Awards: What awards or honors has your solution received, if any?
Clinton Global Initiative University- Education Commitment of the Year 2012
Dell Social Innovation Challenge- Promising Project 2013
Harvard Graduate School of Education- Bridge Pitch Competition Winner 2014
Transform Kenya Awards- Finalist
Tell us about your partnerships
1) Nation Media Group- Nation provides newspapers as reading materials, we provide volunteers. Together we train young people on leading reading interventions. Our volunteers run reading clubs and make them fun for the students. This is a win-win partnership, meeting both the financial bottom-line for Nation, and providing alternative resources for students in our schools to learn from.
2) Akili Dada- Akili Dada connects PACE with high-achieving young African women from underprivileged backgrounds who are passionate about social change and have recently graduated from high school. During their post-high school gap year, PACE provides diverse training and skills-building opportunities for these young leaders, as well as a platform for them to have impact on younger students. We help track and monitor the impact that the students have, so that in the end, they have documented evidence of the change they were responsible for. This is a win-win partnership because we're able to extend and amplify Akili Dada's investment in the education sector, while providing a tangible benefit to the students in the program.
3) 8 Public Primary Schools in Nairobi- Public schools in Kenya are facing a shortage of 70000 teacher. PACE partners with these schools as implementation sites to alleviate the burden of being understaffed. After we train volunteers on how to be effective as teaching assistants, these schools provide an enabling environment for the teaching assistants to act as change-makers. As the teaching assistants serve in class, the academic performance of the students improves. So does the overall discipline of the students. The teaching assistants benefit by having tangible work experience for the 6 months we place them within the schools.
Challenges: What challenges might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?
Two key challenges face our project that might dampen our success. First, we need to develop stronger networks through which we can access expertise and share ideas beyond what is immediately available within our team. Secondly, in terms of capacity building, our team needs to grow in terms of resource mobilization so as strengthen the resources backing our work. To address these two challenges, we're reaching out to other peer organizations and using their platforms to pollinate our ideas and attract mentors as well as build our credibility as an organization. We're also developing our own internal storytelling capacity so as to be able to more effectively attract resources and share the impact that our volunteers experience.
How does your idea help young people create bright futures and improve opportunities for meaningful and long-term careers?
In Kenya, very few employers are willing to take the risk and employ pre-university students fresh out of high school because they lack work experience. PACE provides a platform where young people can gain work experience, skills and credibility in a very professional context before they enter the job market. We also increase the confidence that young people have in their own abilities as doers. They benefit from the mindset shift where they begin to see themselves as active change-makers, rather than passive beneficiaries. We believe that to change Africa's future, you must change the mindset of African youth.
Our pre-field trainings are focused on imparting skills in classroom management and planning, giving feedback to children and using peer influence to positively affect student behavior in the classroom.Each of our volunteers does a teach-back session which help strengthen public speaking and presentation skills after which they receive feedback from other volunteers and facilitators. Our pre-field trainings also focus on mentoring and tutoring skills- focusing on areas such as metacognition and scaffolding.
Our in-service learning components involve weeklong assignments that emphasize problem solving(identification, analysis, brainstorming and action planning), communication skills (verbal and non-verbal), decision making skills & teamwork (through team teaching in classrooms as well as working in teams to lead reading clubs and other extra curricular activities), job-readiness skills (we go through the mechanics of resume writing, interviewing and opportunity identification), entrepreneurship skills, and first aid skills Volunteers really develop their planning, prioritizing and organizing skills during because they have to plan and account for their time in the schools as well as the value they provide to the students.
At the end of their service experience, through the timecards and weekly reports that volunteers submit as part of the service documentation, they are each able to account for their time and impact within the schools. This gives them even more credibility because they are able to demonstrate tangible, measurable results from their experience. The PACE certificates and recommendation letters work as a physical evidence for employers and universities that are looking to admit young people who have solid work ethic, strong leadership and communication skills and think outside the box when it comes to addressing the complex problems in our day-to-day lives in Kenya and Africa.
Intervention Focus: Identify which of the following best explain key parts of your solution
Job Creation, Job Search, Education - Curricular, Education - Extracurricular, Professional Development, Entrepreneurship, Training/Skill Development, Online Learning.
Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below? Select a theme below that most applies to your work. If none of them do, no problem, you can skip this question.
Create New Industries: recognize opportunities in the marketplace to build new professions or new markets
Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers? Select a theme below that most applies to your work. If none of them do, no problem, you can skip this question.
Education isn't preparing young people for the evolving job market