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Kesho Meets President Barak Obama

Kesho Meets President Barak Obama

Kesho Co-Founder, Zena Salim was invited for a Civil Society Conversation with President Barak Obama last week during his visit to Kenya.

Zena, wearing a flamboyant african dress and headscarf in earthy colours of ochre and green, said her heart missed a couple of beats when Barak Obama walked into the room.  Her legs went weak and she felt she would faint with the enormity of the moment.  Well it’s not surprising really is it?

The President, quickly put everyone at their ease, taking off his jacket and giving his genuine and heartfelt praise to the group of civic society representatives on the huge and important contribution they make towards bringing positive change to their communities and country.  They talked for two hours on a wide range of topics and Obama listened and commented and encouraged and motivated them all to continue their good work.

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Zena (far right), doing her Civic Society work; motivating Kesho Mums in Kilifi.

Kesho Co-Founder, Zena Salim was invited for a Civil Society Conversation with President Barak Obama last week during his visit to Kenya.

Zena, wearing a flamboyant african dress and headscarf in earthy colours of ochre and green, said her heart missed a couple of beats when Barak Obama walked into the room.  Her legs went weak and she felt she would faint with the enormity of the moment.  Well it’s not surprising really is it?

The President, quickly put everyone at their ease, taking off his jacket and giving his genuine and heartfelt praise to the group of civic society representatives on the huge and important contribution they make towards bringing positive change to their communities and country.  They talked for two hours on a wide range of topics and Obama listened and commented and encouraged and motivated them all to continue their good work.

Meet teacher Mitsanze from Basi primary school

Meet teacher Mitsanze from Basi primary school

Kesho recruits vulnerable children who would drop out or never enroll in school without financial support. These children usually have literacy gaps that hinder them from thriving to full academic potential. For this reason Kesho runs a reading programme whose objectives is fast track reading abilities of our children to be at per with the expected levels. We also endeavor to cultivate and nature passion for reading among school children that we interact with during various activities that we hold in schools and at our resource center. We also do teacher capacity building in terms of refresher courses on modern methodologies of teaching literacy and parents literacy classes which aim to empower parents with basic literacy skills that they require to monitor their children’s academic progress.

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Pupil reading a book during “One on one reading session”

Twice a week we visit different Primary Schools in Kilifi. Children who have reading difficulties (reading below their expected reading age) come for ‘one-on-one’ reading session. Other than that we facilitate book clubs and story telling session. Supported by Kesho volunteers to implement that programme we also need the support from the respective schools.

Meet Amos Mitsanze from Basi Primary School who is very committed to our Literacy Programme. Mr. Mitsanze has been teaching social studies at Basi since April last year.

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Mr. Mitsanze during “One on One’ reading session

What motivates you being a teacher?

I like interacting with children; being a teacher gives me the opportunity to support children and even their families. When I had to choose my career path as a young person I also considered that as a teacher I would have a good chance to get employment.

What connection do you have with Kesho?

I got to know Kesho when I started working at Basi Primary School. I was assigned to supervise the pupils during the one-on-one reading session and book clubs that are part of Kesho’s literacy program.

What do you think about the Kesho reading program? How does it impact on the children?

I like the concept of the reading program and they way it engages children. I have seen improvement amongst the pupils; more of them speak better English. Through the program they also get access storybooks, which often are not available at home.

How do you support the reading program in your position as a teacher?

Being a teacher I am the person who interacts the most with the pupils and therefore I know very well the level of the children’s reading ability. I ensure that the children who are in the program attend the session on a regular basis and are on time.

Thank you Mr. Mitsanze for your support and commitment to the lite program.

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One on One reading session

 

Cure all plant neem soap

Cure all plant neem soap

Have you heard about Mkilifi Soap? Or maybe you are more familiar with the term Neem Soap?

It is a very popular tree in Kilifi, it has a lifespan of about 300 years. What makes neem soap interesting are the different benefits that come with it. It has antibacterial, antifungal, soothing and moisturizing effects and is therefore not ‘only’ an ordinary soap but also medicated.

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Pounding the neem leaves fr production

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Neem leaves

Kesho organised a Neem Soap making training after cluster group members expressed their interest in solid soap production. 14 participants were taken through the different stages of the soap production. Main ingredients are; Neem leaves, coconut oil, caustic soda and CMC (Carboxymethylcellulose) which are locally available materials and easily accessible to everybody.

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trainer gives instructions

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Further processing step

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mixing all ingredients

The production process is not very time consuming and can easily be done at home. However the soap has to dry for 21 days before it can be used.

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pouring the still liquid soap on the drying board

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Cutting the soap into pieces

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Screening Malala’s story to promote girlchild education

Screening Malala’s story to promote girlchild education

Kesho Alumni, in collaboration with other young boys and girls have been engaging schools and communities on discussions about education through a project dubbed “HE NAMED ME MALALA” which Kesho is implementing in collaboration with PAWA254 within Kilifi County. The project entails screening of  “HE NAMED ME MALALA” to the children and the community to create dialogue around education and the benefits it has on the social and economic facet of any society.

 

We have interacted with 1527 people, in a region where transition rates are low, the documentary has inspired both boys and girls to yearn to complete school and attain their highest potential as education is the one gift that remains with an individual.

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Additionally parents have committed to be involved in their children’s education, they have seen that by far parents are the most important influencers in a child every development stage.

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Being part of this important project is very rewarding;

“I have learnt that we should all be brave and courageous enough to stand and fight for our rights even when we do not get support from others. Just as seen in the documentary even when the whole country seemed to be against Malala she still spoke out and fought.” (Wendy, volunteer)

“I have learnt that women empowerment entails increasing the economic, social and political strength of women as seen from the documentary and what actually Malala went through.” (Essa, volunteer)

This project would not be a success without the help of the following volunteers:

 Essa Rajab, George Elphus, Racheal Mbaruk, Purity Kiponda, Irene Mlanga, Sahihi Chengo, Francis Kitsao, Wendy Kahaso, Christine Mahenzo, Grace Katana, Dorcas Sada

Here are two statements from a parent and a student:

“Our girls and boys should be taught on their rights so that they can report to any authorities in case they are deprived of their rights.” (Parent)

“Both girls and boys should be given equal treatment towards education”. (Student)

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Being part of this important project is very rewarding;

“I have learnt that we should all be brave and courageous enough to stand and fight for our rights even when we do not get support from others. Just as seen in the documentary even when the whole country seemed to be against Malala she still spoke out and fought.” (Wendy, volunteer)

“I have learnt that women empowerment entails increasing the economic, social and political strength of women as seen from the documentary and what actually Malala went through.” (Essa, volunteer)

This project would not be a success without the help of the following volunteers:

 Essa Rajab, George Elphus, Racheal Mbaruk, Purity Kiponda, Irene Mlanga, Sahihi Chengo, Francis Kitsao, Wendy Kahaso, Christine Mahenzo, Grace Katana, Dorcas Sada