East Africa Overview
With project locations across Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, EACEF partners with communities to raise the standard of education for its children. Educational realities across East Africa may seem unfathomable to outsiders. In Kenya, for instance, only around 85% of children attend primary school, while that figure drops drastically to 24% of children attending secondary school, and just 2% of students attending college or university. As only primary schools are free, classes are almost always over-crowded with an astounding Student to Teacher ratio of 40:1 in Kenya and 50:1 in Uganda.
At the end of primary school in Kenya, students take the KCPE standardized tests, which are only administered in English. Only the top 20% of test-takers can pass on to secondary school. This cut-off especially hurts the children in rural areas like Kirimara, where tribal languages are spoken as the mother tongue, meaning that their KCPE exams a test in a foreign, or at best, a second-language. As a result of these harsh realities, about 41% of children between the ages of 10 and 14 must work to help support their families. If they enter school at all, many of them drop out before they finish Primary School. There is an even greater pressure on girls to drop out of school earlier because of high early pregnancy rates as well as cultural beliefs about family care. By the age of 18, girls average 4.4 years less education than boys.
Situated just outside Nyeri, Kenya in a sea of coffee fields, Kirimara was the first school to partner with EACEF in a collaboration that has provided the basis for the Nafasi Process. Educating the children of migrant day laborers, Kirimara serves a population faced with high unemployment, famine, drought, and low levels of schooling. In the first year of EACEF's programming, Kirimara students improved over 7% on their KCPE examinations.
Sitting above fields of coffee plants, Chania is located about a mile down the road from EACEF's first partner school, Kirimara Primary. Serving a similar population, Chania strives to give academic opportunity to children from families who struggle under incredible economic burdens. As the test site for EACEF's new Empower! Initiatives, Chania will serve as the site of economic community renewal.
Located in Fort Portal, Uganda, the Shalom Junior School project is a partnership between EACEF, Shalom founder and director Stanley Musoni, and the village of Katenbere. With the vision of serving the ignored local population, Shalom operates as a private school and offers classes, beginning with pre-primary to Standard 8, to children who otherwise would not be attending school.
As a partnership between EACEF and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, the Bisate Project will oversee the construction of classrooms, a library, a computer lab and sanitation facilities for Bisate Primary and Secondary Schools outside Ruhengeri, Rwanda. The Project will also host innovative community and academic enrichment programs such as mentorship and conservation education classes.