Simone's Second Monitoring & Evaluation Mission to Nyanza, 2010
Philip, Simone and William in the office
of the principal of Lwak Girls'
From October 12th to 22nd Teach a Child – Africa commissioned a second evaluation of project Nyanza. This was in order to visit the schools not covered by the mission in July 2010, to interview the remaining students as well as to follow-up the implementation of the recommendations given in the first report.
The visit was carried out by Simone Haeberli (Monitoring & Evaluation) and William Ohonde (Project Coordinator). Mr. Philip Ombidhi (Secretary of the Usigu committee) joined the team for two days. The team managed evaluating nine secondary schools previously not visited (5 boys’ and 4 girls’ schools), carried out follow-up visits of two secondary schools and one unannounced visit to Humwend Secondary School. 11 beneficiaries previously not monitored (5 girls and 6 boys) were documented and interviewed while another 11 sponsored students were visited for the second time (7 girls, 4 boys).
The team also worked on several documents formalizing the relationships between the organization and the various stakeholders. Lastly, Simone had three meetings with representatives of OGRA Foundation in order to set up a co-operation with a strong local partner.
Philip and William exploring
the donated laptops
State of the project
The NGO 'Teach a Child – Africa' was officially launched on 1st of December 2007 in Oxford as a UK registered NGO. Since November 2009 TaC-Africa has been registered in Kenya and, in recent weeks, the organization was registered in Switzerland. TaC has been operational for almost 3 years now.
The objective of the project is to increase the transition rate to secondary schools among talented children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Kenya’s Nyanza province. The average prevalence rate in Nyanza reaches 14%, making it the region most ravaged by the pandemic in the whole of Kenya. HIV/AIDS destabilizes entire families and forces youth into responsibilities and activities not apt to their tender age. Old grandmothers and grandfathers struggle daily and often without assistance in order to provide for their many orphaned grandchildren.
Simone at Nyamonya Girls'
The findings of the second evaluation have confirmed the main results of the first evaluation. What the pupils need most is schoolbooks, a little pocket money in order to cover their basic needs and access to quality health care. Most students are appreciating staying at a boarding school and their social life is good as long as they can remain there. Many say they are not comfortable during the time off school, because the environment at home is not apt for studying: the households are not in a position to afford paraffin, so there is no light after 6.30 and hence no way of reading. Others say they would be scared to take their books home as the roof leaks when it rains. All of them help their carers in the field or wherever they are needed to work.
Lwak Computer Lab
By now, a total of 16 schools have been visited and TaC is in a position to shortlist a small number of high quality schools for further cooperation. Relations with selected schools will be formalized with the help of a memorandum of understanding, transaction costs when paying the schools fees can be reduced and monitoring of the students will soon be much easier. Moreover, groups of TaC-students will be at the same school, which will give them a good social network, but also a chance to take responsibility for each other. For example, revision books have to be kept well and handed down to the next generation of students.
Simone with Ken and Jack from
OGRA Foundation at
International School for Medicine
and Applied Technologies
Achievements since July 2010
The most visible success was the improved health of seven beneficiaries we found sick in July and who received medical treatment in August 2010 at a clinic run by OGRA Foundation, Kisumu. Eye problems were treated, two students received glasses and can now follow the lessons (!), a student with a disfiguring skin disease is fully recovered and one student has increased his performance by 60 positions since he received treatment. Other successes are the strengthened relations with the shortlisted schools, a deeper understanding of the needs of the students as well as promising regional co-operations. Next year, 22 students will be graduating and it is high time to look for a solution for them. Another big achievement is the strengthening of the technical infrastructure in the field: the volunteers on the grassroot level now have laptops, access to internet thanks to mobile modems, one scanner and several phones. All this has accelerated and eased communication with the main office in Nairobi.
Lwak Mission statement
The way forward
One strategy clearly lies in co-operations with well-established partners in the region. TaC is exploring co-operations in the areas of health care, higher education and youth empowerment. Holiday attachments should be considered for a number of harsh and vulnerable cases. TaC will further streamline its operations by reducing the number of co-operating schools, formalizing the relationship with all stakeholders as well as implementing professional and transparent policies in the areas of child protection, data protection and health. The organization also developed emergency strategies in case of drop out as well as a comprehensive and transparent selection matrix for new beneficiaries. In order to maintain this level of professionalism, TaC will have to employ a part time field staff from 2011 onwards.