Home to thousands of entrepreneurs, startup companies, hardware and software innovators, Kenya has made a name for itself as Africa’s ‘Silicon Valley’ on the world stage. In January 2017, the World Economic Forum named Nairobi “the 10th most dynamic and innovative city in the world”. During his 2016 visit to Nairobi, Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, praised Kenya as the world leader in mobile money and the future of the world economy. The 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in which the former president of the USA, Barack Obama, praised technology entrepreneurs by saying, “I wanted to be here because Africa is on the move… Africa is one of the fastest growing regions of the world. People are being lifted out of poverty. Incomes are up. The middle class is growing. And young people like you are harnessing technology to change the way Africa is doing business.”
This project is an opportunity to learn and work alongside these highly-recognized technology entrepreneurs, introducing world-class education technology to schools in Kenya’s countryside that are otherwise disconnected from the benefits of digital learning.
Timeframe for Involvement
9 days – 4 weeks
Service learning involvement includes training with BRCK Education technology programmers, introducing digital learning to isolated rural communities, and engaging students and teachers with efficient and interactive technology-based learning devices.
- Experience field based implementation and analysis of the Kio Kit in rural schools alongside BRCK Education professionals
- Learn about technology innovation, programming, engineering, modern technology and rural education in Kenya
- Gain an understanding of the efficiency of technology in a developing economy
This service learning project is based in two locations. Students are first posted in Nairobi, Africa’s fourth largest city and the economic hub of East Africa. Nairobi is a vibrant and exciting place with fascinating attractions, including a rich café culture, unbridled nightlife, young business atmosphere and notably, just twenty minutes from the city center, the world’s only urban game reserve.
Secondly, students travel to Magadi – a serene spot for camping at the bottom of the Great Rift Valley, surrounded by picturesque scenery. To the west, the edge of the Rift Valley wall towers 1,520 meters above, leading to the famous Maasai Mara. To the east lies Lake Magadi, well-known for its soda ash and flamingoes. To the north, one can follow the Great Rift Valley for thousands of kilometers, right up to the Red Sea. To the south is the pink Lake Natron in Tanzania, also well-known for its flamingoes. Past that is the famous Ngorongoro Crater.
Kiambethu Tea Farm
Touring the Kiambethu Tea Farm gives insight into the colonial history and economics of Kenya, as well as the process undergone to transform the leaves of a tea bush into one of the most well known beverages of all time. The tour includes a walk through indigenous forests rich with medicinal trees, as well as a delicious colonial luncheon on the lawn.
River Rafting Rapids Camp
River Tana is the perfect place for white river rafting, with rapids ranging from grades three to five. It is also the only place in for white river rafting in Kenya. Upstream and downstream currents, including waterfalls, provide different technicalities that challenge beginners as well as more experienced rafters. Rafting River Tana is a worthy adrenaline rush!
Big Cat Monitoring
Incredible wildlife is one of Africa’s most appealing icons, and is desperately in need of protection through conservation and educational projects. Many conservation efforts give rise to amazing volunteering programs, such as the opportunity to research and monitor big cats. Taking part in this project gives students a chance to deeply experience and engage with some of Africa’s most powerful and breathtaking wildlife.
Brackenhurst Botanic Gardens
Brackenhurst Botanic Gardens is a vibrant gateway into the world of pre-colonial climate diversity. Rising out of misty, rolling hills of emerald-green tea, these gardens stand as a testament to the power of environmental restoration and protection. The project began in the year 2000 and includes an arboretum of rare tree species that are critically endangered across the continent.