EDUCATION DURING COVID19
Our latest meeting with our Hi2 NGO partners was all about catching up on their latest news and how the recent government announcements have affected their work plans. The biggest challenge to be overcome is the closure of schools until January 2020. This has left us wondering how do we keep children learning.
Many of our partners support children in education – from running schools to sponsoring high school students or providing additional support through homework clubs and mentorship programmes. When schools closed in March, organisations started looking for alternative ways to support children and young people. Now they are faced with a longer term issue.
Interestingly, at our recent online meeting, mental health of children and young people came across as one of the biggest concerns our partners have at the moment. Faced with the prospect of losing a year of their academic career, young people are currently very vulnerable and with no school to keep them busy, they are susceptible to distractions that can throw them off track.
Garden of Hope is setting up small group sessions with social distancing to check in on high school students and assess who needs further support. The programme will start with groups of around 5 students who were on one of the mentorship programmes Garden of Hope provided through local schools in Kibera. Billian Music Family in Mathare is also focusing on high school students by providing lessons for Form 4 students with teachers appearing via Zoom. Each week, students are being taught and have to sit revision papers to keep up their studies.
With over 300 children and young people in education, Uweza Foundation is trying to find ways to check up on them without putting the children or staff at risk. Unfortunately it is still impossible for them to bring together their football teams for mentorship as this would be too much risk. For Turning Point Trust, their core work is running a transition centre and school for children re-entering education. For their students to be out of school again for 9 months is heartbreaking. Partnering with various organisations, they are trying to encourage children to continue their learning by distributing work that is being completed at home and returned for marking.
Unlike our partners in Kibera and Mathare, Tazama Nia is one of the few organisations operating in the community of Ngando. Before the outbreak of COVID19, they were running homework clubs and partnering with local schools to upskill teachers and provide a mobile library. They are under a lot of pressure to continue serving the community. Now they are printing hundreds of homework packs which are distributed to young students in the community and marked by local teachers who receive a food parcel for helping the team at Tazama Nia as they are no longer paid by the schools that employed them.
We salute each and every one of our partners as they navigate their way through these difficult times with changing conditions. Their ability and willingness to adapt their programmes to best serve their communities has really impressed us.
If you would like to support one of these organisations, please get in touch.