Dora’s Corner: January Updates from East Africa

This New Year means that the academic calendar is back on track in Kenya and I appreciate how well the Ministry of Education took up the role in making up for the lost time due to the pandemic. 2022 was strenuous for both learners and teachers, and coupled with a general election that added onto the pressure–so it’s great that it went well. 

We are in the first term of the year and I look forward to improving on the programs in Kenya. With this I mean updated records, reports, and follow ups with schools and communities.

We’ve started out great by completing a re-roofing project at Nyahera Primary in Oyugis. Our initial plan was to re-roof eight classrooms and the community requested to increase their contribution by providing more timber. With this increase, the cost we’d allocated for timber was used to get more iron sheets and see to the re-roofing of 12 classrooms.

I started out this year with two successfully completed fellowships: Imara Public Policy Fellowship and The President’s Fellowship. I learned that there is a system attached to social accountability, and often when advocating for change or working with marginalized communities you cannot overlook the involvement of the government in any of the stages in co-creation.

In 2021 when I was applying to participate in Imara Fellowship, I was interested in policy development and how policies influence the work we do with communities as Global Partners. At the time, I had more awareness and access to the local and national government through collaboration with Suba North Constituency in implementing projects. The Ministry of Education ensured our support and did not disrupt the learning environment. 

Now, I am more aware of the systems, parties, and interests involved in every engagement we have and how to increase collaboration knowing the metrics of public participation and social accountability. I also know the steps involved in policy generation and implementation and find myself open to opportunities to train and gain expertise on policy research and development. This is key for questions like:

  • What will access to and availability of quality education for citizens in Kenya look like in 2030?
  • What does that mean for Global Partners in terms of roles and possible areas of partnership?
  • Who are some of the stakeholders doing greater things within the field of education, sanitation, health, and mental health right now? What would it mean for Global Partners to collaborate with them now and in the next 3 to 5 years?
  • How best can the communities we partner with replicate the model for change we use to initiate more projects on their own?

    Then there is The President’s Fellowship by The Global Peace Foundation Kenya Chapter, which introduced me to fellows from all the 47 counties in Kenya. There’s nothing as profound as engaging with young people from across the country engaged in various initiatives from environmental conservation, art, eco-tourism, civic engagement, women and girls empowerment, technology, and public service. This program had various online courses like peace-building, leadership transformation, conflict resolution and proposal writing. What I loved most were the talks, and online sessions held via Zoom by various experts and leaders, in the country and beyond, encouraging and challenging young people to pursue community led-development and leadership with integrity.

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