Thursday, March 01, 2012

FSD supports Likoni Community Library in Kenya

In Kenya, over 1.7 million children still remain out of school, the majority of whom are street children living in slums or in marginalized pastoralist communities. Informal or alternative basic education is viewed as "second class" education, and does not receive the recognition or acceptance required to be optimally effective.

While Kenya did implement universal primary education—meaning that eight years of schooling are provided free—additional costs of uniforms and books prevent many from attending school. Families who are able to pay for these primary school costs (and forgo the opportunity cost of not having their children work) often can not afford the fees to pay for secondary school. Secondary schooling, which properly equips children for the next level, is extremely expensive and rarely accessible in under-served areas. At the root of the problem is a drastic decline in education funding and social services by the Kenyan government and international donors.

The poor education system and subsequent idleness of these adolescents create a dangerous combination that frequently leads to drug abuse, early pregnancy, crime, and other at-risk behaviors. Similar to education, a decline in spending on social services has led to minimal care available to children who have been orphaned, leaving them highly vulnerable to exploitation and disease.

Hatua Likoni is equipping Likoni's first library, which provides students with a place to study, read, and take computer classes. FSD is pleased to support Hatua Likoni, a community-led NGO dedicated to helping young people from poor families gain the skills and credentials they need to continue to and benefit from Kenya's growing economy.

Hatua Likoni has worked tirelessly to construct and equip Likini's first-ever community library, to provide students with a much-needed facility for self-study and education. Our grant of $1,000 will support Hatua Likoni in its quest to further education, including preparation of students for university, in this deserving community.