In Kenya, GPE and Rotary launch a partnership to benefit the poorest children

GPE and Rotary International both know that public-private collaboration and partnership are fundamental in the pursuit of SDG 4, especially to ensure that the poorest and most marginalized children have an equal chance at quality and lifelong learning opportunities. That’s why, through a strategic alliance with the Ministry of Education, they collaborate in ways that enhance and add unique value to Kenya’s efforts to strengthen the country’s education system.

July 13, 2020 by Praveen Prasad, Global Partnership for Education Secretariat
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3 minutes read
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Students receiving schools furniture at Nyamachaki Primary School, Nyeri County in Kenya. April 2017
Students receiving schools furniture at Nyamachaki Primary School, Nyeri County in Kenya. April 2017
Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch

Since 2005, GPE has supported Kenya’s impressive progress toward getting all children into school and learning. That progress, in turn, has advanced the country’s overall economic and social development.

Under Vision 2030, Kenya’s strategy for 2008–2030, education is seen as a vital sector to transform the country into an industrialized, middle-income economy.

However, despite this remarkable progress in education and economic development, poor and disadvantaged Kenyan children from remote regions are less likely to attend or complete primary school.

In Turkana County, the largest in north-western Kenya, children continue to face deep economic and educational challenges. Issues such as generational poverty, distance to school, lack of access to learning materials and digital resources, and poor nutrition continue to impede children’s learning.

Joining efforts to support children in Turkana County

Schools in Turkana have shown low performance in early grade as compared to urban schools. Schools continue to have poor infrastructure, deep barriers still exist for girls to go to school, and opportunities for employment for youth are drastically low.

Given these challenges and the need to boost education levels to be on par with other high performing schools in Kenya, GPE and Rotary International chose Turkana as the initial location for the implementation of a strategic partnership.

Both organizations share the same vision of achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) – inclusive and equitable quality education - and recognize the central role education plays in the realization of all SDGs.

Through this strategic alliance, involving Rotary Kenya and the Ministry of Education, Rotary and GPE will collaborate in ways that enhance and add unique value to Kenya’s efforts to strengthen the country’s education system.

A history of improving global health and education

With over 1.2 million members around the world, Rotary connects people from every continent, culture, and occupation to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Rotary does this by taking action to empower youth, advance communities, enhance health, and promote peace through improving health interventions, supporting the provision of education, and alleviating poverty.

Rotary International has been a leading organization in the global campaign to eradicate polio for more than 30 years.

As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary has helped reduce polio cases by 99.9% since its first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979.

Rotary’s efforts have helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries, contributing more than US$1.8 billion toward eradicating the disease worldwide.

Partnerships are key to achieving progress in education

Working with GPE and the Kenyan Education Ministry, Rotary clubs and districts will be able to expand their impact by better understanding the national education sector plan, learning how to engage with the national and local governments to implement this plan and how to advocate for equitable education, especially in resource-constrained and remote communities like Turkana and elsewhere in Kenya.

More specifically at the local level, this partnership will involve Rotarians engaging as local leaders to advocate for systematic change within schools and their communities to enhance the quality of education delivered to children.

In addition to financial support, Rotarians will also help mobilize resources such as books and other learning materials, install water and sanitation facilities, rehabilitate school infrastructure, and work with the local community on school feeding programs to directly support schools in Turkana.

Given the established networks that Rotarians have as community and local leaders, Rotary will seek to convey a strong message about the importance of education and its financing, particularly for schools and children in counties like Turkana, which face huge challenges and have a greater risk of being left behind.

GPE and Rotary International both know that public-private collaboration and partnership are fundamental in the pursuit of SDG 4, especially to ensure that the poorest and most marginalized children have an equal chance at quality and lifelong learning opportunities.

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Earlier this year on March 6, GPE and Rotary International hosted an International Women’s Day event as part of our ongoing collaboration through this strategic partnership.

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Out-of-school children
Sub-Saharan Africa: Kenya

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