We love this school's motto "Dream Pursue Achieve," but how can they do it without resources?
Maasai Mara Public Schools Initiative
We believe that public schools should have the same resources as private schools, but in too many places, that dream could not be further from reality. In the Maasai Mara, we're developing libraries and other resources at public schools in need. We work closely with teachers to determine what is needed — with high standards of quality and relevance — and then purchase everything in Kenya through our partners such as Text Book Centre in Nairobi. We also run workshops to train teachers and students to maintain the space and to create programs that will inspire the next generation to read, learn, and grow; and we hold follow-up assessments to gauge impact and see where the resource can be improved.
Talek Primary School Library/Resource Center
Maasai Mara High School Library
In progress, 2022
Aitong Primary School Library/Resource Center
Maasai Mara High School Science Labs
Sekenani Girls' High School Library
Talek Primary School
In early 2021 we completed the Library & Resource Center for Talek Primary School, a public school with 1100 students in grades 1 to 8. In addition to over 2000 books, the room has laptops preloaded with eKitabu East African content, conservation materials recommended by Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, games and puzzles for the young ones, and art and writing supplies. It's a space for many good things to happen.
The school held a public launch of this center in July 2021, and over 1000 people came, many walking a long distance to be there! What a difference this "hub of transformation" is making. (See a 3rd-grade class at Talek Primary.) This successful pilot is now a model for future primary school library projects — beginning in spring 2022 with Aitong Primary, a public school with similar population and needs.
Talek Primary senior teacher Stella Salaton on the impact of the library (Feb 2022)
Maasai Mara High School
It's not easy making it to high school in the Maasai Mara — and then succeeding. So much is working against young people here: lack of resources, poverty, homes without power or light, homes far away from the few schools, no transportation, the basic need to help their rural families survive.
The students at Maasai Mara High School in the town of Aitong are among the most motivated in Narok County. They're here because they've found a way to stay in school — the first in their families to go all the way, with some even going to university. After researching multiple secondary schools in this area, we determined that this is a school where we could make a real difference, so we decided to make this our pilot secondary school. This is a boys' public school with 300 students, and the population is expected to double in a few short years. (See a classroom at Maasai Mara High.) These motivated young people have overcome many obstacles in their lives to be here, and they deserve the opportunity to learn and grow. We completed a library project here in late 2021 and are planning a science lab for 2022.
This successful library is now a model for future secondary school library projects. The next one will be at Sekenani Girls' High School.
Dancing with joy the day the library was launched!