A Soroptimist Global Initiative Grant has been given to Loisaba Community Conservation Foundation (LCCF), an American 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that serves the Ewaso community located in the Laikipia Valley in Kenya, 100 miles north of Nairobi. LCCF will use the awarded funds to provide computer and Internet access to the Ewaso Primary School’s 425+ students and teachers, which will increase that community’s educational opportunities and awareness of world news.
The grant will help supply secure, dust-free space for the computers; a computer technician; and training and support for Ewaso teachers. Many of the teachers live several hours away from their family and friends, so Internet access will provide a higher quality of life for the staff, allowing the teachers better contact with loved ones.
Ewaso Primary School students have been exchanging letters with Maple Avenue Middle School and Scotia-Glenville Middle School students for the past six years. This ongoing program has greatly enriched the writing and communication skills of the students in both Kenya and the United States, as well as given the children a unique firsthand experience with different cultures. Once the projected Internet connection is in place, the schools’ hope is to institute Skype sessions between the pen pals. This program is possible due to the time, effort and support of local teachers Joan McDonough and Alexis Marquis; the Ewaso Primary School teachers; and their respective administrations.
Through LCCF’s efforts, funds are provided to employ elementary school teachers; build housing for students and teachers; construct new classrooms; create a dining hall; provide for a physician’s assistant and a nurse for the Ewaso community; and sponsor scholarships for high school, college and professional students. The organization recently received news that one of their first scholarship students has graduated from medical school and will be returning to the region to practice medicine. Also due to LCCF’s sponsorship, the first female student from Ewaso has been accepted into medical school. To date, LCCF has sponsored more than 50 secondary, college and university students, as well as provided teachers, classrooms and supplies for more than 1,000 primary school students and given services to nursery school children as well.
LCCF also offers support for conservation and animal husbandry, and has just joined a local rapid-response antipoaching campaign to support efforts to stop the slaughter of rhinoceroses and elephants.
LCCF information can be found at www.LoisabaCCF.org.