So my personal chewy nugget is education. (If you don’t know what a chewy nugget is, click on it and read my prior post.) I think that many of our social and economic ills could be solved with proper quality education. It’s true here at home… and it’s true in Kenya.
It’s the need in our communities that I chew on the most and probably am the most excited (personally) about addressing. It’s the one that drives me to help… It’s certainly not more important than the others – water, healthcare, etc. – but it is the one I chew on. And the good news is that I think we have a strategy that is innovative, comprehensive, and can help change the face of communities.
So, what if… The 410 Bridge were able to eliminate the barriers to a quality education for 100% of the kids living in every 410 Bridge community. Notice that I said a “quality” education…. and “100%” of the kids. Imagine a community where 100% of the kids had access to a quality education. Imagine the long term impact in that community.
In the average 410 Bridge community only 10% of children go to pre-primary school. About 90% of kids go to primary school, but only 25% of them pass the standardized test to qualify for secondary school. Of those 25%, less than half can afford secondary school. Do the math. That means, on average, about 85% of the people in 410 Bridge communities have, at best, an 8th grade education.
If we’re going to help communities transform themselves, education has to improve.
So over the next few posts, I’m going share our strategy as it looks today… No doubt, it’ll evolve. But for now, here’s what were thinking on both sides of the bridge…
PRIMARY SCHOOLS FIRST:
With our strategic partners – BrightPoint for Children and Compassion International – we’re focusing initially on the Primary Schools (grades 1-8). Mary Mugo, or the Subject Matter Expert for Education, is conducting a needs assessment for every primary (and secondary) school in every 410 Bridge community. The needs assessment defines the gap between what the government funds, and what is required for a quality education in that school. It could be teachers, books, desks, supplies, assessment tests, feeding programs, etc. Once that’s determined, we put a program together with BrightPoint for Children and create sponsorship opportunities to fund what’s required. We may only need 30-50 sponsors in any given school, but all of the kids in the school benefit from the increased funding.
Our five year goal in the primary schools is to see 100% of the kids pass the standardized test in grade 8 and qualify for secondary school. Imagine…!