The KGSA students and families have advocated for a voluntary dormitory providing safe and secure housing, afterschool tutoring and academic support, on-site counseling and referrals, and community programming as a way to strengthen the academic experience of our students, ultimately strengthening the larger community. This past summer, the KGSA Foundation purchased land directly next to the school specifically for this initiative, and have been working with students, staff, and administration, along with a Kenyan architectural firm to design this very building.
You may be asking yourself, "Why is this building necessary, there is already an existing structure?"
For most of our students, the time they spend at school is the only time they have to process and learn the material for the class. Many of their households do not have electricity, they lack adequate space to read and study, and they have additional responsibilities within the household to attend to upon their return home. This will continue to address the issue of quality over quantity. In order for the KGSA students to continue to excel and increase their performance, they need to be able to have the adequate space to study and learn. This means that they space for tutoring, mentoring, quiet studies, and most importantly, distraction free housing options. This is all voluntary, they can spend a night before an exam, or stay for a full year, it is up to them and their family. We are only responding to what they have been advocating for over the past years.
The 2012 Dormitory Campaign will increase performance, participation and, engagement through:
1.) Safe Housing: Currently, one-sixth of KGSA students (~20) live in unsafe housing, including situations of abuse. First and foremost, this dormitory will provide a safe, stable living environment for these students furthering their academic progress and development. Next, we will open the dormitory up to students in their last two years of high school. This will provide distraction-free housing with additional academic support to study and prepare for their Kenya Certificates of Secondary Examinations (KCSE). KCSE’s are final term exams that have a large influence on what one can do after graduation.
2.) Academic Opportunities: We are incorporating an academic study room and library into the dormitory to serve as a quiet place to research, study, and receive tutoring assistance after school hours. Space will contain 10 computer stations, high-speed Internet & a comprehensive library.
3.) Counseling & Resource Referral: KGSA Foundation is working together with the School of Social-Work at both Denver University and the University of Nairobi to find ways to create an on-site counselor to facilitate individual and group sessions for our students and families.
4.) Community Programming /Micro Credit: More space means more community programming. A large community center will hold our micro credit meetings, vocational training, and social entrepreneurship skill building classes.
5.) Craft Room: We will be expanding an already successful program of helping mothers of the students gain bead-working skills so that they can sell their products through fair trade organizations. More money in families means more meals for KGSA students, which supports their academic performance.
6.) Eco-Friendly: The building will use solar panel technology to power the building and will incorporate a rain harvesting and water purification system to insure clean water for the school and surrounding community.