After Akili Dada Scholars finish with secondary, they do a year-long internship in the Akili Dada office to get work experience and prepare for university. The following is a post written by current interns about a community library project they led, start to finish.
Together, We Can Do More
Akili Dada partners with an organization called PACE to provide our intern cohort with opportunities to give back to the local community. The goal of PACE is to provide help to schools that don’t have enough teachers by training and deploying assistant teachers who volunteer in the schools. We’ve now been trained and volunteer in an under-resourced school in Dagoretti called Moonlight Center School. In the school, the first challenge we faced was the lack of textbooks. In some cases we were actually forced to teach without one. We saw this as an urgent need and opportunity to start a library project.
As interns, we are each given a small seed grant to start a social change project during our internship. Instead of each doing individual projects, we came together and decided to pool our resources to start a library at the school. This was greatly supported by Akili Dada, which even gave us additional funding to finance the project. The school was very receptive as they even agreed to build the shelves for the books, and ensure the place was secure to ensure prolonged use of the books. As a result of the significant purchase, we were able to get a discount to buy the books.
During the presentation of the books, students were given a break from their lessons as we unveiled the great change. The smiles that radiated from their faces showed it all. One of the students, a form four and also the head of the school stood up to give a vote of thanks. He said the books were coming at the perfect time as form four students prepared to do the K.C.S.E, and sharing books was a huge family.
This project has been of great benefit not only to the students but also to the teachers and teaching assistants. Planning for the lessons beforehand has become much easier as we can now adequately prepare in advance. The students too can now borrow books at their pleasure and read during their free times. The books, which are stored in the staffroom library and have a system for checking out the books. Indeed this has been a great project as we can now see the fruits in their improved performance. We are all very happy and pleased with the impact that we have made in the Moonlight Centre School community.