Posted by: David Omondi
Today, Akili Preparatory school pupils read storybooks at the library. The books were donated by Safaricom.
The Akili Library and Information Centre is the only Library in the Obunga slums serving over 500 children and youth in the community. The Library was started in response to the lack of a conducive-studying environment, which is miserably lacking in the Obunga slums hence denying the community members, especially school going children and youth, reference and other reading materials which enhances their knowledge levels.
Our vision is that children will be doing homework at the library in August 2013. This project will solve the problem of computer illiteracy by providing computer learning opportunities for the marginalized children, youth and women in the slum. The Obunga slums, with significantly higher than average incidences of crime, truancy, teen pregnancy, drug use & alcohol abuse, suffers from a lack of constructive activities for children & youth. Akili provides a safe haven for the children and youth of the Obunga slums by providing text books to users, teaching kids how to read & write, providing homework assistance and reading space and providing comprehensive computer training. The result will be a reduction in crime and illicit activity, a measurable increase in academic performance, and the provision of life skills to ensure success in school, in the community and in life.
Following the funding from the Safaricom Foundation, the children at Akili Prep school, along with the regular users of the library, now have a variety of story books in local titles to choose from. Previously, the children were forced to read one story book over and again. It was not unusual to find 3 to 5 children sharing one text book at the library. However, this has since changed following the purchase of Kshs 132,500 worth of text books for the library.
Over 80 students from 19 primary and 20 high schools in Obunga and other parts of Kisumu County visited the library in August 2013. About 55% of the students were in primary school while 45% were high school students.
Malachi and Maureen from the Safaricom Foundation had an opportunity to access the Library before funding. Currently, the diverse groups of students visiting the library greatly improves the interaction between students from different schools; enabling them to discuss homework, exchange notes and revise together, hence improving their grades instead of idling or engaging in illicit activities for lack of constructive activities.
The basic computer training provided will help prepare the children and youth for relevance in our competitive and information-based and computer-driven society. Prior to the funding from Safaricom Foundation, the library only had one desktop computer which could not adequately address the training needs of the users.
As a direct result of this funding, the children at the Akili Preparatory school are not left out as they now have a chance to develop their computer skills by using e-toys. E-toys enable the children to make their own models, stories, and games, which keeps them engaged because it's a lot of fun. It offers great potential in terms of exposing the children to much needed computer technology and related opportunities at an early age which will go a long way in giving them that competitive edge in their future academic and employment life.
Teacher Jacinta helps pupils at Akili Prep to read letters from their Pen Pals from Freedom Christian Academy, USA. We take this opportunity to thank the Safaricom Foundation for joining us in creating sustainable change in our community and for this generous donation that will go a long way in promoting literacy and eradicating poverty in the Obunga slums and help Kenya achieve the vision 2030 goal of reducing illiteracy by increasing access to education and raising the quality and relevance of education.
The Safaricom Foundation is a registered charitable trust, and is the Corporate Social Investment arm of Safaricom Limited. The Foundation funds a range of projects in the education sector and is interested in supporting the provision of learning environments that will allow students to thrive and succeed. Since its inception, the foundation has supported the construction and equipping of classrooms, libraries, dormitories, ablution blocks, and laboratories in order to provide a satisfactory learning environment for children.
Books generously donated by the Safaricom Foundation
Riley Orton Foundation
Riley Orton Foundation (ROF) provides holistic education and promotes gender equality in STEM education to ensure girls and a community with the agency to realize their full potential