First a thank you to everyone who helped out, both in the UK and especially in Kenya and Uganda, with the pre-summer set up of the EPAfrica projects and the first week of training. Everything has run incredibly smoothly, which wouldn’t have happened without you.As you heard from Jess in Kisii last week, the Project Workers (PWs) spend their first week in-country doing training. Ours left the Kakamega house on Friday after the Head Teachers’ Conference. After a week of watching eleven to Kakamega and get to know each other—they were gone! Off to discover their schools, meet their neighbours, and put a year’s worth of training inEPAfrica’s model into practice. With three first-year and three second-year schools scattered across Kakamega and Vihiga counties, the PWs have many different issues to think about. Some will be focussing on the part of our model directly concerned with resource investment—schools with one textbook between six students, or a ‘lab’ that is just an empty room. Others will do this, too, but may also try to find some reasons and some solutions for unequal exam results between girls and boys, or try to create a sustainable programme of careers guidance where there has been none before. The beauty of the EPAfrica model is that each school and its PWs will come up with their own solutions to their own problems.The PWs who came back this weekend have already started making their plans. In a week they’ve managed to analyse some of the problems facing their schools, and start to think of solutions. That’s the main aim of their first week in the schools. As the Summer Team, the job of the Project Manager and Coordinators is primarily to provide support for the PWs as they make these plans, so we’ve been fielding calls (‘There’s so much to do here, how can we do it all?’) and advising on the average quotes for water tanks or gas installation for labs. We’ve also been visiting schools applying to the programme, each of which receives at least two visits by Summer Team members before being selected for investment, one of which is featured in this week’s photo.
Here’s to another eight weeks as good as the first two!