence and self-esteem building techniques, including yoga, mindfulness and meditation, art and sports, to make them more confident readers and leaders!
Sunflower Global is incredibly grateful for your support of Pass the Mic! and our Kibera programs! We can't wait to see what is next, and are so excited to have you along for the ride to support amazing girls like Nifa.
Nifa and her friends at the Sunflower Library
Nifa and her art