This fall Rotary International awarded the Rotary Club of Moshi a $53,000 Global Grant to develop a skills program under EdPowerment’s supervision at the Kilimahewa Educational Centre. Today, the program’s first stages are underway! Under the guidance of EdPowerment Director, Kerri Elliott, a pairing of Internet and farming best practice instruction in going to change lives in the villages of Kilimahewa.
What does the Global/Local Skills Program entail?
The Kiimahewa Centre’s talented staff will continue to teach a core of academic subjects to local teens shut out of government schools. But now, Internet access, powered by an upgraded and solar powered electrical grid, will allow so much more. Students can attend intensive English and math fundamentals classes – and then tap free learning sites after learning how to use, communicate and seek opportunities on the web. Village adults can join their children in the learning process through special adult education classes. The world beyond Kilimahewa will be within their reach. These “peasants” can begin to overcome the isolation that takes away their ambition and robs them of a belief that they can improve the lives of their children.
The Global Grant is just not about bringing in the outside world. It also expands Kilimahewa’s existing chicken project in order to teach skills that will help area farmers build real, sustainable businesses. Today, too many local mamas fend for their families by tending to a few “local” chickens and carrying meager baskets of vegetables to sell at corners. Teens will learn how to move beyond this existence by raising healthy chickens and crops, monitoring costs, seeking markets and sustaining production.
The Global/Local Skills project is ambitious. It is an innovative, practical way to serve this population – and it includes the community in its planning. Every month a community group made up of parents, teachers, and village leaders meets to discuss the programs, their progress and the best way to move forward and reach their own society.
The ability to attend quality courses locally is invaluable to villagers with only their feet for transport. As teens and adults join classes and use an Internet facility within walking distance of their soil and cement homes, the Centre strives to become more independently sustainable.
EdPowerment is excited to share this news! We are energized to guide this transition as we continue to fund the staff and operational costs of an educational haven for those the world has left behind.