Financial Resources for Quality Education – Analysis & Collection: Nairobi, Kenya

Program Overview

Eligibility Criteria

Open to all UBC students from any faculty with an interest in special needs education. Business, medicine, and education-related majors encouraged to apply.

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 –works with approximately 1,000 children of which 150 are children with special needs. The school’s target groups are orphans, those infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as impoverished and special needs children. The children are educated, trained, and catered to 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

Every year, Little Rock provides 1,000 children with education, as well as physical, emotional, and social support during their most formative years. With 150 special needs children participating in their programming, Little Rock often relies on grants and other sources of funding for access to necessary resources and equipment. Students in this role will work with Little Rock administrative staff to assess the financial needs of the organization, and pursue different funding options. Responsibilities will include research into public and private grant opportunities, preparation of proposals and applications, as well as identifying key organizational contacts for future needs. Ideal candidates have strong writing and computer skills as well as an interest in special needs and childhood education.

This placement will require a high degree of initiative and problem-solving – and will need to work closely with Little Rock staff to strategize working 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.


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
October 9, 2017 Program applications accepted until full OR until 11:59pm on Monday, October 9th, 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*