Our biggest milestone yet has been the building of the Learning Resource Center (LRC) in Wamunyu, Kenya. It was completed in 2012 and it provides a place where students and teachers can come and learn using 21st century resources. It was built with local materials by local craftsmen. It is the only “ICT” center specifically for rural students within 100 km. Without the LRC, the students and teachers of the rural area around Wamunyu would not have access to computers or the internet. Read more…
The bulk of our partner schools are located 10-30 km from the LRC, which is up to a 10+ hour walk each way, we prioritized our goal to purchase a bus so we could have a larger impact. We are thrilled to say we purchased our “Magic School Bus” in the spring of 2017 and the distant schools have “jumped” right on board. Our technology programs are now accessibly by all students, no matter how distant their school might be from our LRC. Read more…
In an effort to break down barriers to education, the Kenya Connect solar light initiative began in the summer of 2016. It is a direct result of an amazing visit to Greenlight Planet in Nairobi (manufacturer of SunKing Solar Lights). It was clear that the design of their SunKing products are perfect for the rigors of use in rural Kenya and could dramatically impact the life of families in rural Kenya. Read more…
One major barrier to education for girls in rural areas is the lack of resources to deal with their menstrual cycle each month. The girls remain at home to attend to their menstrual needs and therefore do not attend school and miss valuable educational time. Thanks to a grant from World Help (for sewing machines and materials) and Kathy Wheeler (for the sanitary pad prototype), we were able to kick off our Reusable Sanitary Pad Program. Our own Kenya Connect board member Faith Doucette and her friend Marissa taught a large group of 11 women from the Kithito kya Kyeengai Women’s Dance group as well as students and teachers at the Wamunyu Special School how to make and use the reusable pads. Read more…
Liquid Soap Program
Keeping kids healthy keeps them in school and handwashing is critical in keeping student’s healthy. We are in the process of establishing a program to teach schools how to make their own liquid hand soap.
107,772 Pen Pal letters have been exchanged over the history of Kenya Connect. This number includes letters going to and coming from Kenya. That is a remarkable amount of cultural exchange with our youth.
26 Schools participated in the 2012 – 2013 US Academic Calendar year and 28 participated in the
2013 – 2014 Academic Calendar. In addition to sending letters, some of these schools exchanged further:
- Created books and sent to Kenya
- Made videos of science experiments to replicate in Kenya
- Skype book group session with class in Kenya at the LRC.
In Kenya, we have 55 schools in the rural Wamunyu area participating with Kenya Connect, which includes 44 primary schools and 11 secondary schools. The schools cover a geographic area of about 60 Kilometers in radius. We typically have about 12 schools a year in the United States that do “school sponsorship/service fundraising” projects on behalf of their partner school in Kenya. The money raised has gone directly to the partner schools for critical school improvements and/or special projects. 133 Schools in the USA, primarily in Maryland, but also in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, California, Colorado and New Mexico have participated with Kenya Connect since 2002.
Examples of fundraising projects undertaken by schools in the past include:
- Walk for Wamunyu (individual students raise money via sponsors)
- Change for change (coin drive)
- Quidditch Tournament
- Selling Candy
Since these efforts began, over $402,000 US dollars have raised for school related projects in Kenya by American students and individual donors. Some of the projects that have been accomplished include:
- Water Development – $98,476 (47 Water Tanks and 38 Hand Washing Stations)
- School Building Renovations – $102,022
- Fences Around Schools – $26,521
- Sporting Equipment – $14,963
- De-worming for schools
- Hand washing Stations for hygiene
- Uniforms – $8,509
- Special Projects – $39,209 (Pit Latrines, Electricity installation, Chicken Coops, Wheel Chairs, Play Equipment, etc.)
12 Teams of Volunteers have traveled from the United States to visit and work at Kenya Connect Project sites, including 20 University students. Read more…