Elimu Resource Centre was inspired by the children in our programs. Established in 2016, the Centre helps children, especially poor students in the Kenyan public school system, to improve their performance at school. Easy-to-use educational tools and self-directed study skills help students build self-drive and confidence.
With a bright airy study hall and large tables, the Centre offers comfortable seating for up to 50 students. A variety of educational software, video tutors and interactive practicals allow children to work at their own pace and practice as many examples as they need to feel sure of themselves. A private seminar room allows study groups to gather, discuss and work out problems. Peer teaching is one of the most popular activities at the Centre. Students teach their fellows on subjects they feel confident about. Seminars and talks are also offered by Elimu staff and community representatives on topics like how to pass exams, how to improve your results and preparing for graduation. Students are prepared for their futures as well with career talks and entrepreneurship training.
Your donation will help us take the Centre’s digital resources out to the community. Our mobile reading programs complement the school curriculum and boost literacy.
An important secondary objective of the Centre is sustainability. Malindi is an urban setting where poverty co-exists with relative affluence. For income generation and long-term sustainability, the Centre serves both those able to pay for its services and those who are subsidized.
Elimu Resource Centre is our response to the challenges faced by children in Elimu’s other educational projects. The obstacles faced by students in Kenya are many. In the public education system, the challenges include lack of teachers, high classroom populations of 50-70 students, too few textbooks (sometimes only 2 or 3 for an entire class)—the list goes on. Challenges arising at home can include lack of funds for buying uniforms and school shoes which are compulsory, no textbooks for homework, dark or otherwise non-conducive study environments, no money for remedial help.
The first step towards a solution was a mentorship program which grew from humble beginnings—as a remedial holiday study program. In 2015, it moved from teacher-directed tutoring to a more student-directed approach. Digital tools like eReaders and DVDs were introduced to allow students to work individually and at their own pace. Students themselves set the schedule and assisted each other through peer-to-peer teaching.
Through our interactions with children, it became clear that the challenges are universal. The students most likely to succeed in this setting are those who are self-directed and highly motivated. The Centre benefits all types of students — primary and high school students, as well as post secondary and even adult learners at Project or doing distance learning. Teachers also find a variety of useful resources which they can use in the classroom or for planning lessons.
Elimu is very grateful for the generous support of The Charis Foundation for providing most of the operating costs for Elimu Resource Centre for the first three years of operation. The set-up costs, that is purchase of equipment, furnishings and installations were covered by our founder.
The resources of the Centre are relevant to children in all of our projects. Sponsored students of our Stay in School Project access the Centre during evenings, weekends and school holidays to get their hands on those textbooks they don’t find at school. Within the first year of operation, children came to us to say thank you for improving their marks.
The children of Nyumbani Kwetu Home use the digital books and computers at the Centre to complete homework and for remedial self-directed study in the holidays. They join the seminars and study programs at the Centre and gain the opportunity of mixing with children from various schools and different backgrounds.
Students of Heri Sewing Project come to the Centre on a weekly basis to learn how to use digital technology to enhance their fashion designs and sewing skills. They research fashions around Africa using the internet, download YouTube video tutorials on pattern-making and gain exposure to new designs and creatives ideas. Their digital skills enhance their competitive edge in the market.
Even Upendo School connects with the Centre through a mobile reading program we’ve developed for them. Centre staff visit the school weekly with our eReaders and other tools to read with the children and help build up their English literacy.