Asante Sana, Thank you, Kenya.

Well Well Well.  Time flew by so fast! I am in the last few weeks of my marathon, but I must say this… the experience has been great!

In the first two months of my internship, I have been on a learning mode, in terms of skills, organizational culture, the work ethics, the logistics involved in a large-scale project implementation, data analysis and implementation, series of curriculum training, material development…. one-year of theoretical study, directly translated into implementation. Thank you, Kenya for making this a great learning experience.

It is in the final weeks of my internship, I feel that I have finally started contributing to the organization. I am working on a mixed-method study, to analyze the program effect by using qualitative data over four consecutive years. A huge shout-out to Dr.Thapa, I am putting my STATA skills into good use. I am contributing to the study by helping the M&E team to clean and analyze the dataset. Thank you, Kenya for teaching me something new every day.

On the other side, I have been attending a series of training for teachers and TOT’s (trainer of trainers) on updating the teaching methodology, as the schools in Kenya are beginning their final term of the academic year. It has been interesting to see role play, critical thinking, and insightful discussions on topics such as differentiation, ways to pair-up children and, emphasis on health outcomes. Thank you, Kenya for connecting me back to classrooms.

Training for the TOT’s (trainer of trainers)

In the following week, I am also attending teacher training by the TOT (trainer of trainers) around Nairobi. I am also preparing a comprehensive report on these training. The research questions that I am exploring in my report are –

  • How effective is the three-day teacher training model at the beginning of each term?
  • What other effective teacher training practices that can be incorporated to maximize impact?
  • Did the teachers have consistent takeaways at the end of the 3-day session?

The teacher training sessions have made me refer back to my notes from Dr.GK’s curriculum class, where we discussed in detail about in-service teacher training. In addition to this, I am also conducting literature surveys on the incorporation of special needs education into the existing early childhood project. My literature survey on parental involvement has been approved, and I am working with a team on instrument design. Thank you, Kenya for the opportunity to contribute and reflect.

Teacher training in Korongocho, a low-income, low-resource setting. Teachers discussing in small groups.

I feel that the end of my internship has given rise to a new TOR, and I have work for the next month too! It has been a great experience working in this organization, and I hope to continue to support the project.

I was also lucky enough to make a trip to the Masai Mara, and the experience was magical. Seeing wildlife in its truest form, and so close to you makes you realize that we are all one and the same. Staring into the eyes of a lion, observing the giraffe’s movement in the grassland, seeing a family of elephants waking up to sunrise was a soul-searching experience. I was also able to make a trip to Mombasa to get a feel of the coast. Overall, my internship has been an eventful journey, and it was an enriching experience to experience the different shades of Kenya. Thank you, Kenya for everything, I am filled with gratitude.

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