Kenya

Kenya flag

Projects in Kenya

Education

Kenya’s math/science program has been re-structured to address gaps in the education system in line with the government of Kenya’s development priorities. These include Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Kenya’s economic development blueprint. Kenya Vision 2030 focuses on an improved education system that is responsive to national and global development imperatives.

STEM is a component of the educational system that is considered key to meeting these educational goals. As a focus on STEM is rolled out, challenges are illuminated, such as teacher shortages, insufficient resources, inadequate teacher training, large class sizes, and an exam-based curriculum, which does not adequately equip learners with skills for the job market.

Kenya is undergoing a major shift to promote competency-based learning and practical approaches to teaching and learning instead of relying on theory and rote memorization of content. STEM has also been identified as a major career pathway for Kenyan students, leading to efforts to bridge gaps in teacher shortages, teacher training, resource mobilization, and shift traditional beliefs about math and science.

The work of Peace Corps Volunteers complements and supports government efforts. Volunteers can mitigate teacher shortages in math/science, support technology-integration efforts, and promote STEM education, including development of teaching and learning materials. Peace Corps Volunteers with science, technology, engineering, and math backgrounds are extremely well-placed to contribute as Kenya’s education system modernizes and responds to a changing world.


Education

Kenyan deaf children have less access education, owing to negative cultural beliefs about disability and beliefs that deaf children are not able to perform as well as their hearing peers. In Kenyan schools for the deaf, a significant number of students are not acquiring basic reading and literacy skills in the early grades, leading to poor performance in upper grades. This has been due to teaching techniques and curricula that are not adapted to deaf learning, inadequate Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) knowledge by teachers, delayed language acquisition of deaf learners, lack of adequate materials that support deaf learning and assessment, and inadequate teacher training. Reading is a fundamental skill, and an individual’s literacy level can impact their economic earning potential and the health and well-being of their family. It is important for deaf children to develop literacy skills and KSL skills early in life.

Peace Corps Volunteers work in primary schools for the deaf to promote literacy through collaboration with local teachers. They do this through direct classroom instruction using KSL. In addition, Volunteers develop teaching and learning resources and support teachers to increase their knowledge, skills and the application of effective early literacy and KSL techniques and methods. Volunteers further engage parents and community members to promote education and empowerment for the deaf.


Health

Public health challenges are a critical factor in the overall well-being of many Kenyans and negatively impact sustainable development in all sectors. Volunteers contribute to closing the gap in childhood immunization, malaria prevention, adolescent reproductive health, promotion of behavior change, and health education delivery. Additionally, Volunteers promote a wide range of health services for people living with HIV (PLHIV) along with pregnant mothers and children.

HIV/AIDS, malaria, and maternal and child health are significant public health issues in Kenya. Kenya has the third-largest HIV epidemic globally. 70% of the Kenyan population are at risk for malaria infection, with children under 5 most impacted. For Kenyan mothers, only 62% of deliveries are conducted in healthcare facilities. Most maternal deaths in Kenya are associated with home deliveries without skilled birth attendants.

Peace Corps Volunteers, with their counterparts and communities, play a critical role in preventing new HIV infections among youth, with a focus on adolescent girls and young women who are at higher risk for infection. To help achieve an AIDS-free generation in Kenya, Volunteers help connect those living with and infected/affected by HIV to care, support and treatment services.


President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief-PEPFAR strengthens capacity and health systems in countries hardest hit by HIV/AIDS. Through PEPFAR, the Peace Corps supports HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care through training of Volunteers and their local community counterparts using evidence-based approaches designed to contribute to epidemic control and strengthen HIV/AIDS projects for organizations, schools, and communities.

Peace Corps Volunteers work closely with their Kenyan counterparts to strengthen capacity at beneficiary community-based organizations to ensure sustainable systems. The Volunteers and counterparts conduct community outreach, training youth on life skills through peer education, liaising with partners to provide mobile HIV support services, and conducting activity-based learning in Grass Root Soccer.

PEPFAR also supports Volunteers and their community counterparts to implement HIV prevention, gender-based violence prevention, and nutrition wrap-around programs in addition to providing small project grants to communities hosting Volunteers.