The well-being of Ol Pejeta’s neighbouring communities is a critical component in our conservation model. That is why we place significant focus on education — through bursaries, infrastructure and technology — because like our neighbours, we know education is important to the future prosperity of both people and wildlife.
Education isn’t accessible to everyone in Kenya — often due to geographical or financial constraints, or family commitments. Ol Pejeta currently supports 86 students from disadvantaged backgrounds with scholarships through our partnership with PA-MOJA and other individual and organisational donors.
But like many students around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has closed Kenyan schools. For many of Ol Pejeta’s scholarship students, virtual learning wasn’t an option — with no reliable supply of electricity at home, let alone a personal laptop or internet connection.
With the support of Afretech Aid Society we sent 20 laptops to our final year students and installed a diverse offline data studio using elements found in ARES to provide the students with all the notes, lab experiment simulations, and revision past papers they needed, along with learning and computer programing games. To ensure that these would be used efficiently, our education officers — following Government safety guidelines — met with both students and parents to help them set up their new ‘personalised teachers’. These visits also ensured the students had access to electricity or solar to recharge their laptops for the next day of class. On a single charge, the laptops provide 6-7 hours of reading time making them usable for an entire school day.
Our education officers will be making bi-monthly follow up visits to assist and coach the students with the learning and technology needs. Our partner PA-MOJA has also committed to providing food aid to the final year scholarship families who are struggling in this period. We look forward to sharing with you all the milestones that our sponsored students will achieve with this new method of learning and look forward to a successful education year despite the challenges.
“We have worked with these students for many years and it would be a shame to see all their effort taken away by this pandemic at the last minute. Thank you to our partners for helping us keep the futures of our students bright" says Ian Muiruri, Ol Pejeta’s Deputy Community Programmes Manager.