We successfully piloted two innovations to support children left behind in reading and writing.

My Village

In 2023, we collaborated with the People’s Action for Learning (PAL) Network to pilot My Village project in 300 villages in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. My Village was a youth-led, community-based literacy intervention that enlisted youth volunteers to conduct literacy learning camps after school and during the weekends at designated community spaces. It targeted children with low literacy competences who were identified through household assessments. Eighty-six villages participated in the intervention across three counties: Bungoma, Kilifi, and Kitui. The data and evidence generated demonstrated that it is possible to improve numeracy and literacy through cost-effective approaches at the school or community level. The project had three partners: Kyeni Kya Waasya (Kitui); Kaloleni Youth Empowerment Group (Kilifi); and Milimo CBO (Bungoma). The initiative assessed over 15,000 children and benefited over 3200 children on literacy in 2023 alone
This project has boosted my confidence. After the training and implementation, I was nominated to be a member of the development committee in my village. Champion from Makomboani, village I happened to be in the parents’ meeting where the Champion requested for learning space in the village. As the parents discussed the possible spaces available, I thought about my son’s incomplete house in my compound. I decided to offer this space. I am happy to help children learn and I know that when they learn, we are safe because education helps them to avoid stealing and doing other terrible things… I am happy that I am helping a child in a small way. Parent, Sirisia, Bungoma County

Napenda Kusoma

Napenda Kusoma is an initiative of the Kirinyaga County leadership and the South-to-South fellowship, hosted by Zizi Afrique in Kenya. The lessons from My Village project were used to inform the conceptualization and implementation of Napenda Kusoma, which aims at scaling through the government at the sub-national level. Its vision is to ensure that by 2026, all children in Kirinyaga can read with comprehension by the end of Grade 3.

What did we Achieve?

Through this journey, we partnered with 12,213 parents across Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, and enhanced their self-efficacy in supporting learning. We witnessed parents step up to support learning. We broke the silos by initiating and sustaining a regional learning network of over 400 participants in partnership with the Africa Voices Dialogue. In addition, we contributed to improved foundational learning outcomes of over 16,000 learners (3,290 of these directly). We also established a network of 290 youth champions and supported 76 teachers who were equipped with capacities to assess Foundational Literacy learning outcomes, facilitate targeted literacy support to learners struggling to read, and engage communities as they nurture a culture of reading at home.