The pupils at Akili Preparatory school and other primary and secondary schools in Obunga slums and its environs have all the reasons to smile all the way to Akili Library & IT Center following a donation by Safaricom Foundation to the library. The in kind donation which was to the tune of Kshs 381,200 was used to purchase 10 desktop computers and over 200 text books for the library.
Akili Library and Information Centre is the only Library in Obunga slums serving over 500 children and youth in the community. The Library was started in response to the lack of a conducive-studying environment, which is miserably lacking in Obunga slums hence denying the community members especially school going children and youth reference and other reading materials, which enhances their knowledge levels.
This project will solve the problem of computer illiteracy by providing computer learning opportunities for the marginalized children, youth and women in the slum. Obunga slums, with significantly higher than average incidences of crime, truancy, teen pregnancy, drug use & alcohol abuse, suffers from a lack of constructive activities for children & youth. Akili provides a safe haven for the children and youth of Obunga slums by providing text books to users, teaching kids how to read & write homework assistance, reading space & computer training. This contributes to reducing crime and illicit activity, increasing academic performance, and providing life skills to ensure success in school, in the community and in life.
Following the funding from Safaricom Foundation, the children at Akili Prep school; the regular users of the library now have a variety of story books in local titles to choose from. Previously, the children were forced to read one story book over and again. It was not unusual to find 3 to 5 children sharing one text book at the library. However, this has since changed following the purchase of Kshs 132,500 worth of text books for the library.
Over 80 students from 19 primary and 20 high schools in Obunga and other parts of Kisumu County visited the library in August 2013. About 55% of the students were in primary school while 45% were high school students.
The diverse groups of students visiting the library greatly improves the interaction between students from different schools, enabling them to discuss homework, exchange notes and revise together hence improving their grades instead of idling or engaging in illicit activities for lack of constructive activities.
The basic computer training provided will help prepare the children and youth for relevance in our competitive information-based and computer-driven society. Prior to the funding from Safaricom Foundation, the library only had one desktop computer which could not adequately address the training needs of the users.
The children at Akili Preparatory school are not left out as they now have a chance to develop their computer skills by using e-toys. Etoys enables the children to make their own models, stories, and games, which keeps them engaged because it's a lot of fun. It offers great potential in terms of exposing the children to much-needed computer technology and related opportunities at an early age which will go a long way in giving them that competitive edge in their future academic and employment life.
We take this opportunity to thank the Safaricom Foundation for joining us in creating sustainable change in our community and for this generous donation that will go a long way in promoting literacy and eradicating poverty in Obunga slums and help Kenya achieve the vision 2030 goal of reducing illiteracy by increasing access to education and raising the quality and relevance of education.
The Safaricom Foundation is a registered charitable trust, and is the Corporate Social Investment arm of Safaricom Limited. The Foundation funds a range of projects in the education sector and is interested in supporting the provision of learning environments that will allow students to thrive and succeed. Since its inception, the foundation has supported the construction and equipping of classrooms, libraries, dormitories, ablution blocks, and laboratories in order to provide a satisfactory learning environment for children.
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