We learned from the tutors we had recently who evaluated the children to determine level of understanding, that many of the children were sadly not comprehending their schoolwork. This is probably due to the fact that the children are generally rescued around ages 9-10, placed in the Children’s Home and then entered into school at age appropriate grades. However, these children suffer from not having learned any of the basics. This is compounded as they reach each new grade level. Extra tutoring at public school is not available in Kenya. And trying to help the children during the week when they return from school after 5PM tired and hungry is difficult too.
In thinking about this situation and how we could help, I was fortunate to meet a local San Bruno woman while working on a project for our local San Bruno schools. Michelle Carranza initiated a beautification project for our local Middle School. We spoke and discovered our mutual love of Africa and our desire to help not only local children, but those half a world away.
Michelle Carranza, founder of International Hand, and I discussed having a “Saturday Teacher” who would come to the Home and, for starters, help the children with their reading. Even children who can sound out the words don’t always comprehend what they are reading. Reading and comprehension is so important and improving those skills will help the children immensely. Michelle has offered to collaborate with us and fund this project. The first teacher has just started.
I will be travelling to Kenya soon and will be able to check in on the children and hopefully observe a Saturday learning session. We look forward to posting progress reports. And we are grateful for the help from Michelle and International Hand!