Wale Wale Library
The base of the academic program is one of Wale Wale Kenya’s biggest investments so far: the Wale Wale Library. The library consists partly of academic books that are part of the schools’ curriculum, but also of fiction. Historically in the Kenyan society, the reading culture has been limited to academic books. Limiting reading to academic literature is unfortunate because fiction contains an abundance of knowledge, wisdom and entertainment that sparks the imagination and creativity with the reader. There is also a presumption that children, especially in Kibera, are uninterested in reading. After creating this library, however, we can dismiss this notion. Our members are keen on reading and eager to discovering the different worlds that literature gives you access to. The library is our way of meeting the literacy and entertainment desires of our members and at the same time providing a safe and quiet learning environment where our members can access knowledge with the support of capable adults.
School Fees Campaign
A core feature of the academic program is the school fees campaign. This is a yearly fundraising drive that we arrange with the purpose of raising money to cover school fees for the students whose parents struggle with paying for them. The school fees program is mainly focused on the high school students because of the expensive fees that are being charged for a high school student. We believe that graduating high school is imperative to create as many opportunities as possible later on in life. The support is given with clearly expressed expectations on the students to be serious about their education. The terms and expectations under which the support is given are conveyed to the parents in individual meetings. To make sure that the terms are honored, we follow the progress of the students throughout the school year and provide them with homework support and guidance along the way.
In addition to general homework support, we provide an academic follow-up program. Our members get to choose one specific topic within a subject that they want to deepen their knowledge about. Every member is assigned to one of the staff that follows their progress within the chosen subject. This initiative allows the youth to discover what they are genuinely interested in and at the same time being encouraged to pursue their passion.
We provide classes about computers, life skills, careers, and fun facts that are taught in an informal setting that is different from the regular classroom setup. We have noticed that the youth are more engaged in the classes and more receptive to knowledge when it is presented to them in an informal and fun way. These classes aim at expanding the children’s sphere of knowledge, to spark their interest in discovering, and to enhance their ability to manage the difficulties that life sometimes will hand you. Lastly, we provide a mentorship class that our members that have graduated high school participate in. During the mentorship, they are getting personal guidance on how to write a CV, how to write a blog post, how to edit photos, etc. This class is based solely on the member’s personal needs and interests.