The goal of VICDA is to improve the lives of the vulnerable children in Kenyan society and ensure every child has a right to education; this is achieved through provision of education facilities, as it is a big challenge to learning in rural Kenya. There is a shortage of school facilities in rural areas of Kenya, where children either have no access or the schools are very overcrowded, which increases the rate of illiteracy and poor learning in schools.
Thus, in addition to other initiatives on health and nutrition, VICDA builds schools around Kenya for communities that have been displaced and require education support. Since 2009, it has built nine schools in three counties in Kenya. The nine consist of one secondary, three primary, and five ECD schools. The VICDA team identifies communities that require support to provide education, such as internally displaced persons (IDPs), and, either through money the community has raised or through donations, VICDA begin construction.
VICDA works closely with the government and builds schools as per its specifications, making it easier for the office of public works to approve the construction and sign off upon completion. The schools are constructed through donor funding and VICDA maintains control over the process to maintain quality standards and for ease of accountability through its contractor, employed directly by the organization. Volunteers also contribute toward construction on different sites as well as at the ECD centers. The schools include classrooms, toilets, and administration blocks and are furnished with desks, blackboards, learning materials, stationery, and playgrounds. The teachers, including those at the ECD level, are deployed by the government and paid for by the communities. These teachers have additional training in counseling due to the experiences of the target beneficiaries who pay fees to ensure sustainability of the school.
Upon completion of the project, VICDA turns over responsibility of the school to the board; however, it maintains a relationship with the school to regularly monitor the condition of the buildings as well as the general performance of the school. Through its experiences, VICDA has learned that ECD learning and nutrition are inextricably linked as a child is unable to develop, concentrate, and learn if he or she is malnourished and hungry. All ECD programs are therefore linked to feeding programs, which also increases the number of children attending school.
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CEI approaches in action
VICDA identifies communities with limited access to education and implements in these communities.
VICDA was founded as an NGO coordinating volunteers for various projects including medical camps and rehabilitation of street children. Following the post-election violence in 2008 which displaced more than 650,000 Kenyans, VICDA introduced projects in these communities including construction of schools. They have constructed nine schools in three counties since 2009. VICDA started with the construction of one school in its first year and is currently constructing three schools each year. More new school construction started February 2015.
The program has also formed a Farmers Cooperative Society to improve the livelihoods of the families of the children VICDA is working with; so far, the number of small-scale farmers it is aiding is 1,200, and the target is 5,000.
In the future VICDA would like to partner to build the capacity of teachers working at the schools they have built and reach more communities in need of school infrastructure support. The program has no specific timeline but continues to increase the number of schools it constructs every year.
Monitoring & Evaluation
The organization maintains a relationship with the school to monitor the condition of the schools and the performance of the children following completion of construction. VICDA also maintain a contractor on staff to monitor construction including expenditure, time frames, and quality.
The M&E strategy involves the community and their leaders, the Ministry of Education, teachers, the county government, and VICDA. There are meetings every month based on different agendas that have been raised by either of the parties involved. Monitoring helps to fill the gaps that have not been addressed during the implementation period, and evaluation brings out the results based on the investments and the number of people served in any given community.
As of August 2014, user satisfaction was at 80%.