Education  Kenya Project #16965

Return 50 street children from Kibera to School

by The Turning Point Trust
Return 50 street children from Kibera to School
Return 50 street children from Kibera to School
Return 50 street children from Kibera to School
Return 50 street children from Kibera to School
Return 50 street children from Kibera to School
Return 50 street children from Kibera to School
Return 50 street children from Kibera to School
Return 50 street children from Kibera to School
Return 50 street children from Kibera to School
Return 50 street children from Kibera to School
Play time at Transition School
Play time at Transition School

Imagine having to watch your peers go to school every morning and listen to them sharing stories of their day in the evening yet you have spent your day fetching water for people because your guardian cannot afford to take you to school. It's not an easy picture to paint yet this was the life of Leo for two years before he joined the transition program.

Leo is a quiet 15 year old boy who stands a head taller than all his classmates and loves football. He is the son of a single mother and lives in a single room with his auntie and five other children in Kibera. It’s been a good year for Leo because he finally joins his peers every morning and comes to school and though he had to go back three grades due to being out of school for so long he is  learning and catching up.

As the school year comes to an end, we celebrate the strides that our students have made this year despite the many challenges they face out of school. We are excited to see them join formal primary school next year and continue to grow in every way.

Since its inception, the transition program has prepared more than 400 out-of-school transition to primary school and in 2020 we plan to grow our impact by increasing our admission to 50 students per year. We hope that you will continue supporting us as we give children like Leo the gift of education.

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Identifying letters
Identifying letters

Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s afternoon have become an exciting time for children at our transition programme. Every class gets to engage in fun learning activities with young and energetic volunteers from our partners, Vitabu Vyetu. Vitabu Vyetu works towards improving literacy levels for children aged 3-13 from urban slums in Kenya through tailor made reading clubs program.

The sessions carry on the fun spirit already alive in the school. In one class you hear children singing; in another the sound of giggles and when you peek at another you see children engaging their creative side as they learn. When it couldn’t get any more exciting, our newest partners, Kukua, who we met through Vitabu Vyetu, Introduced technology into the sessions.

Kukua is an organisation that combines technology and entertainment as a means of advancing learning for children. They have a number of products and we got to try Sema Run and Sema Trace; literacy games that target children between the age of 3-6 and help the children learn the alphabet sounds and how to write them. Our kids had the first go during last week’s session and the excitement on their faces could not be contained. The joy of getting through a level was crowned by taking selfies with the phones and tablets provided by Kukua and jazzing them up with stickers.

We can only imagine the stories they told their family and friends that evening and the sense of accomplishment they felt after every level. We are grateful for the opportunity to expose our students to the benefits of technology and how it can make learning fun. We hope that this is a lesson they can carry through their lives.

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Puzzle time...
Puzzle time...

I remember my kindergarten days filled with such fun times. I learnt in a class full of colour and light, every time I looked up on the walls I would see bits of my art work and get so excited when we worked on a new project because maybe this new piece would be put up too. Our classrooms moved from being a class, to an art gallery, to a music studio and to a playground in such a seamless way. I learnt and grew even during moments that I never knew were part of learning.

I don’t know about your experience but I suspect it was similar to mine or better and if it wasn’t I am sure you would want your children to be introduced to the academic world with experiences that inspires them to be creative, explore their strengths, be problem solvers and to have every one of their senses stimulated.

Unfortunately, due to a lot of factors that undermine the quality of education in informal settlements, a lot of children in these areas rarely get to have such experiences. Many kindergarten classes in Kibera are under resourced in terms of teaching materials, teachers, the size of classrooms are small and this leaves little room for children to even learn and be fully prepared to join primary school.

We envisioned that despite our environment we can give our students the kind of experience I had and even better and that is part of our plan this year. Our teachers are constantly creating fun learning experiences for the children and when you now walk into their classrooms their art work is up. In the corner of one of the classrooms there’s a carpet that has puzzles, flash cards and other items that children use to learn and sometimes, some pick puzzles over outdoor play, especially now that the temperatures are high.

We want to give these children an opportunity to develop holistically and we believe by having such experiences in their early years of learning they will grow being more confident in their abilities and flourish as individuals.

Thank you for supporting our work; you are part of life changing work.

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Girls in Transition Class enjoying craft time
Girls in Transition Class enjoying craft time

We've reached the end of the school year in Kenya, and another group of children have completed their time in the School Transition Programme and will join our free Fountains of Hope Primary School in January. It is a moment to celebrate how far they have come.

Meanwhile, our first ever group of Class 8 children have successfully completed their end of primary school exams and have performed so well. The average marks were a full 20 points higher than last year's results when we were supporting children in other schools. 

So Class 8 will move on to secondary school and make room for the new children entering the school from our School Transition Programme. This in turn makes space for new children to join the School Transition Programme, the admissions process will begin in January.

As we have evaluated the project at the end of the year, we've identified some areas that need improvement and we'll be trying out some new things in the new year as we strive to ensure each child gets the best care and opportunities. 

For example, we've learned that when we admit children towards the end of the year, they don't have enough time to catch up on the education they have missed fast enough to join school the following January, but remaining in Transition for another year can be demotivating. For this reason, we'll start admitting more children earlier in the year in the hope that the whole group will move on to school together.

We want to put a special focus on raising literacy levels too as many children really struggle with their reading and this holds them back in every subject. We want to start as early as possible to work on improving literacy and we're excited about the plans we have to achieve this.

Thank you so much for supporting our work this year!

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The World observed the International Youth Day on 12th August 2018. This day is meant to celebrate the contribution of young people in development and draw attention to the challenges and problems facing the youth.

"Safe spaces for Youth" was this year’s theme and as an organization, we strongly believe that for holistic development for our children to take place, safe spaces are important. These spaces not only enables the children to feel safe but also allows them to freely voice their thoughts and take part in recreational activities without fear.

Our Kianda centre that hosts the transitional and preparation class embodies this belief. Children who have never been to school despite being of age or are returning to school after long periods are often insecure about their capabilities and sometimes identity. Our teachers therefore have the task of helping them prepare to join formal schooling and to do so in an environment that protects their dignity, an environment that children can speak up and a space that is free from bullying even as young and much older children share common space.

We recognise that we have the responsibility to create a safe space in the midst of a community that is rife with various forms of violence against children and we are continually finding ways to keep our children safe in school and out of school by encouraging our parents to do the same at home during our annual parenting course.

You are a big part of this work and we celebrate you for continuously supporting us as we educate the children in an environment that strengthens and empowers them to be change makers.

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Organization Information

The Turning Point Trust

Location: Woking, Surrey - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @tptrust
Project Leader:
Judy Akoth
Yaya Centre, Nairobi Kenya
$9,937 raised of $32,500 goal
177 donations
$22,563 to go
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Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG16965

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