Almost two years ago, Teach For Kenya Fellow Gilford Kidula began his Fellowship journey in one of Kenya’s high-need schools in Mukuru Kwa Njenga Community. From his experience, he has seen an outstanding improvement in the children’s literacy and numeracy and being a class teacher for grades 3, 4, and 6 — his class has been leading in overall performance, inspiring other teachers, parents, and the community at large.
Despite the notable achievements in the learner’s academics, Gilford noted a significant need for a mentorship program to nurture life skills. Therefore, he began a project called Mentorship Care Network.
“One of the main reasons I began the project was the realization that learners were having challenges in choosing their friends, managing their emotions, and faced the challenges of adolescence that affected their social relationships and academics,” Gilford shared.
As current literature shows, mentorship helps children achieve equitable and quality primary education as outlined in the Global Sustainable Development Goal 4. Although it does not end all the systematic barriers in education, it helps tackle issues in self-awareness, personal leadership, negative attitudes towards education, reduced school truancy, dropout rates, and early teen pregnancies.
The Mentorship Care Network focuses on six pillars:
- Emotional Education
- Fostering healthy friendships
- Goal Setting
- Community building
- Dealing with adolescence
“The main goal for the project is to provide holistic development by equipping them with life skills needed to cope with real-life challenges and succeed in school and the future,” he said.
With a few schools having robust mentorship programs, Gilford is working towards partnering with organizations to support mentorship activities and help provide learning resources. He also wishes to work with community members, schools, and parents to help nurture holistic children.
Gilford Kidula is a community development professional whose work is focused on improving educational outcomes and livelihoods of communities in high-need societies. He is passionate about community service.