Kakuma Hands On Learning Center

I. Opportunity Identification

Kakuma Refugee Camp is the biggest refugee camp in the world and home to around 100,000 adolescents. As the largest refugee-run organization in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Solidarity and Advocacy in Crisis (SAVIC) focuses on adolescent literacy and entrepreneurship training. Though initially successful, they failed to expand their program to meet demand due to their lack of electricity, internet access, classrooms, and follow-up methods.

II. Innovative Experimentation

We have collaborated with the refugee leaders of SAVIC to improve their existing educational programs. To make their programs accessible to more youth, we are currently constructing an education center in Kakuma Refugee Camp. In addition, we are designing a technology-based and market-oriented educational program to improve the practicality of the existing program.

1. Education Center Establishment (November. 2016 – March. 2017)
With sufficient funding and support from generous individuals and international organizations, we are in the process of constructing the education center in Kakuma Refugee Camp. The education centers consists of a computer lab, vocational workshop room, and six classrooms to house all educational programs. To ensure that women have equal access to these educational opportunities, the education center also includes a childcare center to allow women to attend classes without concern for their children’s safety.

2. Education Program Improvement (2017)
To improve the learning effectivity from students’ constant absence and lacking of standardized learning content and quality, SAVIC’s team initiated a re-planning of their training syllabus, as well as to prolong the original 4-month curriculum into 8-month to ensure abundant learning time.

In addition, to ensure the design process consider users’ real needs, we started by diagnosing the existing problems, which includes

  1. Literacy and Business classes’ objectives are too broad and thus individual student’s performance is not measurable.
  2. The syllabus lacks specific guidance for teachers to ensure the quality standard of each class and track the progress of lesson plan.
  3. There is no built-in evaluation indicators within the original curriculum design. Currently, there is no data available proving the effectiveness of the training program.

Our solutions include:

  1. for each class, a detailed curriculum objectives with specific economic and business communication skills are designed. The curriculum now includes 3-month classroom weekly study of terms and concepts, 2-months training at SAVIC’s own microfinance program and hands-on skills courses, ending with another 3-month real practice time.
  2. A unified lesson plan will be provided for all teachers with slight modification allowed. Teachers from other schools are invited to observe and provide feedback to the class.
  3. By carefully examining  each assumptions, facts and problems to find out which steps need assessment, then design baseline indicators and monitoring evaluation indicators.

3. Partnership

  • Vocational Training and Entrepreneurship: Feed the Mind, a UK-based NGO will offer teacher training and course materials for the implementation of literacy and vocational training.
  • IT: UNHCR, the UN agency offering humanitarian aid for all refugee population will offer both basic and creative IT training programs with our computer lab in 2017.

III. Our Goals

After constructing the education center in collaboration with SAVIC and other international organizations, we hope to foster an educated community with an entrepreneurial spirit that works towards improving livelihoods for all refugees within the camp. Within two years, we estimate that more than 1,000 young entrepreneurs will be trained using the resources provided by the education center.