Childhood Special Needs Education Training in Public Schools: Nairobi, Kenya

Program Overview

Applications are currently being reviewed in the order received. Program will close when full, OR at 11:59 pm on Sunday, September 24th, 2017, which ever comes first.

Eligibility Criteria

Open to all UBC students from any faculty with an interest in special needs education.

Partner Organization

Little Rock was founded in 2003 to fill a gap and address a great need for intervention during the most formative years for children ages 1 – 8 years old. Currently Little Rock has around 1,000 children of which 150 are children with special needs. The school’s target groups are orphans, infected & affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as poor and special needs children. The children are taught, trained, and catered for by 30 qualified early childhood and primary teachers, 30 caregivers and a handful of administration staff.

Little Rock Academy is situated in Kibera, an informal settlement, in Nairobi Kenya.  The historical and current realities of living in an informal settlement mean that many families are living in absolute poverty.  The school itself began with humble beginnings, but through hard work, grants and fundraising, the founder Lily Oyare, has built a beautiful facility within Kibera.  In her words, every child deserves dignity and poverty or disability are no reasons for a poor education.

Project Description

Little Rock aims to provide training to educators in the surrounding public schools of Kibera, to help teachers both understand children with special needs and increase their effectiveness in working with such students. Students will work alongside Little Rock staff to develop educational interventions and curriculum to better serve the special needs population. Once the curriculum is approved by the Ministry of Education, the creation and implementation of detailed program and lesson plans will be part of the project. Interns will work alongside school educators and administrators who have a strong background in working with children with special needs.

This placement will require a high degree of initiative and problem-solving – and will need to work closely with Little Rock staff to figure out how to work toward the vision for the program  with very few resources. This will involve building effective relationships within the communities, developing a plan in collaboration with Little Rock staff, and developing strategies for these projects.

The aim of this internship is to provide assistance to Little Rock while learning about special needs education, social change, and community development in Kenya. This will also develop understanding of the role of community spaces in providing necessary resources to various community demographics, understanding the complex issues surrounding poverty and community development, and to appreciate the social, economic, and cultural factors relevant to implementing policy.

Accommodations

You will live with a host family in the Kibera neighborhood. In most cases, you will walk to the nearby school or take public transport to and from your placement.

Program Dates

Date Activity
September 24, 2017 Program applications accepted until full OR until 11:59pm on Sunday, September 24th, 2017, whichever comes first.
Late October – November 2017 Orientation and pre-departure learning sessions (all successful applicants will be expected to be in attendance at all sessions)
January – April 2018 12 weeks of fieldwork in an International Service Learning placement
Late April – May 2018 Re-entry debrief and Public Engagement Event

Please note these dates may be adjusted but will be confirmed prior to offer.

Program Costs

The costs below are per student. Exact program costs are not confirmed at this time, but will be within the following ranges.

Location Program Fee
 Kenya $3,900 – $4,400*