Remote training and coaching to equip educators as community based champions to keep vulnerable children's learning and well-being on track.
Tell us about your idea
Like many other countries around the world, schools in Kenya have been closed since March 16th, leaving many children at home and desperate to have basic needs met. For the 60% of Nairobi’s population who are currently marginalized in urban informal settlements, this was the first in a series of steps that, whilst necessary, have significantly threatened the well-being of children and families.
Many children living in urban informal settlements are reliant on school not just for learning; but for protection, nutrition and many other aspects of their well-being. Moreover, children living in marginalized communities such as informal settlements are already furthest behind in learning metrics, and now risk being left even further behind. Risks to child well-being have significantly increased with concerns over basic provisions such as food and livelihoods, and additional risks such as child and domestic abuse.
Dignitas mapped 823 households in these communities in May 2020 and found that:
-79% of households have lost their pre-COVID19 household income
-48% of children have not received any kind of support from their schools
-Parents in these communities have stated barriers to supporting learning at home such as ‘know-how’ (39%), time (14%), and access to learning resources (72%).
A recent survey of more than 200 School Leaders highlighted that 70% of School Leaders believe it is their responsibility to support learner’s well-being, yet 68% recognize this as their biggest challenge during school closures.
Urgent action must be taken to secure the learning and well-being of these children. Dignitas designed specialized training and coaching for community champions in response.
Trained Community Champions will provide six months of learning and well-being support for children currently out of school, which will include supporting their return to school, and recovery of learning losses.
Dignitas Coaches will support weekly training sessions for Community Champions, utilizing a bespoke Chat Bot to deliver mini training modules, video conferencing for follow up, and chat apps for virtual ‘Communities of Practice’ designed for peer learning, sharing and collaborative problem solving.
Dignitas Coaches will also provide individualized coaching via phonecalls once every two weeks. All Dignitas training and coaching relies on feedback loops to tailor support and target impact.
Community Champions will distribute learning packs, conduct well-being checks, and provide remote support for learning to their assigned households on a weekly basis.
Households will both give feedback, and receive further support through the use of an interactive USSD protocol, which will be free for user.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.
Deborah Kimathi is the Executive Director of Dignitas, an education development organisation in Kenya. Dignitas uses an innovative training and coaching approach to empower schools and educators in marginalized communities to transform students’ opportunities. We imagine a world where schools are a vibrant place for all children to develop the skills and strength of character to thrive and succeed. To date, Dignitas has partnered with 300 schools, 1500 educators, and impacted the learning of 87,000 children.