Kenya is home to about 44 million people and although Kenya has seen much progress over the past decade, it is still one of the poorest countries in the world and about 38% of Kenyans live in absolute poverty.

Educational Landscape

With the introduction of free primary education in 2003, Kenya has achieved widespread success in increasing enrolment and access to education. However, despite this achievement, many primary schools have struggled to support the increased numbers. Teachers are overwhelmed with class sizes of up to 120 students.

A recent national study carried out by Uwezo into reading and learning outcomes showed that only 3 out of 10 students in class 3 can do Class 2 work and many children are leaving primary school without basic literacy skills.

Urgent action is needed if children are to continue in school and leave with the skills they’ll require to succeed.

Our Work

Gatoto School in the Mukuru Kwa Reuben slum in Nairobi Kenya . Pic. Bryan Meade

Suas builds long-term partnerships with local organisations, supporting their work to improve the quality of education for thousands of children.  We build on local knowledge and design innovative solutions to overcome educational disadvantage. We work together to create quality, inclusive and learner friendly environments. We maintain positive and supportive relationships with local government to ensure our programmes are aligned with national policies.

Currently, we work with communities in Nairobi and Mombasa indirectly serving a total population of approximately 20,000 people.

Our education programmes directly support 1000 children.

Improving Literacy Outcomes: We work with partners, teachers and community members to improve Learning outcomes for children in primary schools.  We ensure that children in lower primary are given appropriate support to be able to read letters, words and sentences and develop a love of reading.  We also support library programmes and encourage children to develop a love of reading both inside and outside of school.

Volunteer Supports

Our Overseas Volunteer Programme provides vital support to these schools and communities during the summer months. Volunteers work with local teachers for an average of 40 hours per week: assisting with curricular development and activities, providing one-to-one support to children, producing Teaching Learning Materials (TLMs) and supplying IT support.  Volunteers are also involved in a number of extra-curricular activities, including: summer camps, arts and crafts, football, rugby, hurling and drama.

Due to ongoing security concerns, the Suas Volunteer Programme will not return to Kenya in 2015. We continue to support our Partners' work and monitor the situation actively, with the hope for Volunteers to return in 2016.

Building on Success

Since beginning our work in Kenya in 2004, Suas and our partners have achieved real success in access and enrolment. In the past, we have supported infrastructure projects; toilet blocks, classroom construction, and perimeter walls as well as feeding programmes. The objective was to build a child-friendly learning environment.  We have also partnered with other INGOs to support children through secondary education.

Our focus now in on developing innovative solutions to improve learning outcomes for children so they complete school with the life skills they’ll need to succeed.