The core team of The Rahul Kotak Foundation made a visit to Soko in September 2016 to assess the current situation and as a result we were able to identify some of the issues faced by the school. The team has since taken up Soko as a project and begun fundraising to be able to provide the schools with some basic facilities that will help address issues of absenteeism, malnutrition and lack of basic educational material.
1. Lack of a feeding program:
At present, most parents are only able to afford one meal a day. As a result, most of these children go hungry for the entire day and find it difficult to concentrate in class.
Due to poverty, many children absent themselves from school doing casual labour to provide food for themselves and their families. In the past year, there have also been cases of girls as young as 12 years old eloping to get some relief from poverty.
2. Lack of teaching staff at ECD Center:
Currently, the school has only one ECD teacher teaching three classes all subjects at the same time. This has forced all three classes to be crammed into a 8mx6m classroom.
Parents are finding it difficult to fund an additional ECD Center teacher. Each parent was asked to pay KES 200 (USD $2) per month to fund an additional teacher, however they were unable to raise these funds. As a result, the students continue to learn in the same class room with just one teacher.
The RKF Impact:
RKF took it up as a project in February 2017. RKF has implemented a Feeding Program, refurbished their ECD Centre, started a WASH Program, provided shoes, learning material and deworming medication.
For details of each phase implemented at Soko, click on each individual tab:
Soko is an ECD Center and Primary School in Nyakach in Kisumu County that started under a fig tree with a donation of a small, portable blackboard and a bell. Since its start, Soko has grown to become a fully constructed school with an administration block. However, due to poverty in the region, the school lacks many basic facilities that are necessary for a basic education.
Soko is situated in a hilly area of Nyakach that is not easily accessible and still untouched by modern civilization (including proper roads) in many aspects. It 's about a 90-minute drive from Kisumu City Center.
At present there are 35 students in the ECD Center and 70 students in the primary school. Out of these, 42 students fall in the category of vulnerable children.
3. No furniture and educational material at the ECD Center:
Students have no chairs or desks. Currently they use makeshift benches made from planks of wood nailed together. On our visit, there was no educational material. Not a single piece of paper to write on nor pencils to write with. At present, they learn purely from the blackboard.
Brief summary of issues faced by Soko: