Kajiado County in Kenya is semi-arid and predominantly populated by the Maasai. Along the Emali-Kajiado Road is a trading centre with a few buildings housing various small businesses – tailors, welders, and a few provision stores. The town is called Imaroro is where the PEFA Imaroro Child Development Centre is located. Working with parents in the community, the church supports 300 children, ranging in age from the time they are in the womb to young adults. Textbooks are vital for students, and yet they remain out of reach of many learners. The annual cost of buying textbooks is about USD.150 per child — an amount that is steep for most parents.
In 2016, parents whose families are part of the Program decided to build a resource centre that could host centre activities. They pooled their resources, donating supplies, their time, and money. After three years, the building was complete. When it opened, the centre received funds to help furnish it and purchase the resources they needed. Among the resources purchased included textbooks—a valuable need for any school-going child in Kenya.
“Through the government, children have access to textbooks in their schools, but they are not enough”, says Gladys, a staff member at the program centre. She added, “The child to textbook ratio is 3:1. We have provided a wider variety of textbooks.”
It was a huge relief for the children to have a place where they could access books and learn at their own pace. Staff have already reported an improvement in the children’s academic performance.
*Pull out quote*Having access to textbooks has been a great boost to the children who previously had to borrow books from others or miss out. “With access to textbooks, grades have improved and we have particularly noticed this in the language subjects”, says Gladys.