How service learning happens within Strathmore University

  • Each student at SU does 200 hours of community service after completing first year of study. There is a structured way students are supervised and how they report their reflections/learning points. Based on the need of organization or community.
  • The university set up the Community Service Centre which supports part of its mission of being of service to society.
  • The center runs as a student and staff community service club and has projects that offer and facilitate volunteer opportunities for students and members of staff.
  • The center has partnerships with various communities, including NGOs and education institutions
  • Reciprocity is important in the relation-not one way but a two-way process
  • It has major long-term projects as well as short term projects that offer weekly volunteer opportunities.

Making service to society a way of life…

By Christina, Babu and Alfred-Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya

Case of Macheo

Case of Macheo

An after-school educational support programme addressing the low rate of transition from secondary school to tertiary education for students from low-income neighborhoods in Nairobi slums. Currently Macheo works with students from Kibera, Kangemi and Mukuru slums

Encompasses two main facets:

  • Academic tutoring
  • Character development

    Mathematics tutorial

Empower the youth to resist:

  • Crime
  • Drug abuse
  • Early marriages
  • Child labor
  • Teenage pregnancies and
  • Prostitution

Objectives:

  • Reducing high school dropout cases
  • Increasing high school graduation
  • Improving academic performance
  • Transition to tertiary education
  • Imparting character education

Success: Since 2012:

  • Achieved 95% retention and completion.
  • As of 2019, transition to college was at 52%

Research on its benefits can be found at: https://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/index.php/ijcre/article/download/6150/7114?inline=1

Parental Engagement

Activities carried out:

After-school and holiday programs run every Saturday and during school holidays from 1 pm to 5.30 pm at Strathmore University.

We provide and facilitate:

  • Lunch during all activities
  • Academic Tutoring
  • Personal Mentoring
  • Seminars and Work camps
  • Character Development Sessions
  • Extra-Curricular Activities: Excursions, educational trips and cultural visits
  • Medical checkups
  • Teacher’s Enhancement Program
  • Mentors Training
  • Parents meetings

Angaza Kwale Project

Angaza Kwale Project

A relatively new project; it is a youth club whose vision to transform Kwale (South Coast) youth through student enterprise. It combines character development and formation of student run business clubs in high schools in Kwale town.

It works with high school students exposing them to opportunities through business mentoring and entrepreneurship skills that make them a catalyst of change in their communities.

Angaza Kwale Project, Kenya

Crossing cultural barriers

  • In this pilot phase the project is working with two high schools
  • The two big challenges are: extreme poverty levels and cultural practices that do not favor education.
  • Activities carried out: Weeklong work camps, character development, peer mentoring, entrepreneurship training, business club competition, business mentoring and incubation.

Case of TAI

Case of TAI

3-year research program that started in 2019, following the evidenced success of the Macheo Program

Partnering with 10 schools in the rural-urban town of Kitui, 175KMs from Nairobi

The schools are an array of top, medium and average in terms of academic performance, with a total student population of 5,000, 270 teachers and more than 8000 parents/guardians

6 schools (3 each) are exclusively boy and girl schools, while the remaining 4 are mixed

8 of the schools are boarding schools, while two are day schools

Peer Mentoring

  • Core Pillars are:
  1. pedagogical improvement of teaching skills and delivery by teachers,
  2. character development and life skills enhancement of students,
  3. empowerment of understanding of parenting of teenagers by parents
  4. excellence oriented management by schools’ principals and their deputies

Long term goal: To have Kenyan youth who are socially conscious and can participate effectively in nation building

The Case of Turkana

The Case of Turkana

Started in 2018, Strathmore Turkana Educational Program (STEP) works with local youth volunteers to improve learning outcomes in Northern Kenya through mentoring and digital mobile libraries.

The aims of the program is to improve learning outcomes by improving the learning environment.

To achieve this, our program has 4 facets:

  • Teachers Enhancement Program
  • Mentoring through role modelling
  • Community resource centres and mobile digital libraries
  • Community EngagementCommunity engagement

“Sports are such a great teacher. I think of everything they’ve taught me: camaraderie, humility, how to resolve differences.” – Kobe Bryant

Challenges and barriers to learning include:

  • Low enrolment, retention and completion rates
  • Child marriages
  • Nomadic lifestyle
  • Prolonged drought
  • Long distances to school
  • Tribal wars

Activities carried out

  • Support 2 local sports clubs
  • Mentoring camps
  • Tutoring holiday programs
  • Establishing resource centers

Education in the prisons

Education in the prisons

  • Started in the year 2003, in partnership with Naivasha Maximum Prison, as a complementary program towards the rehabilitation of prisoners
  • Since 2014, the program started incorporating wardens as beneficiaries
Prisons Education Program

Prisons Education Program

  • We introduced Sports (Football Tournament) among our student volunteers, prison staff and wardens , and support other sports such as netball and handball by availing kits and equipment
  • We also increased their tech-capacity by providing computers for basic computer training
  • In 2017, the program expanded to 2 more prisons, Kamiti Maximum and Nairobi West Minimum Prisons
  • Thus far, we have sponsored 63 inmates and 12 prison wardens
  • One of the inmates, Moses M, was released in 2015. We managed to support him further his studies, by sponsoring him for a degree course. He is scheduled to graduate this year
  • In 2018, our students did a pen-drive campaign for the students in the prisons. They managed to donate more than 10,000 pens
  • In 2019, two of our beneficiaries were released, following the courts recognition of their academic effort and discipline while serving their terms