First Malindi Visit for Elimu’s Canadian Chairperson

Elimu Resource Centre
byElimu Resource Centre

This October saw Jennifer Lavoie makes her first trip to Kenya, as Chairperson of Elimu (Canada). It was a very rich experience, allowing her to get to know the Kenyan team and see firsthand how children, youth and their parents are benefiting from the work we do in their communities. Our founder, Nina Chung, was on hand to accompany her on many of the activities in her jam-packed itinerary.

Jennifer received an in-depth overview from the staff on their various areas of responsibility and shared perspectives on the future of the organization with our executive team. She met students of our Cisco Networking Academy and listened as our volunteers and interns shared stories of hope and renewal from the opportunities they have had while working with the Elimu team. Jennifer also had the opportunity to join the team in honouring our departed colleague, Diana Gwiyo, as we raised a poster in memorial of her inside our Artisan Maker Space, which had been so much the focus of her work at Elimu.

"I am convinced that we all have a part to play to ensure the welfare of vulnerable children and girls is protected"

Jennifer visited our sponsored students at two local public schools, one primary and one secondary school. She met with school administrators gaining a deeper insight into the disruptions of the pandemic as well as the ongoing challenges faced by students, teachers and parents in the education system in Kenya. She received a live demonstration of our Offline eLearning Solution, watching as students at our partner school used our tablets to access the quality educational resources from the server hosted at Elimu Resource Centre nearly 4km away – without the need of internet.

Before departing, she made a very generous gift to the team of a new industrial quality electric sewing machine for our Artisan Maker Space. This will enhance the program delivery to our alumni and other sewing artisans in the community. Our training helps them expand their skill set learning how to make new textile items such as bags and purses, beaded garments and using recycled materials to create sellable goods.

Jennifer was impressed with the hard work and dedication of the Kenyan team. She left with a strong sense of confidence in our program delivery and a sense of gratitude for the achievements made and the real-life impact she was able to observe during her time with us. As with so many Elimu activities, Jennifer’s visit was an opportunity for mutual growth and learning with all parties taking something valuable away from the experience and into our futures.