Polska pomoc

 

Edukacja wieloaspektowa wychowanek oraz personelu Domu Dziecka im. Świętego Antoniego w Limuru, w Kenii

In Kenya, knowing how to use a computer is a prerequisite for college and university-level study. Until recently, only the most talented charges of the St. Anthony Children’s Home in Limuru (a rehabilitation home for girls), run by the Franciscan Fathers, were enrolled in expensive computer courses before embarking on further study. Through a series of fundraising initiatives, the home purchased ten computers for its new lab. The computer lab had to be organised to best serve the students and the teaching staff. In order to enable all students to gain computer literacy and thus facilitate their continued education, and to improve the skills of the teachers, the volunteers developed a project which included a basic computer science course curriculum, procurement of software, and organisation of a computer lab in the facility. The money thus saved will be used for providing more girls with college education.

The project beneficiaries were girls under the care of the nuns of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In African culture, the status of girls is inferior to that of boys from the earliest years. Those taken up by St. Anthony Children’s Home in Limuru are a group particularly wronged by fate. Proper education can improve their prospects in adult life. The project was also designed with the aim of improving the well-being of the children’s home charges.

The St. Anthony facility is home to over 60 extremely poor girls who often could not even count on a single meal a day in their family home, whose living circumstances were very hard, and who were victims of physical and mental abuse. The Polish Franciscan Fathers offered these girls a place of refuge, opportunities for learning and prospects for the future. By gaining solid vocational skills, they can expect to secure work in the future and thus be able to provide for themselves and their families. They can gain a chance to function normally in society.

Edukacja wieloaspektowa wychowanek oraz personelu Domu Dziecka im. Świętego Antoniego w Limuru, w Kenii

This project was implemented between 2 November and 31 December 2015. The two volunteers stayed in Limuru from 4 November to 23 December 2015.

Implemented in collaboration with For Health: Foundation for Population and International Health, a Polish non-governmental organisation; the Kenyan Custody of St. Francis of Assisi; and the Franciscan Fathers of the Provincial Custody of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe of the Province of Gdansk working in Kenya, the project sought to educate the students and to improve the qualifications of the teachers of the St. Anthony Children’s Home in Limuru (a rehabilitation centre).

In Kenya, computer literacy often constitutes a pass to college education and – in the long run – to a better life. The project addressed to a group of more than 60 girls living in the St. Anthony Children’s Home in Limuru was conceived as the first phase in a long-term and multidisciplinary educational course in applied information technology, which would provide the girls with new prospects for the future. The project’s immediate goal was for its participants, both students and teaching staff, to gain computer skills.

Project measures consisted of organising a computer lab at the children's home in Limuru, including:

  • connecting hardware and installing software;
  • fine-tuning the previously prepared computer science and computer graphics curriculum;
  • training teachers and caregivers in:

-   administration of computer hardware;

-   teaching of the basic computer science course.

 

With the help of the volunteers, the student inhabitants of the facility learned to use Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and learned the basics of computer graphics. At the end of the project, the volunteers assessed the students’ knowledge.

During their stay in Kenya, the volunteers maintained a blog at https://afrykaclica.wordpress.com, which informed about the progress under the project and about the Volunteering Polish Aid programme. After their return to Poland, they continued their educational initiative by organising a photo exhibition and publishing a book. After project completion, the exhibition continued to be shown in several locations: among others, at the Convention and Teaching Centre of the Medical University of Poznan and at the Nobel Tower in Poznan during the PROGRESSteron Festival 2016.

The project contributed to the implementation of priority 3 – support for socially disadvantaged groups and of priority 13 – education, both articulated under the Multiannual Development Cooperation Programme 2012–2015. At the same time, it contributed to the achievement of two Millennium Development Goals: goal 2 – to achieve universal primary education and goal 3 – to promote gender equality and empower women.

Edukacja wieloaspektowa wychowanek oraz personelu Domu Dziecka im. Świętego Antoniego w Limuru, w Kenii

The volunteers achieved the results defined under the project, ensuring the establishment of a fully functional computer lab and the sustainable effect of the project. They provided the charges of the St. Anthony Children’s Home in Limuru with six completely new computer workstations forming a local area network. They uploaded and configured software and secured hardware with an appropriate surge protector and devices to protect against misuse. They also equipped the computer lab with a printer and a set of manuals, which the students can continue to use for years to come.

They developed a new course curriculum designed for four different age groups. There were 12 girls in each age group: 5- to 10-year-olds, 11- to 12-year-olds, secondary school students and college students.

The volunteers also trained the computer lab superintendent tutor, a teacher who will continue to teach computer science and maintain the lab equipment after the project is complete. In addition, four wardens and 46 charges of the children’s home acquired computer skills – all the people staying at the home at the time the volunteer worked there. At the planning stage, the project provided for training of 60 student residents, but in November and December 2015, the time of school holidays in Kenya, some of the charges were away spending time with their relatives or friends.

Two representatives of the sending organisation assisted the volunteers during the inauguration of the project in Limuru; they participated in purchasing the equipment and conducted health workshops for the home’s residents.