On Thursday 12th March 2020, Kenya confirmed the first patient that tested positive for the coronavirus. The following week, a directive to close all learning institutions led to a shutdown of primary schools, high schools and universities across the country. Some 17 million students were affected as traditional classroom learning was disrupted. While some urban schools adapted quickly and moved their learning to online platforms, others were not so lucky owing to inadequate digital infrastructure to support remote learning. Among the students most affected were our Elephant Scholars in public schools, most of whom live in remote rural areas with limited access to electricity and internet connectivity.
To support learning and to reach out to as many students as possible, the Ministry of Education launched and freely broadcasts 20-minute radio lessons. However, as very few students access televisions or even radio sets, these broadcasts were limited to only a few of our scholars. The only way we could support our students and motivate them to continue studying at home was to put together educational care packages tailored to each student’s needs.
Through the generous support of our sponsors, the education team was able to acquire items for care packages, delivering each to individual students in their home area. The packages contained essential class texts that allowed students to catch up with the syllabus. Our tech-savvy college scholars received monthly internet bundles to allow them access to learning materials via their smartphones.
All our scholars in homes without access to electricity also received a set of solar lamps equipped with phone chargers and solar panels so they can study at night, a change most students welcomed from the typical dimly lit and unhealthy smoke-filled kerosene lamps. Face masks and hand sanitizers were also sent to learners to ensure they continue to observe proper health and hygiene amidst the pandemic. All these efforts and smiles on the students faces were made possible by our dedicated donors who extended a helping hand without hesitation! Find out how their generous efforts have helped to bring light to students lives by watching this video.
Photos by Jane Wynyard and Gilbert Sabinga