Students in the Rift Valley are in danger of finishing secondary school with no immediate job options. The world around the valley has become increasingly digital, and students who have never seen a computer are at a major disadvantage when looking for employment outside of their villages.
Sitting in the middle of the floor of the Great Rift Valley, kilometers from any power source other than the sun, the computer center at Karima has facilitated teaching kids basic computing skills on 10 used laptop computers for over 5 years. It was so successful that we have been able to build 9 more centers.
Each center has 10 laptop computers, and all classes are taught by well-trained, Kenyan teachers. The students start out with keyboarding and quickly move on to working with the basic Microsoft Office products—Word, Excel, and Access. We have some students go from having never seen a computer to typing 70 wpm in about 9 months. The students are very motivated because this offers them hope of getting out of the grinding poverty around them.
At the center in Karima, the teacher offers an extra half an hour of practice from 7:30 until 8:00 am when classes start. There have been students waiting in line at 6:00 am in order to be one of the first 10 who get the extra practice.